Smart Sensing Solutions Through Digitalization

It is projected that by the year 2020, the number of connected devices will triple from 6 billion to 20 billion. Digitalization is generating more opportunities for new business and alternative business models.

ABB Ability combines physical things, digital technologies and expertise to deliver higher productivity

ABB Ability combines physical things, digital technologies and expertise to deliver higher productivity

What is Digitalization?

Digitalization is the terminology used to describe the application of digital technologies to create new valuable avenues in business or connectivity (e.g. connecting sensors to cloud and supplying measurement data instead of new devices to customers).

David Lincoln
Measurement & Analytics Digital Lead

David Lincoln

What Opportunities Does it Offer for Businesses? Why is it Important?

Digitalization is relevant in countless different aspects of daily living, but many companies nowadays are still in the process of understanding where to specifically focus their efforts in to create a digital strategy that brings about results. Examining the evolution of production processes demonstrates that higher levels of automation are typically used to help achieve productivity and quality gains.

Information that originates from 'operational technology' is not typically integrated into a business’s IT network. Nowadays, Internet of Things (IoT) technology is bridging that gap so that companies can better integrate their production data.

Such a process would ensure that quality issues could be identified and addressed much sooner, that multi-site production facilities could be benchmarked against each other, and that production loadings could be optimized to provide the highest overall operational efficiency, enabling companies to gain a key competitive advantage.

What are the Trends in the Digitalization Industry?

A lot of digital technologies that were developed for the consumer industry are now being adopted by production and operational industries. The application of machine learning practices in identifying data patterns is extremely relevant nowadays. In addition, the use of augmented reality to make maintenance tasks simpler and help process visualization is a great advantage for industries.

Digital technologies are driving new innovation. Media is focused on B2C, but the

Digital technologies are driving new innovation. Media is focused on B2C, but the 'killer app' is in B2B.

What is ABB Ability? What are the Benefits?

ABB Ability is a unified cross-industry capability from device to edge to cloud. The collective term for ABB’s 200+ solutions, ABB promises efficiency and reliability in addressing customer concerns. Solutions are as diverse as helping captains safely pilot their ships through real-time vision systems or enhancing the flatness of strip metal in rolling mills to increase its value.

ABB Ability solutions are built on a common platform using Microsoft components which guarantees security, scalability, and speed of deployment. ABB uses its expertise, physical devices, connectivity, and software to deliver customers solutions that improve productivity and safety.

Novel drone-based gas analyzers find leaks anywhere.

Novel drone-based gas analyzers find leaks anywhere.

How Can ABB Ability Help the Customer? What Advantages Does it Provide for the Customer?

ABB solutions enable customers to address their concerns in any stage of their business, from the initial design, building, and commissioning phase, to maintenance and decommissioning.

As an established digital company that understands industry, products, and solutions, ABB assures customers with peace of mind and quality. The company has been in the business for decades and already has vast number of connected devices. Applying such devices to address customer needs aids users in gaining tangible benefits for their businesses.

ABB launches the world’s first digitally-integrated power transformer. The transformer is equipped with a digital hub, leveraging a portfolio of smart devices, including CoreSense™ M10, a multi-component dissolved gas analyzer.

ABB launches the world’s first digitally-integrated power transformer. The transformer is equipped with a digital hub, leveraging a portfolio of smart devices, including CoreSense™ M10, a multi-component dissolved gas analyzer.

What Does Digitalization Mean for ABB Measurement & Analytics?

ABB Measurement & Analytics is in the advantageous position of having a large collection of digital smart sensors covering physical measurements such as force, pressure, temperature, flow, and level. The company has a full portfolio of process analyzers for gas, liquids, and solids that could be used for a variety of applications, such as gas emission monitoring and water quality analysis.

ABB Measurement & Analytics’ vision is to provide customers with increased productivity through additional process insight, while lowering measurement cost. The company has always worked on enhancing the connectivity of its devices and ensuring a “measurement made easy̕” mindset, but the real focus for digitalization is in moving further into data supply and offering customers applications that enhance the value of their measurement data.

ABB digital solutions reduce site maintenance at Imperial College London’s award-winning carbon capture pilot-plant.

ABB digital solutions reduce site maintenance at Imperial College London’s award-winning carbon capture pilot-plant.

What Applications are ABB Measurement & Analytics Developing?

ABB is currently developing a broad range of applications, including the remote management of on-shore well pads, cloud-based device verification to enhance accuracy, and the availability of instrumentation. Among these, particular interest is given to a drone-based gas leak detection system, which coupled ABB’s highly sensitive laser-based sensing technology for greenhouse gas emission measurement and cloud computing to accurately pin-point the location of gas pipe leaks from the air.

Doug Baer | General Manager | Laser Analyzers

Doug Baer

ABB Ability mobile gas leak detection introduction by Doug Baer.

What Industries and Applications Will Benefit from the Apps? How?

ABB develops solutions that are applicable in a wide array of industries. For example, continuous gas analyzer solutions are used in many industries to reduce pollution levels and enhance process performance. ABB’s applications are then used to remotely monitor device performance and to help troubleshoot problems when issues arise.

What About Smart Sensors? What are the Higher-Level Systems That They are Connected To?

Smart sensors have a micro-processor that allows them to perform multiple functions, such as generating alarms when measurements are outside of a permissible range, drive a display, or communicate with a higher-level system like PLC and DCS system.

ABB devices are smart enough to sense more than just their standard measurement.  Electromagnetic flow meters like ProcessMaster, for instance, can sense gas bubbles in pipes, while Coriolis mass flow meters can additionally output temperature measurements. Unlocking this data can be beneficial for customers who are trying to extract insights about the performance of their operational processes.

What does Digitalization Mean for the Future?

Nowadays, every business is on a digital journey to determine the value of digitalization. It is an impactful technology that will offer various opportunities for further optimizing operations. Digitalization is today enabling higher levels of autonomy, which will lead to higher levels of productivity. It is, however, impossible at this stage to predict what areas of industry will see the biggest changes.

For a smart sensing company like ABB Measurement & Analytics, it is likely that more integrated measurement points will be necessary to aid with automation. Nevertheless, continually utilizing company experience and expertise to offer solutions will be the key to unlocking the true value from the devices.

ABB Expert performing a comprehensive health check on a Stressometer system to enhance metal rolling mill performance and yield.

ABB Expert performing a comprehensive health check on a Stressometer system to enhance metal rolling mill performance and yield.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by ABB Measurement & Analytics.

For more information on this source, please visit ABB Measurement & Analytics.

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