Tag Archives: ABB Ability

ABB further boosts mine hoist safety with Ability Performance Optimization

ABB has launched a new version of its ABB Ability™ Performance Optimization solution for hoists, providing, it says, agile and secure remote support worldwide.

The digital service, harnessing data monitoring of key performance indicators (KPIs) enabled by specialised cloud-based edge computing, will further minimise risk of hoist failure, improve uptime and provide predictive maintenance insights and remote support to underground mine operators, ABB says.

Hosted on the ABB Ability Edgenius Dashboard application, the soluiton enables quick analysis and insights into any plant operation, according to the company.

The dashboards have been created to show crucial information from the hoists with KPIs organised into the categories of performance, supervision and safety, which resulted from collaboration between customers and ABB experts. Additionally, the solution platform is more flexible, scalable and fulfils the highest levels of cybersecurity.

Predictive analysis of a mine hoist’s condition prevents operations from unexpected, time-consuming and costly shutdowns, ABB says.

“Using ABB Ability Performance Optimization for hoists, ABB’s mining customers can work towards condition-based monitoring,” it added. “Data is automatically collected, segregated and managed, then securely monitored and analysed to generate actionable insights that can increase production performance, identify safety hazards and provide optimised maintenance scheduling.”

The Performance Optimization service connects the customers’ mine hoists enterprise-wide with experts located remotely in ABB’s Collaborative Operations Centers, or on site. Mine hoists are monitored 24/7 so potential problems are identified before they occur, and necessary actions can be made at the right time. This improves the availability of the equipment and the overall safety of mining operations, according to the company.

With immediate availability to existing customers, the new ABB Ability Edgenius Dashboard cloud-based solution forms part of a digitalised way of working with reports and increases transparency. The dashboards are available and secured within the ABB Ability cloud. Customers can follow ABB actions as they happen, collaborate and learn more closely, but also remotely, the company says. This reduces the requirement for in-person maintenance visits and travel, saving time and lowering ABB’s carbon footprint.

“What we have done is create a cyber-secure bridge between the information technology and operational technology elements of our mine hoist customers’ businesses,, Global Service Manager Hoisting at ABB, said. “This is how we are progressing across our customer base and it is creating more connected infrastructure, more collaborative relationships and greater transparency in terms of real-time data reporting and actions.

“We can set KPIs with customers and monitor progress. If something does not fit in the hoisting process and it is not performing to the optimum levels expected we can make changes quickly.”

ABB Ability Performance Optimization for hoists improves accessibility, performance and productivity for mine hoists by collecting and analysing data from various operating points, and KPIs such as the mine hoist’s cycle time, filling and dumping time, as well as safety brake system and supervision of the hoist protections. The results can also be used as a basis for optimising the hoist’s availability, which provides the opportunity to increase production.

ABB recently launched ABB Ability Safety Plus for hoists, a suite of mine hoist safety products that brings the highest level of personnel and equipment safety available to the mining industry.

ABB says it offers safe, optimised and fit-for-purpose hoisting solutions designed by mining engineering teams, and has almost 130 years of experience in hoisting with more than 1,000 hoisting solutions installed worldwide. Digitally connected with ABB Ability Performance Optimization for hoists, ABB hoisting solutions provides highest availability and productivity.

ABB ramps up remote services to counter COVID-19 crisis

ABB says it is accelerating the roll out of and access to remote service tools and digital solutions across critical industries as it looks to equip customers with the means to continue operating in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is working with customers to ensure the access to field operators and service engineers who cannot be on-site at this time by delivering control room livestreams, operational insights, process data and plant key performance indicators to users at home.

To ensure continuous operations, customers can access ABB remote-enabled solutions, including remote condition monitoring of critical assets; augmented reality maintenance support; online tools for training and spare parts stocking; and self-diagnoses that mitigate risk to assets, processes and security.

Many of these services are delivered to customers through ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations, a suite of digitally enabled solutions and services, and its network of Collaborative Operations centres located around the globe. ABB has Collaborative Operations centres dedicated to the mining industry to connect mine and mill operators and engineers with ABB applications and experts in mining processes, automation and electrification.

“With 24/7 access, ABB domain experts and data scientists use digital technologies to help customers monitor assets, processes and risks; jointly derive insights from data; suggest mitigating actions; and provide critical remote assistance to help customers to keep production running,” it said.

Peter Terwiesch, President Industrial Automation, ABB, said the COVID-19 outbreak was leading to governments and companies having to make difficult choices, balancing people’s safety with economic livelihood.

“ABB is committed to supporting both: protect people, while helping businesses to stay operational during these challenging times,” he said. “Remote services and digital solutions can make a major contribution to keep people safe, production running, and critical supply chains and economic livelihood preserved.”

