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ABB automation event marks new success in Brazil

ABB Automation Technologies : 15 March, 2007  (Company News)
ABB held its first major conference in Brazil focusing on plant and factory automation, giving customers in the country a chance to take a closer look at solutions to increase productivity and save energy.
More than 400 customers, ABB staff and industry leaders converged on Sao Paulo for the two-day event modeled on ABB’s flagship automation event in South America.

The move to Brazil is the latest sign that Automation World is proving to be a popular model among customers after similar events in Argentina and the U.K.

“ABB is one of our largest partners in both power and automation,” said Jorge Santos, general manager of automation solutions for Brazilian mining giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce. “Events like Automation World help us to involve both senior managers and mid-level staff in the dialogue for a successful relationship.”

Santos has attended two previous ABB Automation World events in the US, and is joined at the Sao Paulo conference by more than a dozen CVRD colleagues. Brazil's Automation World User Conference and Exhibition is organized under the theme “Results-Driven Automation.”

The Sao Paulo conference included a 550 square meter exhibit of automation solutions from ABB and its partners, as well as more than 45 technical workshops on such topics as process automation, robotics, instrumentation, motors and drives. An eight-member group representing ABB customers Dow Chemical, Petrobras, Klabin SA and others helped to design the event.

Sergio Gomes, head of ABB in Brazil
The head of ABB's business in Brazil, Sergio Gomes, opened the event on Wednesday with a presentation outlining the company’s commitment to robust power and automation solutions blended with a culture of social responsibility.

ABB employs 4,000 people in Brazil and had sales of about $500 million last year, of which nearly 20 percent were exported. The company operates five factories and a network of sales and service facilities across Brazil.

Ricardo Hirschbruch, who heads ABB’s automation businesses in Brazil, provided an overview of the company’s research and development programs, which spanned an investment of nearly $1 billion worldwide last year. Hirschbruch stressed the importance of collaborative automation solutions to companies who face increasing pressure to maximize productivity and energy efficiency for a greater return on assets.

Rounding out the opening session was guest speaker Max Gehringer, a prominent local business figure who has held several senior management posts including president of Pepsi Cola operations in Brazil. Today, Gehringer is a frequent motivational speaker, author of three books, and a regular columnist for Brazil’s second-largest magazine, Epoch. He addressed the group on the importance of keeping abreast of technology, business and cultural change through collaboration.

“The Automation World experience is becoming a powerful tool for demonstrating our commitment to achieving measurable results,' said Gomes.
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