ABB opens new factory for high-tech semiconductor devices

Zurich, Switzerland, October 20, 1998 - ABB, the international engineering and technology group, today marked the opening of a new factory in Lenzburg, Switzerland, aimed at further reinforcing its leading position in a growth market.

ABB announced in March of last year that it would invest over US$ 70 million in the new Lenzburg, Switzerland facility to manufacture IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) high-power devices. The plant bolsters its position as one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-power semiconductors, a market that is currently growing by some 6 to 8 percent per year. IGBT devices, used in advanced electronics, employ semiconductors based on BiMOS (bipolar metal oxide semiconductor) technology.

The company spent US$ 2.7 billion on research and development in 1997, about 8.5 percent of ABB Group revenues. Innovations recently introduced by the company include the Powerformer, an advanced high-voltage generator that can feed electricity to grids without use of a step-up transformer; HVDC Light, a high-voltage direct-current technology that permits power transmission with reduced losses; and the ACS 1000, the most advanced drive system for the control of electric motors offered today. (High power semiconductors are used for the power industry and are unrelated to semiconductors used for the computer industry)

"The opening of our new factory enables us to strengthen our leading position in high-voltage power electronic applications such as HVDC, traction, and drives", said Göran Lindahl, President and CEO of the ABB Group. "This highly efficient device will also lead to completely new applications not possible before", he continued.

The ABB Group serves customers worldwide in power generation, transmission, and distribution; automation; oil, gas, and petrochemicals; industrial products and contracting; financial services; and rail transportation. The Group reported orders in 1997 of US$35 billion and employs about 220,000 people. (End)

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    Contact us

    • Mr. John Fox
      ABB Corporate Communications, Zurich
      Tel. +41 1 317 7371
      Fax. +41 1 317 7958
    • Mr. Kurt Lötscher
      ABB Switzerland, Baden
      Tel. + 41 56 205 4747
      Fax. +41 56 205 2279
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