ABB Switzerland organised the first global Gearless Mill Drive User Meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, on October 25 and 26, 2007

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announces that it has held the first global Gearless Mill Drive (GMD) User Meeting. The conference took place in Lucerne, Switzerland, from October 24th to October 26th at the Hotel Schweizerhof. This conference was the third ABB GMD User Meeting and was jointly for all users, after two regional events in Santiago de Chile and Sydney, Australia, both held in 2006.

ABB has installed or won orders for over 65 gearless mill drive units in 19 countries on five continents. The gearless mill drive business is an important market for ABB.

GMD end users from 20 different mines or cement plants, coming from all five continents, as well as major mill suppliers, accepted ABB’s invitation and came to Switzerland to share their knowledge, experiences, problems and ideas with representatives from ABB. From over 60 participants resulted a valuable network. Many existing contacts were reinforced and new most useful ones could be built up. It is crucial for ABB to know where to improve its performance, whereas it is important for end users to know who to approach from ABB for any kind of service needs, ranging from trouble shooting to training and more.

The main aim of an ABB GMD User Meeting is to create a platform where both parties, suppliers as well as end users, can learn and profit from each other in order to maintain an open and good relationship with the users and ease and improve the future cooperation.

Michael Stylinaou, Senior Electrical Coordinator of the St Ives Gold Mine in Western Australia commented: “It has been a great pleasure for me to be able to attend the GMD User Meeting in Lucerne. After the first GMD User Meeting in Sydney, I walked away with valuable contact details to assist us in the maintenance of our mill. This year has reinforced more contacts as well as answering questions that were raised during the first two meetings. There is a difference between having your say and being heard and ABB has allowed their customers to be heard through these User Meetings. This forum has allowed the perfect networking opportunities for all GMD Users.”

The team from ABB could profit by learning directly from the customers about what concerns and problems they have and in particular by having the chance to learn about interesting proposals for future collaboration.

Peter Warner, Technical support for group operations, Anglo-American, South Africa and Freddy Lamfel, Group Electrical Engineer, Anglo Platinum, South Africa said: “The message that we have received from the GMD User Meeting 2007 is of the importance of communication to successful operation of GMDs. This includes formal communication as well as very valuable informal communication between users and ABB experts.”

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs more than 110,000 people.