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Supply Briefs: Bohr Electronics, ABB, LTTS/Qualcomm/Thales

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
(CSX Photograph)

(CSX Photograph)

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Bohr Electronics lands an electrical cabinet contract from CSX as part of the Class I railroad’s locomotive rebuild program. Also, electrification and automation supplier ABB sells its Power Conversion division, based in Plano, Tex.; and Thales selects Bengaluru, India-based L&T Technology Services Ltd. to provide 5G-driven connectivity solutions.

Bohr Electronics in 2023 will supply CSX with fully furnished electrical cabinets—AC and HVC cabinet shells with new and remanufactured components—for its GP40-3 locomotive rebuild program.

“We’re excited that we can again partner with CSX to support this overhaul,” said Bohr Electronics CEO Dan Marks, who last fall took over leadership of the Alderman Enterprises company, which manufactures and remanufactures electrical and electro-mechanical locomotive parts and components. “These Bohr-reengineered electrical cabinets will offer CSX reliable motive power for years to come.”

In related developments, Bohr Electronics in April 2022 purchased K&L Electronics, a locomotive electrical component repairer and supplier based in Searcy, Ark.

Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB has reported reaching an agreement to sell its Power Conversion division to AcBel Polytech Inc., a designer and manufacturer of switching power supplies, for $505 million in cash. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in second-half 2023, the company said.

The division is described as a “global provider of end-to-end power conversion solutions for mission-critical applications in the telecommunications, data center and industrial sectors”; and according to ABB it is “well positioned and currently capitalizing on key technology mega trends such as the rollout of 5G networks, the increased use of cloud computing and manufacturing automation.” It employs approximately 1,500 employees worldwide, predominantly at three major sites and the U.S. headquarters.

ABB said it acquired the Power Conversion division, formerly Lineage Power, as part of the GE Industrial Solutions acquisition in 2018, and the division is not core to ABB. It generated revenues of roughly $440 million and income from operations of approximately $50 million in 2022, “with a clear focus on the North American market,” according to ABB. Upon closing the transaction with AcBel Polytech Inc., ABB said it expects to record “a small non-operational book gain in Income from operations on the sale.”

“We are very happy to have found an excellent new home for this specialized business that can go from strength to strength under the leadership of AcBel in the future,” ABB CEO Björn Rosengren said. “We are also delighted to complete all divisional portfolio divestments announced at the end of 2020, including the sale of Dodge and the spin-off of Accelleron.”

Jerry Hsu, Chairman of AcBel said: “By combining AcBel’s core capabilities in smart manufacturing and original design manufacturing with Power Conversion’s cutting-edge technologies in premium and high-quality products along with its advanced system solutions, we will be able to establish a more comprehensive product portfolio and expand our solution offerings to continue to create value for our customers and investors.”

In related developments, ABB in 2020 was selected to design and supply three Enviline™ ESS – Energy Storage System units with a combined power of 7MW and 2.1MWh of energy for the Los Angeles International Airport’s 2.25-mile Automated People Mover. The technology will allow trains to be restarted in a staggered manner and run for 40 minutes during an outage.

Thales’ Lucy test train is at the forefront of the company’s work on mainline automation. (Thales Photograph)

L&T Technology Services Ltd. (LTTS), described as a “pure-play engineering services company,” reported that it will supply 5G-driven connectivity solutions to Thales, which is establishing “the ‘Internet of Smart Metros,’ which will enable metros and urban railway networks to ‘talk’ to each other and ultimately transform the passenger experience with comfortable, seamless journeys and new services.”

According to LTTS, the provided solutions “will include collaboration from Qualcomm Technologies, which will provide pre-integrated Private Network solutions based on the Qualcomm® FSM™100 5G RAN Platform for Small Cells, and in the future, add the Qualcomm Edgewise™ Suite—a premium RAN automation and management solution. LTTS will facilitate end-to-end system integration, design, and implementation of use cases, engineering consulting and deployment services along with edge-to-cloud orchestration.”

“We are glad to team up with LTTS and Qualcomm Technologies in our mission to meet new mobility demands,” said Ziad Rizk, Chief Operating Officer of Thales, Urban Rail Signaling. “As the transportation industry becomes more data-driven, these 5G-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) deployments will provide new ways to monitor metros and infrastructure and deliver the best possible user experience.”

Savi Soin, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Partnerships, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. said: “This engagement with Thales is a great validation of the collaboration between Qualcomm Technologies and LTTS to accelerate the benefits of digital transformation for all enterprises, including smart railways, using 5G Private Networks and connected devices. We are very happy to apply our latest technology innovations and portfolio of connected IoT and small cell products to support LTTS in its engagement with Thales in creating positive ROI and business impact to their customers across Thales’ key geographies and markets.”

Abhishek Sinha, Chief Operating Officer and Board Member of LLTS added: “Through our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, we are poised to significantly improve the next-mile connectivity in underground transportation leveraging private 5G networks. LTTS’ deep tech capabilities will further accelerate the potential of private 5G in Thales, Urban Rail Signaling’s underground and high-speed rail networks, potentially benefitting commuters around the globe.”

Separately, Hitachi’s acquisition of Thales’ Signaling division has been delayed. The deal, which was confirmed in August 2021, was expected to be signed off in March or April 2023. However, Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) late last year stated its intention to open a Phase II review of the transaction, which is expected to take six to eight months, pushing back the anticipated completion date of the $1.75 billion (£1.66 billion) deal.

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