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Our heritage has formed our spirit – today and in the future


Our heritage stems from our long and rich heritage of innovation - from our roots in ABB – and forerunners, Asea and BBC. Our customers value the deep insight and expertise we bring to their projects - much of which has been layered up over time.

Whilst are proud of our rich heritage and past achievements – be it ‘worlds-firsts’, ‘longest’, ‘largest’, ‘fastest, ‘highest-voltage’ etc. - the most important heritage is our company spirit, which lives on strong today. It's our permanent hunger for the next and the constant anticipation of future customer needs that continues to drive, inspire and excite us.

Gerhard Salge - Chief Technology Officer

We not only invented and pioneered many power technologies, but have since retained technology and have market leadership in many of these areas for decades. It’s because of our heritage and our pioneering DNA that we can serve our customers today and for the next century of exciting innovations – yet to be pioneered.  We are highly focused on creating value in everything we do - economic, environmental and social value – contributing to our customers’ Energy Systems of the Future.

Heritage Brands

Hitachi Energy, and the many previous brand names that form part of our rich history, has a heritage of over 100 years in developing and applying leading-edge grid technologies that help the aim of customers.

Our modern-day power grid technologies are built upon the pioneering spirit of dozens of leading brands and the talented people behind them. While some names are no longer in use, their DNA remains. Here you can find a quick guide to the historic brands that have helped make Hitachi Energy the force it is today.

To get started, simply click on any of the heritage brands listed below:

ASEA

Asea AB, an industrial jewel of Sweden, was created in 1883. Asea’s business was broadly defined as "the generation and application of electric power". The company manufactured such diverse items as steam turbines for power plants and high-speed electric locomotives for passenger railroads. In 1986, Asea extended the firm’s engineering and manufacturing operations beyond Sweden in order to gain economies of scale - both in manufacturing and in raising capital.

The big step forward had been the acquisition in Finland of Strömberg AB with its 7,000 employees, which was followed in late 1987 by the acquisition of 63 percent of EB Corporation in Norway. By 1987, Asea was radically altered from a Swedish-centered company to a pan-Nordic electrical multinational. But the company continued to look even beyond the Nordic countries. In 1987 Asea and Brown Boveri were of roughly equivalent size in many respects (annual sales, net worth, number of employees) and had adopted similar lines of decentralized command. The companies also complemented each other in their geographical concentrations and in management strengths.

This marriage of equals in 1988, Asea and Brown Boveri into ABB, allowed the new company to stay at the forefront of technology. Utilizing production plants in many countries, the merged group made the most of the advantages of international specialization and became the world's leading supplier in the electric power industry.

 

ASEA Brown Boveri

ABB Asea Brown Boveri, was the result of a merger between Asea AB of Sweden and BBC Brown Boveri Ltd. of Baden, Switzerland in 1988. The merged entity became the world’s leading supplier in the $50 billion electric power industry. It successfully integrated 850 subsidiary companies and 180,000 employees operating in 140 countries. When ABB was formed its two parent companies retained their separate names, boards and stock listings.

In 1996 ASEA AB in Sweden and BBC Brown Boveri AG in Switzerland decided to change their names to "ABB AB" and "ABB AG," respectively. 

Bailey Network Management

The name Bailey Network Management has long been associated with excellence in Energy Management and SCADA systems used primarily in the electric power industry.

This heritage provides a wide range of hardware, software, and full-service solutions for the railway, gas transportation, hydroelectric, and petrochemical industries. Although the familiar Ranger and Vanguard names have been retired, the same attention to detail and robust technology that made these names the leaders in the industry is assured.

 

BBC Brown Boveri Electric

The American operation of Swiss-based Brown Boveri Limited was called Brown Boveri Electric Company, incorporated as a U.S. company. In 1984, the U.S. company name was changed to BBC Brown Boveri Inc. Brown Boveri Electric continued innovating in the field of stored energy low- and medium-voltage circuit breakers and 5 kilovolt (kV) air magnetic circuit breakers. Manufacturing a complete line of low- and medium-voltage indoor and outdoor products in addition to high-voltage circuit breakers and switches, the company was known for technical innovation and engineering excellence. In 1988, the name changed again following the merger of Swedish ASEA, and Swiss BBC.

