Drives and Controls Magazine
ABB's digital portfolio spans 180 products and services
Published:  30 March, 2017

ABB has formally launched its portfolio of more than 180 digital products and services which it will market under the ABB Ability name. It says that that the digital offering, first revealed last year, will unlock the value of the fourth industrial revolution for its customers.

The portfolio covers all aspects of ABB’s operations, including industry, utilities, transport and infrastructure. It will allow users to develop new processes and advance existing ones by providing insights and optimising planning and controls from real-time operations. They can then feed the results into control systems to improve factors such as uptime, speed and yield.

Speaking at the launch of Ability at the ABB Customer World event in the US, CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said that it will create additional customer value by bringing together advanced connectivity and the latest digital technologies. “With this, our customers can achieve unprecedented improvements in operational performance and productivity,” he declared.

The digital services, based on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, include control systems, remote monitoring services for robots, motors and machinery, and energy management systems.

Spiesshofer: unprecedented improvements

“We are turning ABB’s decades of industrial domain expertise into software offerings that our customers can access through the world’s largest and most advanced digital platform,” explains the company’s chief digital officer, Guido Jouret.

One of the technologies that falls under the Ability umbrella is a smart motor-monitoring sensor that ABB announced at the Hannover Fair last year. This device, which is now entering the commercial phase, attaches to a motor and transmits data on vibration, temperature, loads and power consumption to the cloud. If any parameter deviates from the norm, an alert is generated, allowing action to be taken before the motor fails. Early indications suggest that the smart sensors can cut motor downtime by up to 70%, extend lifespans by up to 30%, and reduce energy consumption by up to 10%.