ABB Ltd was formed in 1988 through a merger between Asea AB and BBC Brown Boveri AG. The Company provides power and automation technologies. It offers products, systems, solutions and services that are designed to boost industrial pr...oductivity, increase power grid reliability, and enhance energy efficiency. Its automation businesses serves industries with process optimization, control, measurement and protection applications. Its power businesses focuses on power transmission, distribution and power-plant automation, and support electric, gas and water utilities, as well as industrial and commercial customers. Its business is based on a divisional structure, with five divisions: Discrete Automation and Motion, Low Voltage Products, Process Automation, Power Products, and Power Systems. The five divi...sions operate across two key markets: automation and power. It serves the automation market with products, systems and services designed primarily to improve industrial productivity, energy efficiency and product quality in industrial and manufacturing applications. These also reflect the main demand drivers in the automation market, such as the need by customers to reduce energy and raw material costs, improve product and process quality, increase process and manufacturing safety, lower their environmental impacts and improve the management of large assets such as manufacturing plants. The automation market can be divided into three sectors: Process automation refers to measurement, control, electrification and other applications used in processes where the main objective is continuous production, such as in the oil and gas, power, chemicals, mining, metals, and pulp and paper industries. Product lines for this market include distributed control systems, plant electrification, instrumentation, analytical measurement, control products and motors and drives. Factory automation refers to discrete operations that manufacture individual items in applications such as material handling, picking and packing, metal fabrication, welding, painting and foundry. Typical industries where factory automation is used include automotive, consumer electronics and food and beverage. Product lines for this market include robotic products, systems and services, modular manufacturing solutions, control products and systems, as well as motors, drives and low-voltage products for control and power applications. Building automation comprises product lines and applications aimed at improving the energy efficiency of buildings through automated control of indoor climate, lighting and security. Product lines for this market include a wide range of low-voltage products. It serves the power market with products, systems and services designed primarily to deliver electricity. Electricity is generated in power stations of various types, including thermal, wind, solar and hydro plants and is then fed into an electricity grid through which it is transmitted and distributed to consumers. Transmission systems link power generation sources to distribution systems, often over long distances. These electricity networks incorporate sophisticated devices to transmit electricity, control and monitor the power flow and ensure efficiency, reliability, quality and safety. The Company’s customers include machinery manufacturers, process industries such as pulp and paper, oil and gas, and metals and mining companies, hybrid and batch manufacturers such as food and beverage companies, rail equipment manufacturers, discrete manufacturing companies, utilities and renewable energy suppliers, particularly in the wind and solar sectors. The Company’s competitors include Alstom, Fanuc Robotics, Kuka Robot Group, Rockwell Automation, Schneider, Siemens, Yaskawa, SMA and WEG Industries, Eaton Corporation, Legrand, Mitsubishi, Leviton and Rittal. Its operations are subject to numerous governmental laws and regulations.