Plant & Works Engineering
Digital remote services suite to support variable speed drives
Published:  20 March, 2018

Three distinctly different cloud-based remote services for drives offer instant alerts, rapid assistance and support before failure occurs.

Remote assistance, condition monitoring and predictive maintenance are three remote services for variable speed drives being added to the ABB Ability digital platform. Should a fault be detected within a drive, the ABB Ability Remote Assistance service ensures that a specialist provides rapid support by using the drive's op-erational performance data which is available remotely via the ABB Ability platform.

By sending an immediate email alert to the user, the service provides fast fault identification, round-the-clock, thereby leading to reduced downtime.

Depending on the end-user’s support agreement, a remotely located ABB engineer offers telephone support so that the process can be re-started quickly. After gaining access to the drive’s remotely stored operating parameters, the ABB engineer can then talk to the user, wherever they are in the world, offering support to bring the drive back into operation. If the fault cannot be resolved remotely, a local ABB engineer can be dispatched to assist on-site.

During a pilot test of the ABB Ability Remote Assistance at the SSAB steel factory in Finland, an alarm on the critical coke elevator was noticed by ABB personnel. Acting quickly, both remotely and on-site, the combined SSAB and ABB teams successfully worked together to help the mill's coking plant avoid a possible break-down.

ABB Ability Condition Monitoring for drives delivers accurate, real-time information about drive events to ensure that an application remains available, reliable and maintainable. It is a service that assists with maintenance planning and reduces the risk of unplanned downtime.

Users get access to a secured portal where all the live drive data is continuously collected and monitored, so users can check availability, condition metrics and parameter values. This provides visualised real-time data about a drive’s performance using visual indicators, access to condition history of the device and immediate notification about any anomalies.

Users can get feedback from ABB experts via reports that offer health recommendations. It also provides proactive alerts which can be sent via email. “This cloud based service is a huge step towards information-based maintenance planning”, says Stuart Melling, UK business unit manager for ABB’s drive activities.

By combining the end-user’s process know-how with analysis and recommendations by ABB professionals, the service reduces the risk of unexpected downtime by anticipating possible faults, operational issues and maintenance needs. By monitoring aspects of the application important to the end-users, equipment will perform better and last longer – culminating in higher productivity.

Melling added: “With ABB Ability Conditioning Monitoring for drives you are always one step ahead and know what is happening with your equipment at any moment…When you have all of the facts, you can make the right decisions.”

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