ABB AbilityTM Smart Sensor now available for the European market

Based on smart sensing technology, ABB’s pioneering condition monitoring solution is set to convert millions of low voltage (LV) motors into intelligent, connected machines. It is now available in Europe, and will soon be released in the US.

ABB Ability Smart Sensor is a remote condition monitoring solution that enables users to check the status of their LV motors from a smartphone or dedicated web portal. The compact sensor of the size of a smartphone can be attached to motors of many manufacturers to pick up operating and performance data. The data are transmitted to the cloud and processed to produce useful information on motor health and performance. This information is supplied to the user in an easy-to-understand format. The solution enables predictive analytics that can boost uptime while reducing energy consumption.

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“We are extremely proud to announce that the ABB Ability Smart Sensor is now entering the European market, and will soon be available in the US. It has been successfully trialed with many of our customers around the world. This solution is truly a quantum leap for millions of LV motors”, said Otto Preiss, Managing Director of ABB's Motors and Generators business unit. “It enables plant operators to do effective maintenance planning for their motors, assess the efficiency of their operation and prevent costly downtime. We are confident that this solution will not only transform maintenance approaches but also create added operational value for our customers.”

“Our pilot testers reported very positive results with the smart sensors”, said Jonas Spoorendonk, Global Product Manager of ABB Ability Smart Sensor. “In a typical example, a sensor at a chemical plant in Germany indicated that a pump motor was running in overload every time it started. The problem turned out to be the incorrect operation of a valve. This was causing high pressure in the system and a great deal of stress on the pump and seals – a situation that the plant’s regular maintenance had no way to detect. In many other cases sensors have provided early warnings of bearing problems, enabling motors to be replaced well before they failed.”

It is estimated that predictive maintenance based on data from the solution can help to reduce downtime by up to 70 percent, extend motor lifetime by as much as 30 percent and cut energy consumption by up to 10 percent. The sensor units can be factory fitted on new motors or retrofitted on installed motors within minutes. They are available for both ABB and non-ABB motors.

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The sensors in the first release are CE certified and compatible with safe-area induction motors for direct on-line S1 duty, ABB IEC sizes 160-450 and ABB NEMA sizes 140-449. Quick installation of the sensor unit is made easy as no additional wiring or machining is required. Initial monitoring functionality will cover bearing health, vibration, surface temperature, speed, supply frequency, and number of starts. Later releases will expand the range of functionality, and energy consumption monitoring is expected to be added during Q3 2017. A firmware update will be provided to bring this function to already installed sensor units. The first systems will utilize a smartphone app to transfer data. A gateway unit for automated data uploading will become available later in 2017.

The smart sensor condition monitoring solution is part of ABB Ability, which brings together all of ABB's digital solutions and services, each built from a unique combination of sector knowledge, technology leadership and digital expertise. The smart sensor solution and ABB Ability will be highlighted on ABB’s stand at this year’s Hannover Messe in Hall 11, A35.

About ABB

In 2016, ABB Germany generated sales of EUR 3.28 billion with 10,540 employees. ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees.