ABB Lummus Global, Inc. was the short-lived name of what is now the ABB Group, an international corporation based in Switzerland. The company is ranked at number 143 by Forbes as of 2010. ABB is a manufacturer of a range of power and automation technologies that are used throughout several industries. In 2010, ABB had global revenues of $31.59 billion USD and profits of $2.56 billion USD. The company is publicly traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange, the Stockholm Exchange, and the New York Stock Exchange.
The ABB Group has a long history dating back to 1863 with the establishment of Elektrisa Aktiebolaget in Stockholm by Ludvig Fredholm. This company manufactured some of the first electrical generators and lighting systems in the world. In the late 19th century, the company merged with another electrical manufacturer to form ASEA. ASEA focused their business on electrical systems and power converters for trains and railways. In 1932, ASEA built the largest self-cooling transformer in the world. In 1953, ASEA became the first company to manufacture synthetic diamonds. ASEA continued to focus on electrical systems and built several nuclear power plants in Sweden.
As ASEA was operating, another company named BBC, established in 1891, built a name for itself manufacturing power plants and steam turbines. In 1939, BBC manufactured the first electrical generator able to be run on gasoline. In 1944, BBC begins work developing high-speed locomotives and in the 1950’s makes great strides in data transmission. The company’s attention returned to electrical plants in the 1970’s accompanied by a new division manufacturing semiconductors.
In 1988, ASEA and BBC merged. This merger resulted in the formation of ABB. The new company worked primarily with full power systems, including the production of electricity, the transmission of electricity, and the distribution of electricity. The company offered turnkey systems for independent power plants, also. Another division of ABB manufactured low-voltage electrical products.
In the 1990s, ABB acquired Combustion Engineering, based in Connecticut. Together, Combustion Engineering and another division, Lummus Global, conducted most of ABB’s business in the United States. Some of the major products of these companies were boilers and fossil fuel generators, but much of this business was sold to Alstom in 2000. By 2001, ABB was listed as the most stable corporation in the world by the Dow Jones for the third year running, but at the end of the year, the company posted a net loss of $691 million. In 2007, ABB sold Lummus Global.