The new company ASEA Brown Boveri grew considerably when the transformer and relaying businesses of Westinghouse Electric were added to the American operation. 

 

Brown, Boveri & Cie

Brown, Boveri & Cie (BBC) was a Swiss group of electrical engineering companies. It was founded in Baden, Switzerland, in 1891 by Charles Eugene Lancelot Brown and Walter Boveri who worked at the Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon. In 1970 BBC took over the Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon. In 1988 it merged with ASEA to form ABB.

The company produced DC and AC motors, generators, steam turbines, gas turbines, transformers and the electrical equipment of locomotives. 

COMEM

Since 1962 COMEM has been an important brand in the electromechanical components for distribution and power transformers. In 2009, COMEM became a member of the ABB Group, at that time the company had plants and operating units in Italy, Turkey, Brazil and China.

Comem portfolio included 12 different product lines, from low voltage bushings to measurement and safety devices with analog and digital output (eDevices) that enable continuous asset health monitoring and the transformation of the traditional grid into a smart grid. Comem product offering helped expand our portfolio and facilitated continued growth in the transformer components business.

Elettrocondutture S.p.A.

As far back as the first half of the 20th century, Elettrocondutture S.p.A., with its head office in Milan, was one of the few leading Italian companies which marked the historical milestones of the low voltage plant engineering evolution. Back in the 1930s, under the guidance of the Calì family, it had already introduced the first Stotz-Kontakt automatic circuit-breakers in Italy. These represented the development of the first types of automatic protections, whose invention by the German company even dated back as far as the 1920s.

In 1950, when collaboration with BBC Brown Boveri had been strengthened, production was extended to remote switches and industrial relays and, at the beginning of the 1960s, immediately after the inauguration of the new factory in Milan, the Elettrostop residual current circuit-breakers were patented. These were the ancestors of the present series of residual current protection devices found in every domestic, service sector and industrial electrical installation.

The new factory in Pomezia was opened at the beginning of the 1970s. This worked alongside the one in Milan to produce the different series of circuit-breakers featuring the technological innovations which have progressively established themselves. The same period also saw introduction of the first series of miniaturised modular apparatus in Europe.

The automatic and residual current circuit-breakers, which represented the company’s traditional market, were placed side by side with a continuously widening range of products and systems: PLCs and other electronic equipment for industrial automation, switchboards, building automation systems, etc.

At the end of the 1980s, Elettrocondutture became part of the ABB Group where it has carried on developing and selling products and solutions, constantly keeping pace with progress of the technologies available and with the increasing new needs of all the operators in the electrical and automation sectors.

 

Elmek – Heritage brand

Since 1985 ELMEK has been manufacturing all types of accessories and  bushings for distribution and small power transformers. In 2009 ELMEK became a member of the ABB Group, at that time the company served the market in more than 65 countries. Elmek portfolio included porcelain and epoxy bushings, de-energized tap-changers, measurement and safety devices and mechanical components and valves.

Figeholm

Figeholms Bruk, founded in 1931, started to produce transformer board in 1932. It was a family owned company.  It specializes in producing cellulose based insulation materials, components and insulation kits for power transformers. 

Figeholm Elboard® is a quality product that is used worldwide within the transformer industry. It is developed for applications where maximum rigidity and tensile or flexural strength is required. Its excellent electrical properties make it the right choice in High and Ultra High voltage applications.

In 1973, Figeholm became a member of the ABB Group. Figeholm Elboard® strengthened our global insulation offering and its position as a technology leader in the transformer business.

Gould ITE

ITE Circuit Breaker Company, named for the innovative oil-dashpot inverse time element on its electro-mechanical circuit breaker trip devices, was acquired in the late seventies by Gould, Inc.. The new company Gould ITE continued to manufacture its products mainly in several factories in the Philadelphia area and a west coast facility in Downey, CA.

Gould sold a majority of the ITE Company to Swiss-based Brown Boveri Limited, which later became ABB.

