Digitization brings intelligence to machines

What are the benefits of digitization?

Take the example of ABB Ability™ smart sensors. Since its release, this innovative technology has been successfully used in many types of factories around the world: with predictive maintenance, downtime can be reduced by up to 70% and motors can be extended by 30% Service life, reduce energy consumption by 10%.

So, the question is, does it become a smart motor by loading the smart sensor on the motor?

"From the perspective of hardware or the Internet of Things, 1+1 can realize the characteristics of 'smart', but smart motors are not so simple." Wu Yuhui said, "Smart sensors are just a component, in different industries, we also need to To expand and develop applications, it must be localized and digitalized, so that products can be expanded to various fields.”

“ABB Ability™ Smart Sensors can be installed on any brand of low-voltage motor, providing predictive maintenance of the motor,” adds Heikki Vepsalainen, “However, ABB Ability™ Smart Sensors optimize ABB motors.”

After a century of development, ABB motors have integrated the manufacturing technology of motors into the essence of ABB Ability™ smart sensors. Only the perfect combination of ABB motors and ABB smart sensors can create ABB smart motors.

Digital extension opens up new cooperation models

"All industrial customers don't want unplanned downtime. With digital technology, we can help customers predict and effectively avoid unplanned downtime. This kind of predictive monitoring can be performed on a single machine, such as a motor, a Pumps, the entire drive chain can also be monitored and analyzed,” says Heikki Vepsalainen.

In addition to ABB Ability™ condition monitoring solutions and services for motors and drives, ABB has also launched sensor monitoring products for pumps. For example, in cooperation with Egger, a Swiss pump manufacturer, ABB has developed a solution that enables remote monitoring of pumps. This has enabled ABB to open new business cooperation models with many pump plants.

(ABB Ability™ Smart Sensors for Pumps)

As part of the partnership, ABB Ability™ smart sensors provide data and analysis results on pump speed, vibration, imbalance, cavitation (the formation of vapor bubbles in the liquid and subsequent high pressure rupture that causes continuous impact on the blades) and clogging. The product not only collects status parameters and health parameters, but also sends the data to the ABB Ability™ cloud through a gateway.

Users can read data through their smart phones or browsers; the smart sensors of the pump and motor share an APP and web platform, which is convenient for users to operate. In addition, ABB and professional partners will further analyze cloud data, monitor trends, and provide more cloud services.

Heikki Vepsalainen said that ABB's motor and generator business unit has been stepping up research and development of related technologies for digitalization. At this year's Hannover Messe, ABB showcased its ABB Ability™ condition monitoring solution for drives, including drives, motors, bearings and pumps. The solution can centrally display the key operating parameters of each equipment. With ABB's technical advantages, it can also enable customers to understand maintenance needs in advance and ensure that the equipment achieves ideal operating conditions.

According to Heikki Vepsalainen, ABB will release smart sensors for bearings in the next step.

Customer customization from product to production mode

At present, the production of many manufacturing enterprises presents the characteristics of multi-variety and small batches, and the customization demand of customers has increased significantly. ABB's motor and generator business unit also faces this challenge.

But ABB's advantages are equally obvious. "For our BU (business unit), we have both power generation end products and power end products; we have products with different national standards, different standards, and all full series of motors and generators." Wu Yuhui said, " This kind of business setup shortens the process, and the reaction and decision-making to the market is faster.”

In the exhibition of more than 6,800 square meters of ACW, the industrial control editor can see this kind of integrated display without barriers, such as the joint display of motor and inverter products. ABB is actively strengthening the collaboration ability between products.

At the same time, we cannot ignore that about 70% of the products of ABB's motor and generator business unit have been localized in China. All of the above are undoubtedly more beneficial to meet the customized needs of local customers.

For example, in the cooperation between ABB and a world-renowned port machinery manufacturer, the two parties jointly developed a standardized package of "gearbox + motor + coupling" suitable for the port machinery industry, that is, "3-in-1 motor", which is used by many domestic and foreign Well-known ports and terminals provide more compact, more efficient and reliable anti-sway and trolley applications.

At the same time, ABB also provides a number of localized products and solutions such as cart motors, trolley motors and permanent magnet motors for straddle carrier hubs, pushing the strategic cooperation between the two parties to a new height and playing a role in the port industry and even the Chinese market. The strategic demonstration role has made ABB Motors the first choice for many terminals at home and abroad.

In the in-depth cooperation with local customers, ABB continues to make "more adaptive" adjustments. "The current customization is not only the customization of products, but we have begun to try to customize the production model." Wu Yuhui said, "The railway industry has special requirements, and the needs are not the same. The production of special motors on the normal production line reduces the rework rate. It will be particularly high, and for this reason, ABB’s special research and training team has customized the entire production process.”

The innovation of the production model has given ABB an 85% market share of products such as ventilation and brake motors in China's railway industry, making it the "hidden champion" of the industry.
In the digital journey, ABB's exploration is far from over. From the perspective of ABB Ability™, the local business unit of motors and generators will invest more research and development in sensor monitoring. It is hoped that more users will use smart sensors to empower equipment, and also hope to include OEM manufacturers and channel partners. As a member of the motor industry ecosystem, it will pay more attention and support to digitalization, and build a more complete digital platform for the entire industry.