March 18, 2022

Lab and Innovation Center Coming to ABB’s Memphis Division Headquarters

Memphis Business Journal

By: Corey Davis

A global technology company is undertaking an innovation-focused expansion at its Bluff City facility.

ABB is investing $2.7 million to build a new lab and innovation center in Memphis, according to Dan Guptail, VP of new product development and technology for ABB Installation Products.

Guptail told MBJ that the ABB Installation Products’ lab and innovation center will take 1,600 square feet on the ground floor in the division’s headquarters at 860 Ridge Lake Blvd. The lab and center will include testing equipment, as well as design and display areas. Guptail said the new space is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022.

ABB’s local space will also now feature a 1,000-square-foot collaboration center where customers can work directly with ABB employees. ABB’s Installation Products division has more than 300 local employees. ABB has a total of about 800 workers in the Memphis area, according to MBJ research.

Ralph Donati, head of the U.S. and Latin American region for ABB Installation Products, said the lab and innovation center will bring together the firm’s employees from the research and development (R&D), product management, and sales departments to collaborate on the design and testing of future products.

“Many of our products are out of sight — installed behind walls and in ceilings, floors, and underground to safely connect, protect, and distribute electricity,” Donati said. “We’re creating this as a space for the innovation of new solutions and product enhancements, as well as to showcase electrification solutions for our partners and end customers.”

ABB extensively tests its products for certification and to meet industry standards, which fits with the new lab and innovation center’s capabilities.

“We’re excited to have a state-of-the art space to support our growth and focus on collaboration and innovation,” Donati said.

He noted that the Memphis project builds on ABB’s recent investments to update and expand production and capabilities in its facilities, including in Portland, Tennessee; Ormond Beach, Florida; and Phoenix, Arizona, as well as several other sites.

The new dedicated space in Memphis will allow ABB to innovate its products to meet its customers’ needs across the commercial, industrial, and utility applications. ABB serves a range of markets and end users, including data centers, food and beverage, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

“We’re proud to be part of this community and to have team members who have built their careers with ABB here in Memphis,” Donati said. “We currently have a number of our research and development, product management specialists, and sales and marketing team members in this area. This facility will provide the opportunity to co-locate these groups and create a space for collaboration, design, and testing.”

ABB — which has its U.S. headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, and global headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland — has about 105,000 employees in over 100 countries, according to Guptail.

As part of its electrification business, the ABB Installation Products division was formerly Memphis-based public company Thomas & Betts — which ABB acquired in 2012 for $3.9 billion. The ABB division designs, manufactures, and markets products used to manage the connection, protection and distribution of electrical power in industrial, construction, and utility applications.