Condition Monitoring with ABB

Condition Monitoring with ABB

The PTE September coverage in print and online examines condition monitoring advancements for bearings. We recently discussed some of these innovations with Artur Rdzanek, global product manager, sensored products, at ABB.

This year, ABB has highlighted the advances made to the company’s ABB Ability Smart Sensor (photo above), an easy-to-use, wireless sensor which monitors the health of mechanical products, allowing users to reduce downtime, improve reliability, and operate safely. Additionally, in 2020 ABB will launch the Plug and Play gateway, allowing customers to seamlessly connect to ABB Ability Smart Sensors in most remote locations using AT&T or Verizon cellular providers.

“The main advantage of this technology is the ability to know that your equipment needs maintenance before costly, unplanned downtime occurs,”  Rdzanek said. “The sensor is also easy to connect, the data is easy to see, and it’s wireless, allowing you to keep your employees safer. Plug and Play capability makes it even easier to seamlessly start remote monitoring equipment so users can improve the most important production parameters: safety and productivity.”

An Emphasis on Scalability 

Today’s condition monitoring systems should be able to handle a variety of component measurements in many different applications.

Scalability, according to Rdzanek,  is in the software and how it presents the data so customers can evaluate whole systems and pinpoint problem areas or opportunities to maximize efficiency. “This is also in the ABB Ability cloud-based platform. Adding new sensors to all power transmission products will give customers an overview of the complete powertrain, allowing them to switch from reactive to preventive maintenance.”

Immediate Results

ABB has expanded the portfolio of mechanical products that the sensor can be attached to so that customers can monitor all of their critical equipment. Additionally, the company has expanded its portfolio of adapters for easy installation on existing equipment, allowing customers to monitor their equipment without the need to exchange existing assets. In addition, the seamless Plug & Play gateway collects data “immediately” when the sensor reads measurements, enabling customers to avoid unexpected breakdowns.

IIoT: A Proactive Approach

Sensors are a very important part of Industry 4.0. Reliable, easy to use, wireless, and cost competitive sensors allow customers to monitor the health of their equipment, allowing users to reduce downtime, improve reliability, and operate safely. I

Rdzanek said that IIoT sensors provide durability, reliability, and ease of use. The ABB Ability smart sensor with the ABB Ability cloud-based platform connects users to the power of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Rdzanek said a proactive condition monitoring approach is important to avoid unnecessary downtime and eliminate the need to expose maintenance employees to rotating equipment, high locations, tight spaces, or hot surfaces during routine maintenance.

“As we entered into the pandemic, we’ve seen the value of monitoring equipment from home and being able to plan maintenance that is truly needed so that maintenance employees were only on site when necessary,” he added.

For bearings, Rdzanek see’s a significant push towards IIoT and smart manufacturing solutions in the future.

The smart bearing simply begins with a component that is designed and manufactured with sealing systems and locking mechanisms that make it easier to install and ensures longer life. Then by making it “smart,” the bearing will be able to tell you not only when maintenance is needed but also give baseline performance data to demonstrate you are using the right bearing in your application.

Condition monitoring for bearings will continue to advance on these principles.

“The future of condition monitoring is closely related with creating digital twins of our equipment,” Rdzanek said.  “In this case, a virtual model combines with real time data collected from real assets, helping predict asset life and significantly reduce or eliminate unplanned downtime.”

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About Author

Matthew Jaster

Matthew Jaster, Senior Editor, has a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and has 15+ years of writing and editing experience in automotive, manufacturing, engineering, law and arts and entertainment.

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