Innovative industry

ABB is developing advanced products, solutions and services that are radically reshaping the production landscape by making smart and sustainable factories of the future possible. Our portfolio enables manufacturers to respond to the increasing pressure for shorter product design cycles, the rise of mass customization, and increased environmental, safety and compliance regulations.

Energy savings enabled by intelligent motion solutions in hotel InterContinental Madrid (photo)

As a technology leader in the fields of industrial automation, electrification, robotics, discrete automation and motion, ABB’s work contributes directly to the achievement of SDG 9. Our suite of ABB Ability™ digital solutions and services uses sensors, network connectivity and data analytics to provide a real-time view into operations, enabling predictive maintenance, improved safety and reduced operating costs. And because ABB Ability™ uses the Microsoft Azure cloud as its integrated connectivity platform, our customers benefit from access to enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure.

Moreover, ABB is a world leading provider of automated control solutions that can increase output while reducing energy usage and waste of raw materials. We recently launched our first cloud application for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The new ABB Ability™ Asset Performance Monitor collects data on production rates, energy consumption and temperature and provides a continuous overview of an OEM’s entire installed base, enabling more informed business decisions. The ABB Ability™ Asset Performance Monitor displays data on a digital dashboard, giving OEMs the necessary insights to initiate machine upgrades and advanced services. State-of-the-art security standards and transfer protocols ensure data integrity.

This is just one of the flexible, scalable and secure solutions that ABB offers to facilitate the shift to smart factories. Digitalizing production processes increases system reliability and throughput, reduces raw material and energy use and improves product quality. For instance, the virtual commissioning of drives and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) can cut project costs significantly while making more efficient use of engineering personnel.

To power the smart factories of the future, ABB offers a wide range of solutions for secure and efficient energy distribution. For example, our cloud platform can connect all of the electrical devices in a facility to the industrial internet, enabling precise information and control functions. Our compact, intelligent circuit breakers deploy integrated connectivity to link smartphones, tablets and PCs with data analysis tools in the ABB Ability™ suite in real time.

Case study Energy savings enabled by intelligent motion solutions

Reveal case study

A landmark hotel, the InterContinental Madrid, is meeting its environmental goals with ABB drives and high-efficiency motors. Energy usage has been reduced by 445,000 kWh a year – enough to boil two million kettles of water.

A detailed energy survey of the InterContinental revealed that the hotel’s energy use was high, particularly for the eight pump groups that served its HVAC systems and hot water supply for guest rooms, kitchens and other facilities. HVAC systems can use between 60 to 80 percent of all the energy consumed by a hotel.

Based on these findings, the pumping systems were equipped with 13 ABB ACH550 variable-speed drives (VSDs) and 16 electric motors with an IE3 energy-efficiency classification, which were integrated into the hotel’s building management systems. This upgrade provides the overall system with greater stability and higher energy efficiency, as the motor speeds are now precisely adjusted to match demand at any given time. These intelligent motion solutions enabled the hotel to achieve energy savings of around 40 percent.

Close case study

The ABB Ability™ Digital Powertrain solution also leverages digitalization to improve factory operations. This solution consolidates sensor and drive data with cloud-based analysis of all components in an industrial system within a single unit – covering everything from frequency converters and motors to pumps and bearings. The deep data insights it can provide enables customers to make better decisions to ensure safe, reliable and efficient operations.

Robotics and other factory automation solutions increase efficiency and reduce waste and energy consumption. This is particularly true in the fast-evolving field of collaborative robots, or cobots. ABB has been introducing new robotics breakthroughs that enable human-machine collaboration, allowing robots to share working spaces with people to achieve optimal efficiency.

Robotics and automation create opportunities which allow for more efficient resources management and contribute to the development of more meaningful jobs.

Sami Atiya – President,
ABB Robotics and Discrete Automation

The new robotics manufacturing and research facility we are building in Kangqiao, near Shanghai, China will be a perfect example of what the digital factories of the future will be like. Production in this complete digital manufacturing ecosystem will be based on cells of automation rather than on a fixed assembly line, which will allow robots to move from station to station for greater customization and flexibility than in traditional, linear production systems. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) will deliver parts to the production robots just in time, while the latest collaborative technologies will ensure that humans and robots can work safely side by side, bringing greater flexibility and agility to production processes and combining the advantages of robots with the unique capabilities of people.

ABB’s solutions for industry, just like its solutions for cities and infrastructure, leverage the latest digital technologies to deliver unprecedented levels of resource efficiency. Our world is a fragile one, with limited resources. These resources must be used sustainably and in a manner that minimizes the impact of their use on the environment itself. Intelligent technologies offer the key to protecting the earth while enabling continued economic growth. ABB is committed to developing the products, solutions and services required to make a brighter future possible for future generations.