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Reaping the full value of digitalization for enterprises with ABB Ability

By Bernd Heisterkamp, ABB Digital Leader Motors & Generators

Zurich, Switzerland, November 27, 2018


Medium-ABB_Smart_Sensor.jpgTwo years ago, we introduced ABB AbilityTM  to the world.

ABB AbilityTM is our unified, cross-industry, digital offering. It connects our customers to the power of the Industrial Internet of Things and, through our services and expertise, goes further by turning data insights into the direct action that "closes the loop" and generates customer value in the physical world.

ABB Ability™ is how we harness the power of digital to drive progress with our customers every day.  With our more-than 130-year history, we have a unique perspective and domain expertise of how our products perform after decades of deployment in the field, in a wide range of conditions. Because we deployed entire systems for our customers, we also understand the complex interactions between and among devices, which provides crucial context.

With our installed base of more than 70 million connected devices, over 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions we offer innovative solutions to increase efficiency, safety and reduce costs in organizations and enterprises.

As engineers we are driven to progress technology and have been at the forefront of innovation in each of the sectors we specialize in. Being at the forefront also means we very early made digital a part of our DNA. For more than 40 years we have been building software and connectivity into our devices and systems to help them run even better. Today, 55 percent of what we sell has software or digital at its heart.

As technology leaders we also know that innovation cannot thrive in isolation. It is important for us to be part of an innovation ecosystem. In the era of digitalization and artificial intelligence (AI), this is more important than ever, given the pace and complexity of technological change, which is simply too great for any organization to master alone.  That is why partnerships such as what we have with HPE are so important.

With ABB Ability™ and HPE, enterprises can connect all their devices, equipment, and software systems across factories, plants, and installations, such as machines, drives, or motors.

The majority of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms in the marketplace do little more than provide connectivity and data collection. This first tier of platforms helps customers "know more" about their operations through analysis of sensor data. But that's where they stop.

The next tier consists of a smaller set of offerings that enable customers to “do more." That is, they not only analyze sensor input, they also act on it. ABB Ability™ occupies a third tier—a full-service platform that provides the highest level of functionality: a continuous cycle of sense, analyze, and act. This capability closes the loop by translating information into physical action via our industrial automation systems.

Organizations can reap the full value of the IIoT by opening new revenue streams, improving production efficiencies by an order of magnitude while reducing operational costs, lowering energy consumption footprints, and improving employee safety.

The ABB Ability™ Smart Sensor is a good example. It converts traditional motors, pumps and mounted bearings into smart, wirelessly connected devices. It measures key parameters from the surface of the equipment to collect key information on the condition and performance of the device to identify inefficiencies and eventually to reduce risks related to operation and maintenance.

With the smart sensor, maintenance of the equipment happens based on actual needs and data, rather than based on generic schedules. This way manufacturers can extend the lifetime of equipment, reduce maintenance costs or prevent unplanned downtime due to breakdowns. If you want to learn more about the smart sensor, please visit my session at HPE Discover in Madrid

Our partnership with HPE enables us to run ABB Ability™ solutions on hybrid platforms such as HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack, giving our customers the opportunity to deploy applications to their preferred location. This can be on HPE infrastructure in industrial plants and data centers or in the public cloud.

Depending on the customer’s specific requirements regarding performance, security or cross-site collaboration, together we can sense, analyze and act from any location and benefit fully from digitalization.


0.jpgAbout the Author

Bernd Heisterkamp joined ABB almost 12 years ago. As digital leader, he is responsible for setting the digital strategy for the business unit Motors & Generators and implementing new services around the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Empowering the Digital Enterprise to be more efficient and innovative through data-driven insights from the Internet of Things (IoT)
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