Innovation and optimism are the keys to sustainable growth

Sabine Busse, Division President of ABB Measurement & Analytics, explains to Stephen B. Harrison, sbh4, how her team are unlocking opportunities despite the Coronavirus pandemic

In response to the pandemic, Busse and her team have needed to apply their energy and creativity to find additional opportunities for sustainable growth. Their instrumentation and gas analyser portfolio has been continuously supporting many industries across the globe during the crisis. 
Sabine Busse tell us about how you personally make an impact:
It’s all about applying my passion for innovation and putting customer and market needs at the centre of our activities. Our process automation solutions result in improved productivity and we also have a range of products that support environmental management. In addition to championing these benefits, we develop and implement cutting-edge digital solutions into our established mix of products and services.
Has the Covid-19 situation been a game changer for you?
Yes, it has. But, one of the strengths of our business model is sectoral and regional diversity. If there is a downturn in one segment in one part of the world, we still have great opportunities to serve other geographies and other industry sectors. For example, as many countries and industries deepen their focus on environmental management.
How have your operations changed in response to the pandemic?
One example is communication. At times like this, it becomes clear to us how fortunate we are to have a range of digital solutions, including augmented reality and remote monitoring. These enable ABB experts to see exactly what the end-user has in front of them so that they can work together to get instrumentation online as quickly as possible.
How will you continue this remote way of working? 
In some cultures, we are likely to continue this digital customer communication approach. For example, our team in India has responded in a very positive and pragmatic way. In such a large country, video calls are cost-effective and environmentally sustainable. And it means we can be there for more of our customers more of the time.
I have made a personal commitment to fly less in the future, and together with my management team we will cascade this philosophy through our division. We can save money and avoid carbon dioxide emissions at the same time. Economic and environmental benefits will go hand in hand.
Air quality seems to be important to you.
Indeed, it is. And I’m delighted that Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) gas analysers are core products in our instrumentation, analyser and force measurement portfolio.
Automated stack emissions pollution control, is that the application for CEMS?
Yes. And I’m thrilled that our CEMS gas analysers, services and digital solutions give operating companies the information they need to monitor and minimise their emissions to air. For example, our CEMS gas analyser range includes the ACF5000 FTIR which can monitor up to 15 air pollutants simultaneously.
What stimulates the need for CEMS gas analyser applications?
Regulatory developments drive these markets forward. The ‘Blue Sky’ initiative in China and the emerging CEMS requirements in India will result in tremendous improvements in air quality and public health. Our global reach is important to support these regulatory changes and with offices around the world, we can stay up-to-speed on the gas analysis requirements and help our customers respond. 
What do CEMS gas analysers have in common with process control gas analysers?
Both applications require the very best hardware. Reliability is essential. And both pull for support from our team of more than 600 certified service technicians around the world. Digital solutions are also equally relevant to both applications. Some of these can predict when instrumentation will need intervention: we can apply condition monitoring to address problems before they escalate or defer intervention until it is required. It means reduced maintenance costs and better uptime. Those benefits are attractive across the full range of measurement and analytics devices.
Where do the ideas for your digital innovations come from?
Innovation starts in the market. Our local sales teams and channel partners provide feedback on emerging automation, process control or emissions monitoring needs around the world. Our global R&D specialists take note of these market requirements and work with our global product managers to develop the required solutions.
Please can you share some of your optimism with others, as they work through the Coronavirus pandemic?
I would encourage people to find the courage and vision to embrace transformational innovation in these challenging times. That might apply to digitalisation, services, products or the markets they choose to serve. The rewards are often within reach, if we are brave enough to seek them.
All images reproduced courtesy of ABB

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