ABB standard drive family becomes first to hit one million units

03 March 2009

The one millionth ABB standard drive has rolled off the production line, marking a historic milestone as the first of an ABB drive range to hit this significant figure.

Some five years since the first drive of this family was manufactured at ABB’s Helsinki factory, the demand is now such that it is produced by five factories in three continents.

'This is a great milestone for the entire ABB drives business and yet more proof of the fantastic growth that we are experiencing with low voltage drives in ABB,' says Pekka Tiitinen, group vice president, head of Business Unit Low Voltage Drives. 'This product family has been designed to fulfill customer needs globally. Consequently it is a worldwide sales success and has clearly contributed to our increased global market share in low voltage drives to 18.1 per cent in 2007, as stated by the latest ARC report.'

There are three families of drives: ABB industrial drive, ABB standard drive and ABB machinery drive. The ABB standard drive is one of the world’s best selling drives of all time.

'It is designed as a standard drive for standard applications. And yet it possesses some of the most advanced features that give it the simplicity of use demanded by the market,' says Steve Ruddell, general manager, drives & motors, ABB Ltd.

Among the key features are easy to use human-machine interface (HMI), extensive power range, disturbance free network connection, good connectivity and dynamic performance.

ABB launched the drive in a bid to enter markets which were showing strong potential for drives but in which ABB, at the time, had a small market share. These industries included building automation and food and beverage and the targeted applications were typically pumps and fans and other variable torque and basic constant torque applications such as conveyors.

Since its launch in 2003, the drive is continuously evolving to ensure that it uses the latest hardware and software developments. This is something Ruddell sees continuing for the foreseeable future. 'Today, our drives must continuously evolve to meet the demands of our customers and the ABB standard drive is a good example of how the technology is improving over time.

'When it was launched it had several novelties like intuitive user interface and swinging choke technology for harmonic reduction. The control panel in particular has been a trend-setter with many competitors now adapting some of its user-friendly features.

'The concept behind the drive was clearly ahead of its time and is now the model adopted by many: it is a model based around simple selection, excellence in connectivity, intuitive use and built in EMC and harmonic solutions.'

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