ABB Ability™ – a ship on the sea (photo)

ABB Ability™

ABB Ability™ solutions unlock the power of digitalization for customers via a common platform to deliver deep domain expertise in a connected way.

Since its launch in 2017, growing customer demand for ABB Ability™ has driven order growth, particularly in software and services, and this is expected to continue as new digital solutions are introduced. The more than 210 market-leading ABB Ability™ solutions are enabling us to write the future as digital technologies profoundly influence how we power the world, produce goods, work efficiently, live in cities and move in a sustainable way.

ABB Ability™ enables high-power electric vehicle charging networks in US and Iceland

As countries begin to implement ambitious plans to speed the adoption of renewable energy and promote electric vehicles, ABB Ability™ is enabling the infrastructure that will be crucial to their success. ABB’s Terra HP charging stations, which can recharge even the largest electric vehicle battery in under 15 minutes, have been installed along Iceland’s 1,300 km main highway, Route 1, and have been selected for Electrify America, the biggest electric vehicle infrastructure project to date in the United States.

In both of these projects, the chargers will be exposed to a range of extreme weather conditions, including moisture, very high and low temperatures, and violent storms. Amid these conditions, ABB Ability™ technology ensures that the EV chargers remain operational 24/7. Remote digital connectivity enables continuous monitoring of the device from any location, providing operators access to data in real time for the remote monitoring and proactive control of the operational and technical status of the charging stations.

Indeed, ABB Ability™ provides a fully flexible overview of the entire charging network to make sure the system is fully functional right down to temperatures of –35 °C. It allows technicians to diagnose over 90 percent of all errors in EV chargers and solve over 60 percent of them remotely, without having to visit the charging station, and at the same time, makes it possible for station operators to support their customers in the best possible way.

ABB Ability™ to enable world’s most advanced robotics factory in Shanghai

In October 2018, we reached an agreement with the Shanghai municipal government to build an all-new robotics factory that will deploy ABB Ability™ solutions to create a true digital factory of the future. The facility will feature a number of machine-learning, digital and collaborative solutions to make it the most advanced, automated and flexible factory in the robotics industry, and an onsite R&D center will help ABB accelerate innovations in artificial intelligence.

Using ABB’s new global design approach, the factory will be able to dramatically increase both the breadth (types of robots) and depth (variants of each type) of robots that can be made onsite, allowing greater and faster customization to meet the needs of customers. The entire facility will be modeled as a digital twin, providing intuitively tailored dashboards that enable management, engineers, operators and maintenance experts to make the best decisions. This includes gathering and analyzing intelligence through ABB Ability™ Connected Services on the health and performance of ABB robots in the factory to ensure early identification of potential anomalies. In addition to avoiding costly downtime, ABB Ability™ offers advanced digital solutions that can improve performance, reliability and energy usage.

The new Shanghai factory – with a comprehensive R&D center onsite – will become a key part of ABB’s global robotics supply chain.

ABB Ability™ enables Sweden’s fifth-largest city to prepare for a smart future

This year, a pilot project with Swedish energy company Mälarenergi is bringing holistic smart city solutions to Västerås through ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations, our digital services platform for customer collaboration.

Mälarenergi provides a broad range of essential services to Västerås’ 150,000 residents and its many businesses. It operates hydropower plants, the local power grid, a waste-to-energy plant, heating and cooling networks, water and waste treatment plants, water distribution and a fiber-optic network. ABB Ability™ is using Microsoft Azure cloud technology to integrate the control rooms of these services into a unified operating network, empowering the utility and the city to become smarter by generating new insights and enabling better decision-making. Other elements in this pilot include traffic control and a smart coordination system connecting emergency workers to make the city safer.

ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations™ connects people in production facilities, headquarters, and at ABB by giving them the right information, so Mälarenergi and ABB can know more, do more and do better, together. For example, when applied to the district heating network, which serves 98 percent of the city’s buildings, Collaborative Operations will optimize operational performance and reduce energy consumption. Data analytics will make it easier for operators to identify, categorize and prioritize potential issues with assets, processes and risk areas, so they can increase efficiency and reduce costs.

This project shows the benefit of setting up intelligent, collaborative partnerships with governments and companies, combining local expertise and insights with global experience, standards and perspectives. We believe this model of consultative and collaborative implementation will accelerate the global smart city market, helping to create opportunities at national and municipal levels.

ABB Ability™ enables groundbreaking trial of remote ferry in Helsinki

In a historic step toward autonomous shipping, Helsinki City Transport used an ABB Ability™ solution in December to remotely pilot a ferry in the waters near Helsinki harbor. Ice-class passenger ferry Suomenlinna II was retrofitted with ABB’s new dynamic positioning system, ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot Control, and wirelessly steered from a control center in Helsinki by Captain Lasse Heinonen.

The ferry, originally built in 2004, is fitted with ABB’s icebreaking Azipod® electric propulsion system and was additionally retrofitted with the ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot Vision situational awareness solution in 2017.

Autonomous solutions such as this are expected to transform the maritime industry in the coming decades, helping to safely and efficiently transport the more than 10 billion tons of cargo that now travel by sea every year. The test serves as a potent proof that human oversight of vessels is achievable from anywhere, and ABB is positioned to be a key player in a future of autonomous container ships.