- Accelerates development of next generation electrification products
- Expands ABB’s global R&D capabilities and serves as a center for customer collaboration and technology excellence
- Integrates comprehensive testing facility and a certified lab to meet advanced requirements for industrial, infrastructure, residential and utility applications
ABB Installation Products opens its $3 million Robert M. Thomas Innovation Center in Memphis, Tennessee, today to accelerate development of next generation electrification solutions. The 16,000-square-foot space brings together research and development, engineers, and product and training specialists to collaborate with customers on the design and testing of electrical products for a broad range of industries and environments.
Named after the inventor and co-founder of Thomas & Betts, now ABB Installation Products, the Robert M. Thomas Innovation Center builds on over a century of pioneering electrification solutions to address the growing needs of sectors such as automation, data centers, food and beverage, original equipment manufacturing (OEM), robotics and infrastructure. In addition to serving as a center for customer collaboration, leveraging in-house engineering expertise, the on-site lab and testing facilities play an essential role in streamlining the development process and reducing time to market for new products and customized solutions. Integrating capabilities under one roof will help ABB Installation Products create advanced materials and electrical technologies that span the entire product lifecycle, from engineering and installation to operations and service.
“Many industries we serve are experiencing significant transformation, including construction, manufacturing, transportation and utilities. The Robert M. Thomas Innovation Center continues our long history of pioneering innovative electrification solutions that contractors and installers rely on every day to complete critical commercial, residential and industrial projects,” said Matthias Heilmann, President, ABB Installation Products Division. “Working side-by-side to bring combined industry knowledge and expertise into our product designs positions ABB to anticipate and respond to a dynamic market, keeping us at the forefront of safely and more efficiently powering and protecting homes and communities.”
Since 1902, ABB Installation Products has been granted more than 1,800 patents globally, including innovative products that have set the standard for the industry and improved the safety and reliability of electrical power distribution. Today, the company produces products under 38 brands that are installed around the world to safely connect, protect and distribute electricity from source to socket, including Carlon® electrical boxes and fittings, Ty-Rap® cable ties used in cars, subways, oceans and outer space, Elastimold® switchgear and Hi-Tech Valiant™ fire mitigation fuses to help prevent wildfires.
ABB’s Innovation Center team will focus on developing solutions that meet the latest industry requirements and are extensively tested and rated to perform in various applications. The facility features a state-of-the-art lab and equipment to create prototypes and conduct comprehensive assessments, including measurement and magnification, amp cycles and ground-fault current simulations, tensile and compression force testing, UV exposure and corrosion resistance, and other extreme conditions. It will also serve as a center for learning and talent development.
The Innovation Center was built on the existing ABB Installation Products campus and occupies the lower level of its 860 Ridge Lake Boulevard building. ABB is the seventh largest private employer in Memphis and over 300 employees support ABB Installation Products, including 14 full-time specialists who transferred to the Innovation Center from its former lab in Southaven, Mississippi.
The U.S. is ABB’s largest market by revenue, and the company has invested more than $14 billion in the U.S. since 2010. The investment in Memphis builds on ABB’s growth strategy, which includes more than $100 million in ABB Installation Products expansions and improvements made in the U.S. the past few years to increase manufacturing capacity, drive innovation and sustainability, and bring products closer to customers. These include ABB’s new Northeast Distribution Center in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, and its west coast distribution site in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as production facilities in Portland, Tennessee, Ormond Beach, Florida, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Information about current and new opportunities can be found on ABB’s career page.
Building on its 100-year history of innovation, ABB Installation Products creates solutions to safely connect and protect electrical systems that power businesses, cities, homes and transportation. With more than 200,000 products under 38 premium brand names, ABB Installation Products, formerly Thomas & Betts, solutions are found wherever electricity is used around the world and in space.