ABB Lands on U.S. Shores with GE Acquisition

ABB Lands on U.S. Shores with GE Acquisition

The purchase of GE’s Industrial Solutions extends ABB’s electrification business reach into the U.S. industrial and automation market.

ABB, the Swiss engineering firm, broadened its global presence in the electrification business with the recent acquisition of General Electric’s Industrial Solutions. ABB’s Electrification Products division offers a full range of technologies, including medium- and low-voltage products, solar inverters, uninterruptible power supplies, and electric-vehicle charging infrastructure. GE’s Industrial Solutions center, based in Atlanta, Ga., has approximately 13,500 employees and maintains working relationships in more than 100 countries.

This marks ABB’s second major acquisition, as company recently closed the acquisition of B&R to bridge the gap in machine and factory automation. With the combination of B&R machinery and GE’s power solutions, ABB is lining itself up to become a major player in the industrial automation space.

With ABB’s acquisition of GE’s Industrial Solutions on the heels of the B&R acquisition, ABB likely becomes a major player in the U.S. industrial and automation market.

Ulrich Spiesshofer, President and CEO of ABB, stated last month during the acquisition announcement how the North American electrification market is on pace to grow rapidly. “The acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions represents a unique opportunity for ABB to strengthen our position in the highly attractive North American electrification market. This market is about 32 billion in the U.S. that is growing by more than 32% CAGR driven by rising demand in sectors like data centers, EP charging, as well as energy efficiency and classic industrial electrification.”

A spokesperson for ABB explained the firm’s goal in acquiring GE’s Industrial Solutions. “ABB will integrate GE Industrial Solutions within its Electrification Products division. The intention is to deliver a powerful offering of products, solutions, and services drawing on the respective strengths of ABB and GE Industrial Solutions. GE Industrial Solutions has a strong installed base, which provides ABB with the opportunity to introduce its class-leading innovation to benefit the customer base. A good example would be that ABB has solutions that could reduce the footprint of a switchgear by around 20%.” 

ABB looks to complement its Electrification Products division by adding GE’s Industrial Solutions branch. ABB offers a full range of electrification technologies, including medium- and low-voltage products, solar inverters, UPSs, and electric-vehicle charging infrastructure.

When asked how ABB plans to compete in the U.S. market for industrial automation and IoT, the spokesperson pointed to ABB’s strength in retrofitting and updating legacy systems. “ABB Ability is the portfolio of connected and software-enabled solutions that can help customers to improve their productivity and learn more about their electrical systems. Examples include a retrofit solution to connect breakers to a cloud platform; a cloud-based power management solution; and digitally enabled switchgear to enable remote monitoring and predictive maintenance. As an underinvested business for GE, GE Industrial Solutions can benefit [from] the pipeline of innovation from ABB’s significant R&D investments. ABB has invested significantly in digital solutions to support its customers in industrial digitalization.”

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