After the sale of General Electric’s Industrial Solutions, town officials are optimistic after meeting with executives of Swiss company ABB, which acquired the division.
The sale included the Advanced Manufacturing Lab on Woodford Avenue, which employs around 200 people. Town Manager Robert Lee said ABB is currently evaluating the site, which has employees and an environment which fit into their “sweet spot.”
“We hope the transition will be seamless and perhaps they will even expand,” Lee said.
When he heard GE was looking to sell Industrial Solutions, Lee was concerned about the Plainville location’s future, but he believes most or all of the employees will be transferred over.
“We think it’s an exciting time,” Lee said. “We’re happy to welcome them into town.”
Over the past century, General Electric has played a central role in Plainville’s economy as one of the top 10 taxpayers, Lee said. “It has been a staple in Plainville for many years. Parents have worked there, grandparents have worked there.”
“The product portfolios of GE Industrial Solutions and ABB are highly complementary,” spokesperson Melissa London quoted ABB Electrification Products Division President Tarak Mehta as saying. “We are committed to servicing the (General Electric Industrial Solutions) installed base and will now be able to provide a more technologically-advanced and digitally-connected offering to our customers around the world. Together we will strengthen ABB’s No. 2 position in electrification globally and expand our access to the attractive North American market.”
Said London: “ABB is a global industrial technology leader in electrification, power grids, industrial automation and robotics and motion. ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products.”
Industrial Solutions Chief Technology Officer Paul Singer said most of the work done at the Plainville location was design and development of electric circuit breakers and similar equipment. He said he expects the nature of the work and employee base under ABB to be comparable to what it was under GE ownership.