KEYMILE

KEYMILE is headquartered in Hanover, Germany with 350 employees globally and was founded in 2002 through a merger of three technology companies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It is a leading manufacturer of mission-critical and broadband telecommunication solutions, with installations across 100 countries. KEYMILE’s communication portfolio is geared to meet the demands of network operators for reliability, availability and cyber security, making KEYMILE a leader in the field of mission-critical communications.

KEYMILE’s mission-critical communication business base includes network operators of energy grids, railways, oil and gas pipelines, as well as public authorities. The 120 employees of the acquired business will join the Grid Automation business unit.

 

Kuhlman Electric Corporation

Kuhlman was founded in 1894. In that year, Mr. Etna Kuhlman with a start-up workforce of two men set up shop in Elkhart, Indiana. It was there that Kuhlman's very first transformer was designed and produced.

In 1915, Kuhlman moved its manufacturing operation to Bay City, Michigan, where it remained until that facility closed in 1975. Throughout the 1940's and early 1950's, with rural electrification and urban and industrial growth reaching record highs, the need for transformers rose greatly. Kuhlman's orders and backlog grew with this trend as well. After several much needed expansions to the Bay City plant and the addition of a new warehouse facility, Kuhlman was still faced with the "problem" of needing even more factory capacity. 

To expand their power transformer product line, Kuhlman opened the manufacturing facility in Crystal Springs, Mississippi just south of Jackson, Mississippi in 1956. This facility allowed Kuhlman to expand into the three phase small power transformer market. This was vital for rapid growth due to the distribution substation construction throughout North America. 

In July 1969, the Versailles, Kentucky plant began manufacturing distribution transformers for Kuhlman. In 1977, plans to expand the facility received corporate approval, and the project was completed in the latter part of 1978. This expansion increased capacity by about 20 percent to 250,000 square feet. Also in 1978, Kuhlman acquired Associated Engineering Company, an independent manufacturer of instrument transformers with facility near Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 1991, Kuhlman Corporation Headquarters moved from the Birmingham, Michigan facility to the Versailles location near Lexington, Kentucky in the heart of central Kentucky's lovely Bluegrass Region. In 1993, some of the company's Corporate HQ Division briefly moved to Savannah, Georgia, where they remained until the purchase of the Kuhlman Corporation (NYSE: KUH) by Borg Warner Corporation (NYSE: BWA) and the subsequent sale of Kuhlman Electric Corporation to The Carlyle Group in 1999. During the transmission market downturn of 1994, the oil-filled instrument transformers were moved to the Crystal Springs facility when Kuhlman consolidated instrument transformer manufacturing with the power transformers.

In August 2008, Kuhlman Electric was purchased outright from the Carlyle Group by ABB. In addition to Crystal Springs facility becoming part of our Power Transformer division, this facility also manufactures oil-filled instrument transformers.

Micafil AG

MICAFIL, founded in 1918 and based in Zurich, Switzerland, established itself as technology leader in bushings through its manufacture of traditional types such as OIP (Oil Impregnated Paper) and RBP (Resin Bonded Paper) and insulation components.

1998 became a member of the ABB group. It developed the world’s first RIP bushings (Resin Impregnated Paper) in the 1960s, before producing the first 420 kV RIP bushings at the end of the 1980s and the first 550 kV RIP bushings in 1996. MICAFIL products helped us expand its transformer bushings portfolio and to become the leading supplier of standardized and customized high voltage dry bushings.

We offer a wide range of insulation components like laminates, fastenings and machined parts based on MICAFIL-competencies, well proven in demanding applications requiring dielectric, mechanical and thermal withstand capabilities.

National Industri

National Industri (NI) was established in Norway in 1917 as a major supplier of heavy electrical products, transformers and hydropower generators to the Norwegian market. National Industri started to establish an export activity during 1965 – 1970.

Transformer companies in certain markets were acquired in order to have access to the worldwide market.  Gradually, new countries were added to the list where National Industri had production in wholly or partly owned companies.  These countries were Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Ecuador. National Industri was first incorporated in the EB-Group before it became an ABB entity in 1988. National Industri’s main export products have always been furnace and rectifier transformers based on the “shell-form” principle.  They are especially fitted for arc furnaces and reduction furnaces.    

