ABB Customer World: Catch a glimpse of the future at the Innovation Lab


HOUSTON -- Research and development is the lifeblood of ABB. Every year, the company devotes more than a billion dollars to the function, which includes our seven global Corporate Research Centers (CRCs) as well as R&D activities within business units.

This year in Houston, the R&D team will have a dedicated exhibit space, dubbed the “Innovation Lab,” on the show floor. The booth will feature five different research projects from the U.S. CRC in Raleigh as well as a special exhibit, “ABB in Space,” that offers an interactive look at how ABB might support a mission to Mars.

The purpose of the Innovation Lab is to provide attendees with a better idea of where ABB is focused in its R&D activities, and where the company is headed. It’s also as a conversation starter for customers to discuss new technology with ABB experts.

The projects highlighted at ACW this year include:

  • CODEF: a Department of Energy-sponsored cybersecurity project to make substations less vulnerable to attack
  • Cable Ties: a great example of materials science applied to a simple but important challenge
  • STIR: a novel use of submersible drone technology to perform inspections on large transformers
  • 800xA Mobile: an extension of ABB’s flagship control system’s capabilities to mobile devices
  • Low-speed High-torque Generator: a specially designed generator that can make the most of water and wind power.

This is just a sampling—there are many more projects currently under way in Raleigh not to mention ABB’s other research labs around the world. Some of the “honorable mentions” from the U.S. lab include a lightweight thermoplastic motor, intelligent alarm management for control system software, advanced microgrid controls, and anti-ballistic coatings for high-voltage equipment.

Stop by the Innovation Lab—adjacent to the entry “tunnel” in the Technology & Solutions Center for more information, and try your hand at piloting our submersible drone.

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