Announcements from ABB Customer World Event in Houston, Texas

By Larry O'Brien

Company and Product News

ABB launches industry-leading digital solutions offering, ABB Ability
With the commercial launch of more than 180 solutions and services at ABB Customer World, ABB is unlocking value for customers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  By combining ABB’s deep domain expertise with network connectivity and the latest digital technologies and innovations, ABB Ability creates solutions and services that solve real business problems and produce tangible business opportunities.

ABB Ability helps customers in utilities, industry, transport and infrastructure develop new processes and advance existing ones by providing insights and optimizing planning and controls for real-time operations.  The results can then be fed into control systems to improve key metrics, such as factory uptime, speed, and yield.

The offering builds on ABB’s pioneering technology and more than four decades of industrial digital leadership.  It will enhance customers’ ability to innovate and compete in the emerging digital-industrial marketplace.

Digital offerings provided by ABB Ability include performance management solutions for asset-intensive industries; control systems for process industries; remote monitoring services for robots, motors and machinery; and control solutions for buildings, electric-vehicle charging networks and offshore platforms. Some of the more specialized offerings address energy management for data centers and navigation optimization for maritime shipping fleets, among many others.

ABB Ability’s next-generation digital solutions and services are being developed and built on Microsoft’s leading Azure cloud platform, based on a strategic partnership with the software company.



ABB Ability System 800xA single channel I/O for a fast and cost-saving project execution
ABB has launched a new addition to its automation platform ABB Ability System 800xA; a redundant Ethernet-based single channel I/O system called Select I/O.  Select I/O supports ABB’s next generation project execution model called Intelligent Projects that provides efficiency improvement for automation projects, as well as faster start-ups while decreasing complexity, project delays and cost overruns.

Select I/O allows users to install standardized cabinets with the bases for field wiring early during a project, then select the type of I/O much later.  It digitally marshal signals instead of using space and labor intensive marshalling panels and allows loop checks to be done before the rest of the system is delivered.  This minimizes the impact of late changes and allows for project tasks to be done in parallel, which reduces project schedules.

The Select I/O solution’s network is connected via an Ethernet Fieldbus Communication Interface (FCI) with embedded redundant switches and uses individual Signal Conditioning Modules (SCMs) for process and safety I/O.  In addition to being field ready with temperature ratings of -40 to 70 degrees Celsius and having galvanic isolation per channel, each SCM is current limited and has a unique ‘field disconnect’ mode for added protection and flexibility.  Line monitoring DIs, SOE and high current options are also available to reduce the need for ancillary third party equipment which aids in I/O cabinet standardization.

The redundant Ethernet FCI of Select I/O makes this solution even more flexible and useful for all projects.  In addition to being used for Select I/O, the FCI can accept System 800xAs’ multi-channel S800 I/O allowing the user to select the I/O solution that best fits the application.



ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System US launch for cloud-based energy management
ABB has launched ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System, a cloud-based energy management, remote supervision and diagnostics into the US market.  The system connects a facility’s electrical equipment with the Internet of Things and leverages ABB circuit breaker’s built-in sensing and connectivity to provide the information and control functions to reportedly reduce total operating costs by up to 30 percent.

The ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System was launched in Europe in 2016.

ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System has a cloud-based platform that processes data from the site’s electrical equipment to deliver analysis and make recommendations to optimize the performance of the electrical system.  It enables the remote monitoring of plants, their energy consumption and costs at a glance to make it easier and faster to implement energy management strategies.

ABB Ability Electrical Distribution control system provides direct supervision of electrical assets and reporting functions.  With alerts, immediate access to documentation and the remote diagnosis of devices, maintenance becomes simpler.  When necessary, facility managers can take corrective action in a matter of minutes.

The solution has demonstrated benefits for customers in a range of applications across Europe and the Middle East.  A water treatment facility in Italy, Consorzio di Bonifica Veronese confirmed a reduction in maintenance time of 40 percent and total operating costs down by a third.  Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), a major utility customer in the United Arab Emirates is using ABB Ability Electrical Distribution Control System to manage one of the largest rooftop solar installations of the region.  Additionally, there are installations in a paper mill, in several factories and office buildings.  The system can also support energy efficiency, asset management and cost reduction in shopping malls, events arenas and power plants.



ABB launches world’s first digital distribution transformer
Integrated sensing and monitoring technology in ABB’s new TXpert transformer will provide intelligence to maximize reliability, optimize operating and maintenance costs, and manage the asset more efficiently.  This latest innovation builds on the ABB Ability digital offering that uses cloud computing and connected devices to generate actionable data for a broad range of customers.

The performance data collected from the sensors is stored and analyzed within the transformer, offering insights on how it is operating.  This will provide utilities, industries, and installations, like data centers, with vital information to make key decisions on the operation and maintenance of their transformers, and support the management of the asset throughout its lifecycle.  This includes activities like scheduling of maintenance, optimizing system performance, and planned asset replacement.

Power grids are undergoing an unprecedented transformation both on the supply and demand side.  Many new and distributed sources of energy including the influx of renewables and new demand loads like datacenters and electric vehicles, call for a more flexible grid, driving the need for greater digitalization and automation.  Intelligent products that can communicate are an essential component in the convergence of information and operational technologies.

TXpert is part of ABB’s Transformer Intelligence portfolio that includes state-of-the-art sensors, monitoring platforms, and software tools built upon ABB’s deep domain knowledge and expertise.  It will be a catalyst for enhancing distribution transformer performance, improving predictability, and increasing reliability.


Keywords: Intelligent Transformers, Asset Management, Cloud Computing, Performance Management, Asset-Intensive, Control Systems, Remote Monitoring, ARC Advisory Group.


Engage with ARC Advisory Group