National Industri was the world’s leading company for furnace transformer when it was acquired by ABB in 1988. Shell form transformers delivered from National Industri are still repaired in the original factory in Drammen, Norway. This facility is also able to produce new spare transformers, identical or upgraded version of the existing transformers.  Spare parts are also available from our factory in Drammen, Norway.

The factory in Norway is also supporting transformers delivered from ASEA Per Kure (Norway)  (APK) and Richard Pfeifer (Norway) (RP).

Pioneer Solutions

Hitachi ABB Power Grids signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-based Pioneer Solutions LLC, a provider of industry-leading front-to-back-office Commodities/Energy Trading and Risk Management (C/ETRM) solutions, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, USA. This expansion will give the business the most comprehensive offering in the market. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.

 

PowerCorp

An Australian renewable power automation company. Offering automation and intelligent control solutions to manage renewable energy generation in isolated grids, ensuring utility grade power quality and grid stability. This enables very high levels of wind and solar power penetration into isolated diesel powered grids, thus reducing emissions and dependency on fossil fuel.

Powercorp has installed several systems to integrate renewable power into remote grids and keep generation in balance with consumption. The company also supplies systems that dynamically store and release energy in response to frequency and voltage deviations, to stabilize small or remote grids.

 

Pucaro Elektro-Isolierstoffe

Pucaro, based in Roigheim, Germany, is a premium manufacturer of insulating materials for transformers, electric motors and generators on a global scale for as many as 50 years.

1989 became a member of the ABB group. The portfolio targets mainly oil-filled transformers, from distribution to large power transformers for UHVDC (Ultra High Voltage Direct Current) projects. Pucaro offers solutions also for dry-type transformers and motors and generators. In addition, series of niche products cover special applications, e.g. pharma (support materials for high frequency welding) and shields for telecommunication industry. Pucaro product portfolio strengthened our global insulation offering.

 

Raman Boards

Raman Boards commenced its operation in 1980, and since then became a market leader for transformer insulation in India. Raman Boards offered wide range of high quality transformer insulation products to power and distribution transformer segments in India and many leading transformer companies in Middle East, South East Asia and parts of China leveraging unique quality-cost position and on the strength of a wide product offering unmatched in the insulation industry.

In 2007, Raman Boards became a member of the ABB Group. Raman Boards product portfolio strengthened our company's global insulation offering.

Silver Star Shenzhen Surge Arrestor Co. Ltd.

A joint venture with Shenzhen Silver Star Electric Co., Ltd. specialized in manufacturing of surge arrester from 6kV- 500kV, installed in utility, industry and transport segments across China.

Shenzhen Silver Star Electric Co., Ltd. Was founded in 1993, and it concentrates on ZnO surge arrester’s research and development as well as production. Silver star arrester has 15 patents in ZnO arrester research and development field.

 

Stromberg

Strömberg was established in Finland in 1889. Offerings included electromechanical products such as generators, electric motors and even small power plants.The founder of the company, Gottfrid Strömberg, became the first person in the country to conduct academic research and teaching in electrotechnology while acquiring the highest university level knowledge in Berlin and Hanover, Germany.

Product development was Strömberg's preferred activity from the very beginning. It intensified in the 1960’s when some 10 percent of Strömberg's employees were working in product development and technology research. Strömberg had been early in applying modern electronics to its products, especially motors, electric drives and protective relays. The first frequency converter based drive was installed as early as 1973. The first microprocessor-based relay was developed in 1982.

The passion to remain an entrepreneurial company based on the belief that the key to success in all circumstances would be product and quality excellence has been a cornerstone over the years. Building international networks was also an early key competence in Strömberg. Since 1988, we have offered this sustained knowledge in automation and power technology.

 

Swedewater

Swedewater was founded in 1980 and produced the first thyristor water cooling unit (WCU) in 1982. It was incorporated into ASEA in 1983 and became a part of ABB in 1987.  The unit specializes in cooling system with deionized water.

Today, cooling systems from our company cover over 50% of the HVDC & SVC installations globally. They are available with cooling capacities from a few kilowatts up to several megawatts and are customized solutions for special applications and environments as well.

