ABB Celebrates 25th Anniversary Since Merger

Press Release
Sunday, January 13, 2013

ABB celebrates its 25th anniversary since the merger of ASEA with BBC, January 1988.

Twenty-five years ago Sweden’s ASEA and Switzerland’s Brown Boveri merged to form ABB Asea Brown Boveri & Cie, integrating 850 subsidiary companies and 180,000 employees operating in 140 countries.

ABB kept ASEA’s and BBC’s respective positions at the forefront of technology and continued to innovate, launching products such as the Azipod electric propulsion systems in 1990 and the FlexPicker delta robot in 1998.

Much of the technology that our society now relies on was devised or commercialized by ABB and its founding companies, making ABB the largest supplier of industrial motors and drives, the largest provider of generators for the wind industry and the largest supplier of power grids worldwide.

ABB's most recent breakthrough, the development in 2012 of a hybrid high-voltage direct current (HVDC) breaker suitable for the creation of large, inter-regional DC grids, solves a technical question that has mystified engineers since the ‘war of currents’ between alternate current (AC) and direct current (DC) in the 1890s, took them back full circle to the time of the founding companies.

Following the merger, the new group, now headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, had become the world’s leading supplier in the electric power industry and controlled a third of Europe’s business and over 20 percent of the world market.

ABB kept ASEA’s and BBC’s respective positions at the forefront of technology and continued to innovate, launching products such as the Azipod electric propulsion systems in 1990 and the FlexPicker delta robot in 1998.


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