Nearly 600 customers turn out to see, show, venue, and attend technical workshops in the stadium seats
Arlington, Texas, November 8, 2009 - Visitors to the ABB Power & Control Road show in the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium, November 4th and 5th, got to see ABB's automation solutions in static exhibits - and the ways in which the stadium utilizes a variety of these solutions to operate much of the "moving architecture" that makes the venue remarkable.
Nearly 600 prospects and customers from the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metro area turned out for the event, along with more than 400 ABB sales and channel partners. "The venue was a natural," said Steven Jones, the planner and organizer of the shows. "Because the stadium is so new, a lot of folks haven't had a chance to visit; this event offered two compelling reasons to spend a day with ABB."
ABB @ Work inside World's Largest Indoor Stadium
Patterned on many of the strongest architectural features of its predecessor, Texas Stadium, this new one, located in Arlington, Texas, features enough seating room for 100,000-plus fans, a roof with two retractable sections that each measure acres in length and width, and giant retractable end-zone doors. The face of each side of the video board (dubbed "The Big Screen"), suspended on retractable cables at the center of the field, is larger than 5,000 52-inch screens placed side to side.
"ABB plays a pivotal role in making many of these features work," notes Brad Cobo, a regional application engineer who has been involved closely with the construction, and who briefed all the show visitors, as they prepared for facility tours. All the beams for the steel superstructure of the stadium were made by Nucor-Yamato, which utilizes high-performance ABB drives throughout its mills.
Similarly, 40 ABB regenerative drives are used, in conjunction with a PLC, to provide very strict control of the hoist system for the 600-ton video board; this is to provide extremely careful control when lowering or raising the board - and to prevent the board swaying, when the end-zone glass doors and roof are open. Motors operate via a "torque proving" feature that requires each motor to develop full torque, before the PLC gives the command to release the hoist brakes.
The retractable end-zone, glass doors are 180' wide by 120' tall; the "glass wall" is comprised of five, 38' panels, with each door taking 18 minutes to open fully and simultaneously, Cobo said. An ABB ACS350 drive, in conjunction with ABB motor starters, miniature circuit breakers, disconnect switch, contactors, and wire duct, control each panel.
Each roof panel weighs 1.68 million pounds and travels 215 feet to close; it takes 12 minutes to open/close the roof. And a total of 128 7.5 HP gear motors are used to move them. ABB drives, featuring Direct Torque Control, allow each motor to share the load equally - and there is no need for encoders (from the motors to the drive). Because these drives deliver optimum torque at zero speed, the panels can be held and kept in the open position, until they are closed again.
Meantime, on the Exhibit Floor
Along with engineers and personnel serving industrial markets, consulting specifiers and prospects from the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning market attended the show; large Air Handling Units were on display outside, so visitors could see ABB solutions in use. Both low voltage and medium voltage products and systems were on display inside the stadium.
"The goal was to create a total experience for all visitors," said Mark Boone, the district sales manager for the Power & Control Sales Team of ABB - "meaning, seeing ABB solutions at work within this highly visible venue. It's not an abstract discussion, when product managers can point all around the stadium and illustrate how ABB controls the automation."
The Road Shows, which are held in high-potential markets and targeted to prospects and customers within a 200-mile radius are a unique opportunity to "strengthen existing relationships, but also open conversations to a host of future users," Boone said.
Technical Know-how for Customers
The first day of the two-day event includes a profile of the technology on the exhibit floor - so electrical distributors can optimize their end users' time, when customers attend the following day.
On Customer Day, workshops offer "must-know" expertise on a host of automation-related information, ranging from UL and NEC standards, to mitigating arc flash in transformers, to harmonic mitigation in industrial environments, to sizing motors correctly for drives, to a profile of motor types, and PLC installations, and efficient, energy saving control panel designs.
The show offers visitors a close-up look at a wide berth of ABB products and services (drives, controls and systems, and motors), automation, power/transformers, medium voltage, and instrumentation solutions -- and the chance to talk with the product experts on all the lines. "The exhibits root the whole event, and provide a location that all visitors can circle back to, as they map out their day," noted Jones. "Holding a number of the workshops right in the stands was a first that attendees really enjoyed," he said.
The Process Automation division of ABB, along with the Medium Voltage business unit of the Power Products division, were on the floor with displays, too.
"To put in perspective the kind of global support all of you have access to," Boone noted for sales and channel partners, "consider that you could fill this entire stadium with ABB employees, and there still would be 15,000 employees waiting to be seated."
In 2010, the Road Show resumes its tour, stopping in Portland and Milwaukee, The schedule of venues and dates is available at http://www.abb.us/roadshows.
ABB (www.abb.com) 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 120,000 people.
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