Tropos Networks

Tropos Networks is a worldwide leader in creating best-of-breed IP broadband technologies for mission-critical communications. Used to build a highly reliable, secure, manageable and scalable foundation that meets the performance and capacity required for one or many applications.

Tropos products offer robust and cost effective industrial strength solutions for building communications links to physically disparate locations, industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) end points and mobile devices across geographies that span a few miles or thousands of miles.

Ventyx

Ventyx is a leading software provider to global energy, utility, communications, and other asset-intensive businesses, offering a broad range of solutions including: asset management, mobile workforce management, energy trading and risk management, energy operations and energy analytics. The company also provides software solutions for planning and forecasting electricity needs, including renewables.

One of Ventyx’s key software applications gives utilities and grid operators the information they need to better match electricity generation with consumption, even at the household level. By generating real-time information on electricity demand, pricing and availability, Ventyx’s software enables a practical business model for utilities to generate revenues from smart grids and carbon trading. 

Ventyx’s load forecasting software can also help to integrate large amounts of unpredictable renewable energies, such as wind and solar power. The company provides other asset management applications to fully integrate a utility’s business and enterprise systems across the entire value chain, and a comprehensive service suite to facilitate efficient resolution of network failures.

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Ventyx has a large installed base in the US market and Europe and operates in more than 40 countries. Its customers include leading power utilities in the United States and Europe as well as industrial businesses.

Westinghouse

Westinghouse Electric Corporation was founded by George Westinghouse in 1886. He devised the use of alternating current (AC) for electric power transmission. He was a prolific inventor, beginning with the air brake for railways in 1868, and then added 360 patents for railways, electricity and natural gas. He invented the gas meter and pioneered a control system of pipes to transmit natural gas into homes safely.

His hydroelectric development of Niagara Falls in 1896 initiated the practice of placing generating stations far from consumption centers. The Niagara plant transmitted massive amounts of power to Buffalo, New York, 20 miles away. To solve the problem of sending electricity over longer distances, Westinghouse developed the transformer. They are still used today to step up the voltage for efficient long-distance power transmission and then step it down at the point of use.

The electric transmission and distribution (T&D) business of Westinghouse Electric developed into a dominant and sustained industry leader in North America. In 1989, ABB acquired the T&D business of Westinghouse. This gave the company a leading production position for distribution and power transformers, instrument transformers, transformer components, high-voltage breakers, medium-voltage breakers and reclosers, surge arresters, and capacitors.

ZWAR

ZWAR Group, one of Poland’s leading manufacturers of switchgear and high-voltage equipment, was acquired by ABB in 1997. The ZWAR Group comprised four factories - two in Warsaw, one north of Warsaw in Przasnysz, and one west of Gdansk in Lebork. Altogether, they employed 1,750 people and were major suppliers to the Polish market.

The new company manufactures a wide range of products for applications in power transmission and distribution for utilities and industry, including medium- and high-voltage switchgear, instrument transformers and surge arrestors. The four factories are all certified to international quality standard ISO 9001 and were previously licencees of our company for various advanced circuit breaker designs. The new company has gained by sharing in our latest technology across this wide field and from further investment to modernize production facilities, enhance environmental performance and transfer know-how in management and information systems.

The factory in Przasnysz became a focused factory for medium-voltage fuses, switch disconnectors and MV instrument transformers within the group, and is still producing medium voltage (MV) instrument transformers and circuit breakers for the local market. The factory in Lodz is responsible for producing oil immersed medium-sized distribution transformers (251-2000 kVA), and medium-sized power transformers (70-200 MVA, up to 254 kV). The factory in Warszawa- Miedzylesie is producing ST7 movable transformer substations for the global market and switchgear for the local market. 

Looking forward to the future


Right from the beginning, we have always challenged ourselves to look ahead into the future in order to create the most sustainable and future-proofed solutions. Today, we bring you Perspectives - a selection of thought-leading ideas and views relating to emerging technological trends and trending 'business of energy' hot topics that give a glimpse into the future. Authored by our top experts, along with visionary customers and influential industry partners, Perspectives fuels is about the exchange of ideas in an open and collaborative way. Through Perspectives, we explore unchartered territory and new ways to unlock the future potential.

Perspectives

A collection of insights and reflections on topics that matter now.