Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,095 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

ASEA

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1890s three-phase ASEA alternator, on display at the Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology
1951.
1965.
April 1969.
1982.

Allmanna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget (ASEA) of Sweden.

British branches at various locations, including Telford, Ellesmere Port, and Cheadle Hulme.

1883 Ludvig Fredholm established Elektriska Aktiebolaget in Stockholm as manufacturers of electrical lighting and generators.

1890 Elektriska Aktiebolaget merged with Wenströms and Granströms Elektriska Kraftbolag, pioneers of multi-phase electricity, to form Allmänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget, later shortened to ASEA.

The company manufactured a range of products including steam turbines for power plants and high-speed electric locomotives for passenger railways.

1915 Name changed to Swedish General Electric Ltd

1926 Supplied electric locomotives and power converters for the new Stockholm to Gothenburg railway.

1928 Name changed to ASEA Electric Ltd

1932 Built the world’s largest self-cooling transformer rated at 2,500 kVA.

1952 Designed and installed the first 400 kV AC cable – a 70 m low pressure oil-filled cable connecting an underground power station to the Swedish grid.

1957 ASEA Electric was UK representative, which then changed its name to Fuller Electric, part of Hawker Siddeley

1972 Constructed the first nuclear power plant in Sweden; eventually had built nine of the country’s 12 reactors.

1986 Asea implementated a new strategy to extend the firm’s engineering and manufacturing operations beyond Sweden in order to gain economies of scale - both in manufacturing and in raising capital. Acquired Strömberg AB of Finland with its 7,000 employees

1987 Acquired 63 percent of EB Corporation in Norway. B

Asea and Brown Boveri were of roughly equivalent size in many respects and had adopted similar lines of decentralized command. The companies also complemented each other in their geographical concentrations and in management strengths.

1988 Merger between ASEA AB of Sweden and BBC Brown Boveri Ltd forming ABB (ASEA-Brown Boveri) with 850 subsidiary companies and 180,000 employees operating in 140 countries. The merged entity became the world’s leading supplier in the electric power industry. At that time ABB controlled as much as a third of Europe’s business and more than 20 percent of the world market. The two parent companies retained their separate names, boards and stock listings.

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