President Obama was in Germany this week to attend Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial technology fair. The president did not travel to Germany alone: More than 400 U.S. firms attended the giant trade fair with him.
Although this year marks the first year that the United States has partnered with Hannover, ABB has been participating at Hannover Messe for nearly 60 years. For decades Germany has been known for its manufacturing strength, yet nowhere in the world has digital technology seen more innovation than in the United States. Now, with the U.S. as a strategic partner, these two powerhouses are coming together in Germany, and what a great combination for customers and the economy.
This is why we see the opportunity for a new American renaissance of manufacturing, and why we, at ABB, have invested more than $10.5 billion over the last several years to expand our U.S. portfolio and manufacturing footprint. With nearly 60 manufacturing plants and 20,000 employees throughout the country, the U.S. is ABB’s largest market, and there is still tremendous potential for growth. We think the American manufacturing resurgence is just beginning.
But this industrial revolution looks different from the last one – with robotics manufacturing, wireless communications, software-enabled capabilities, motors and drives, and measurement products that increase efficiency and productivity. Manufacturing is being enabled by what we call the Internet of Things, Services and People (IoTSP) to drive competitiveness, productivity and reliability in operations.
This year’s Hannover theme – Integrated Industry – was a good fit for both ABB and the United States. At Hannover, ABB displayed our new smart sensor for motors. It’s essentially a “fitness tracker” for industrial motors that enables plant operators to actively monitor the health of their motors before problems occur. With electric motors accounting for an estimated 65 percent of industrial energy use, any increases in efficiency clearly provide the potential for major savings.
It is important to celebrate economic successes. As the red carpet was rolled out for President Obama and Germany’s Chancellor Merkel this week, the comeback story of American advanced manufacturing was just beginning. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “America is another name for opportunity.”
Greg Scheu of Cary is president of ABB America Region.