MRO Magazine

ABB sells 100,000th robot (April 01, 2002)

ABB sold its 100,000th robot in March. "This is a big milestone for us as a company and sends a strong signal to our competitors," said Jouko Karvinen, executive vice-president and head of ABB's autom...

April 1, 2002 | By MRO Magazine

ABB sold its 100,000th robot in March. “This is a big milestone for us as a company and sends a strong signal to our competitors,” said Jouko Karvinen, executive vice-president and head of ABB’s automation technology products division. “We are the world’s first company to sell this many robots. It also means we have the largest installed base of robots globally.”

ABB produced its first robot in 1974. ABB’s robotics team, working in locations like Sweden, Norway, the United States, Germany and Japan, has in recent years broadened its range of robots. Among many other applications, ABB robots pick chocolates for companies like Lindt and Nestle, and sort pills for pharmaceutical giants like Novartis and Bayer.


A new networking and educational conference specifically for the Canadian power transmission/motion control industry is being organized by the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA). It will take place May 30-June 1, 2002, at the White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.


Open to all participants in the Canadian PT/MC industry, including member and non-member distributors and manufacturers, manufacturer reps and other interested parties, the program brings a Canadian slant to PTDA’s networking and education. Highlights of the new event include:

Educational sessions focused on Canadian issues and markets.

Manufacturer-Distributor Idea Exchange (tabletop trade show)

Networking with key decision-makers in the Canadian PT/MC market

Social events for delegates and companions.

Events during the meeting will include: Canadian Economic Forecast, Networking Roundtable Discussions, Canadian Trade Update, and a dinner. On June 1, there will be an optional golf tournament.

For more information, including rates, contact the PTDA office at 312-876-9461 or e-mail


The Ontario government has launched a website to encourage young people to train in high-demand skilled trades.

“Employers in manufacturing, construction, automotive maintenance, hospitality and other industries need more skilled workers to keep pace with consumer demand and compete in a global marketplace,” said Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

“With so many young people using the Internet to learn about careers and further education, the creation of a web site providing useful information in a friendly format is an effective way to promote careers in the trades.”

For several years, industry associations and employers have reported that they cannot hire the skilled workers they need. The province’s ageing workforce makes it all the more important to recruit new workers now to replace the experienced workers who will soon be retiring.

Careers in today’s skilled trades require higher levels of education and skills. Skilled workers in some trades can earn more than $100,000 a year through overtime and bonuses.

Web-surfers can click on Skills Connect at to learn about more than 130 skilled trades that can be practiced through Ontario’s apprenticeship training system. High school students are given tips on what courses to study that will help them become eligible to become an apprentice in specific skilled trades, as well as how the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program can help them to begin working towards an apprenticeship while completing high school.


The first post-secondary health and safety scholarship to be awarded in Canada was presented recently by the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA). The Jim McLellan Occupational Health & Safety Award, established by his family, is a tribute to the life of the health and safety advocate and former director general of the occupational health and safety branch of Labour Canada, whose career spanned 30 years.

Recipient of this introductory award was Cindy Lew, a student in the fast-track, two-year School of Occupational and Public Health degree program at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto. Lew, who came to this program with a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, was the unanimous choice of the selection committee.

The award was presented by Maureen Shaw, president and CEO of IAPA. “This is the only scholarship available that provides young people like Cindy with the opportunity to make a significant contribution to workplace health and safety,” said Shaw, an advocate for the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses.

The first of its kind available to college and university students, the award “has given me hope that there are people out there who are helping to promote education in health and safety,” said Lew, who foresees a position as a vanguard at the “prevention side of things” when she graduates this spring. “It is important that health and safety activities become integrated into the workplace at the beginning, rather than as a reactive measure,” she said.


An important national initiative aimed at raising awareness of the need to protect the health and safety of young workers was launched recently in Toronto. Known as the LifeQuilt, this testament will be a permanent memorial dedicated to the thousands of young Canadian women and men between the ages of 15 and 24 who have been seriously or fatally injured on the job.

Although the quilt is a work in progress, its focal image was unveiled to the public at the launch. The image depicts a figure holding its hands to the heavens. It will eventually be overlaid with thousands of organza ribbons imprinted with the name, age and type of injury suffered by a young worker. One hundred quilt blocks will surround this image, each conveying the life story of the victim of a fatal workplace injury. The finished quilt will measure 9 ft by 18 ft.

In the past two years in Canada, 120,000 young workers have been injured seriously enough to require time off work and over 100 young people have been killed as a result of hazardous working conditions.

Once completed, the quilt will be taken on a national community awareness tour. In order to reach this goal, the Friends of the LifeQuilt are asking both individuals and organizations for their help in building the memorial.

For details, refer to the LifeQuilt web site at or call 800-669-4939, ext. 458.


Machinery & Equipment MRO’s website,, has updated its on-line Industry Events column. The reorganized section is easier to read than the previous setup and is now fully searchable by type of event, location, date, or event organizer.

To view the listings, click on the Industry Events link in the column on the left on the home page. Full details of individual events can be easily printed for future reference.

Companies, institutions and other organizations are encouraged to submit additional events of interest to those in the machinery industries and MRO and plant engineering professions by e-mail to


A new electric motor guide aims to provide practical information to help industry select and use energy efficient products.

The guide, called Energy Management Guide for Selection and Use of Fixed Frequency Medium AC Squirrel-Cage Polyphase Induction Motors, was released by NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, as document MG 10-2001.

The guide provides practical information concerning the proper selection and application of medium AC polyphase squirrel-cage induction motors in fixed frequenc
y applications.

MG 10-2001 costs US$41.00 from Global Engineering Documents at 303-397-7956 or It can be viewed by visiting, then clicking on Standards & Other Publications.


The Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) has endorsed the NEMA Premium Efficiency Electric Motor Program. As well, two new manufacturer partners — TECO-Westinghouse and Baldor Electric — have signed up for the program.

“EASA agrees that an industry-wide definition of ‘premium’ was needed, and applauds NEMA’s efforts in setting such a standard for electric motor users,” said EASA president and CEO Linda Raynes.

For more information, visit http: //

More details on many of these articles can be found in the Newsbreak daily news section on the home page of


A new study ranks Canada as the leading cost-competitive industrial country in the world. The study, Competitive Alternatives: Comparing Business Costs in North America, Europe and Japan, was conducted by the management consulting firm KPMG. The 2002 study marks the third consecutive time that Canada has come out ahead of other industrialized nations.

“The KPMG study shows that Canada is still the low-cost leader among industrial nations,” said Canada’s international trade minister, Pierre Pettigrew. “As the overall lowest-cost country for conducting business, Canada offers distinct and compelling advantages to those global firms seeking the best location to establish or expand their operations.”

The 10-month international study of leading industrial countries provides comparative after-tax costs of starting up and operating a business for a period of 10 years, taking into account factors such as labour costs, taxes, transportation costs, energy costs and facility costs.

The report examines a number of industries in 86 cities in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. As in the 1999 study, Japan has the highest business cost structure among the leading industrialized countries.

The full report is available at


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