As of Jan. 1, 2004, six of ABB’s automation business areas will merge into three globally focused businesses. The merger continues a process that began in 2002 when the Zurich, Switzerland-based business merged two automation-related divisions and combined eleven business areas into six.

ABB veterans will head the three new businesses. Martinus Brandal will lead the Process Automation business, which is a combination of ABB’s control products, petroleum chemicals and life sciences, plus paper, minerals, marine, and turbocharging units. Tom SjokVist will lead the Automation Products business, a combination of the current low voltage products and instruments, drives, motors, and power electronics units. And Bo Elisson will head Manufacturing Automation, which is currently known as the robotics, automotive and manufacturing business.

Dinesh Paliwal, ABB group executive and head of the Automation Technologies division, says the merger was conducted with ABB customers in mind. "To appreciate the logic of these new businesses, consider the needs of a major automation technologies user. Just one year ago, our customers had to deal with 11 different ABB group organizations to finalize a new strategic relationship," Paliwal says.