By Ulrich Spiesshofer
President and CEO, ABB Ltd
Digital technologies are changing the world with unparalleled speed. They have not only revolutionized the way we communicate, buy products and services, and do our banking — they are also changing the way we power our societies, produce our goods and services, and how we work, live and move.
The application of digital technologies to industries has brought us into the Fourth Industrial Revolution where, with advanced data analytics, we can predict when a device is at risk of malfunction, enabling preemptive action, which is critical for our customers’ competitiveness as well as the safety and productivity of their operations. At our global service centers in India, we monitor the health of 5,000 ABB robots and more than 180 process plants globally.
India is seizing on the Fourth Industrial Revolution as an opportunity to digitalize its economy to drive productivity, growth and prosperity. Through the Digital India campaign, Aadhaar, and other initiatives, the country is making significant advances in decoupling economic growth from environment impact or, as we say at ABB, in running the world without consuming the earth.
ABB has actively shaped the Fourth Industrial Revolution from the very start. Our ABB Ability™ offering of digital solutions and services sets standards in digitalization, and the first truly collaborative robot, ABB’s YuMi®, is redefining cooperation between people and machines. Meanwhile, ABB’s digital solutions for power grids are increasing the use of renewable energy sources and our fast-charging solutions are playing a pivotal role in e-mobility breakthroughs.
Now, to further expand our leadership, ABB is strengthening its focusing on digital industries. Late last year, we announced that we would be shaping our company into four customer-focused, globally leading entrepreneurial businesses – Electrification, Industrial Automation, Robotics & Discrete Automation, and Motion. These four businesses are designed to focus on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and digital industrial solutions to support our customers with our established domain know-how and world-class technological expertise.
To be successful in the digital age, it is imperative to develop new technologies and to seize opportunities. Equally important, we need to prepare current and future generations for this new technological era in which the nature of work is changing, and certain types of jobs are disappearing. At ABB, we offer apprenticeships, provide employees with up-to-date training in new technologies and solutions at the “ABB University”, and give recent graduates opportunities to develop leadership skills, deepen their understanding of their chosen disciplines, and gain insights into business strategy through our Global Trainee Program.
We are part of an innovation ecosystem, in which we collaborate with our customers as well as other leading technology companies, universities and start-ups to advance digitalization and artificial intelligence for industry. In India, where we have been manufacturing for more than 60 years, we have the full range of business activities including one of our seven corporate research centers located in Bangalore.
In the age of Globalization 4.0, it is imperative for businesses, governments, academia and civil society to work together in a constructive way to meet the new economic, political and ecological challenges and ensure long-term growth and prosperity.
Let’s write the future. Together.