He continued: “We are committed to support our customers to run their operations safely, to keep the lights on, keep people connected, and help us all to weather this storm, together.”

ABB provides plant managers with more visibility

ABB has looked to upgrade its ABB Ability™ System 800xA Minerals Process Control Library with a new graphical interface that provides operators with relevant process information in its “situational context”.

Successfully operating in more than 450 cement and mining sites worldwide, the Minerals Process Control Library is an automation software solution for both industries designed to achieve the highest plant productivity, availability and safety, as well as the best operator efficiency, ABB says.

The new ABB 800xA 6.1 automation platform update has further improved the solution, according to the company.

It comes with a completely new clear and intuitive graphical interface for process displays, faceplates and workplace layout, which enables awareness of any given situation in a plant, according to the company. It also offers an extensive set of options for adapting presentation so that the focus can be tailored, and users can navigate to the required information much faster.

A key new feature that comes with the update is the “unique alarm system”. This enables plant operators to immediately detect, understand and resolve all types of process situations and disturbances in minimum time, according to the company.

“The most critical elements of the production process are emphasised through a combination of context-based information and consistent alarm colours and shapes, ensuring that attention is always drawn to those requiring immediate response.”

The wider release follows the first installation of the updated ABB Ability™ System 800xA Minerals Process Control Library at the Hoghiz cement plant in the Brasov region of Romania, which produces 1 Mt/y of cement.

Razvan Cocea, Head of Electrical and Automation for CRH Hoghiz Plant, said the latest version of the system, which has been in operation at the plant since early July, provides a much clearer process displays.

“”With the new visual control graphics, it is now immediately obvious which equipment requires attention,” he said. “The new process alarms instantly alert operators when something is wrong. They can then easily navigate to the detailed displays to find the root cause of the problem and take appropriate measures to bring the process up and running again.”

Michael Marending, Lead Engineer at ABB, said the growing level of automation and intercommunication in industries such as mining and cement means fewer people are managing much larger plant areas.

“This adds complexity to daily plant operation and places increasing demands on today’s control room personnel,” he said. “The ability of humans to be able to respond, with good decisions at the right time, is crucial for the optimization of plant efficiency and reliability.”

He continued: “Visualisation is critical to the process, providing the main interface between humans and the production site. This new HMI offers a whole new set of functions and makes real-time information much more accessible to operators. The new visual control graphics make it easier for all users of the system to take the right decisions in any situation and allow operators, maintenance and engineers to collaborate in new ways. Visual control graphics can be easily integrated into other existing ABB and external vendor subsystems.”

ABB Ability™ System 800xA Minerals Process Control Library is part of the ABB Ability™ MineOptimize portfolio of digitally connected products, services and solutions that enable mines and cement plants to maximise visibility, reliability, productivity and energy efficiency and optimise performance.

ABB closes the short interval control and scheduling loop

ABB, in collaboration with Boliden AB and ArcelorMittal Mining Canada, has launched ABB Ability™ Operations Management System (OMS) for mining, a system that “connects and coordinates mine operators, workforce, equipment and all mining activities in real-time, from face preparation to crusher”.

OMS maximises coordination between weekly production plans and dynamic situations in the mine to improve efficiency, increase productivity and maximise profitability, according to the company.

The company explained: “Mine planners often have to build a short-term plan with limited visibility of ongoing activities in the mine. While mine operators constantly consider and evaluate a complex set of operational constraints, adjusting to ever-changing, day-to-day and hour-to-hour situations. This can impact operational efficiency and raise costs.”

ABB says the integration of short interval control and closed loop scheduling into a single digital platform, ABB’s OMS, will improve responsiveness to unplanned events and reduce production variability through all the mine stages.

The ABB Ability OMS can present ‘what-if’ scenarios in case of task failure or operational change, helping mine operators and planners make better decisions faster, ensuring ongoing operation of the mine and increased productivity, it said. Equipment availability is also improved by moving from a reactive to a predictive maintenance model, according to ABB. “Through all the stages of the production cycle, the production flow from the mine is maximised.”

Eduardo Lima, Product Manager for Integrated Mine Operations at ABB, said: “Although it may seem simple, the coordination between the tactical plan and the operational plan is one of the top challenges faced in modern mining. By offering advanced short-term planning and increased automation, ABB Ability Operations Management System enables the mine to act as an ore factory.”

He added: “Ore inventory can be tracked and controlled to allow maximum flow and optimal grade. By integrating operational technology and information technology, operational awareness is increased for all personnel.

“Staff see the same information at the same time and can jointly decide what actions to take in real time with no need to wait until the end of the shift.”

Short interval control application allows mine operators to monitor and review operational plans and performance based on targets, metrics and key performance indicators. Variances can be analysed and mitigated in real time during a shift for immediate corrective action.

The closed loop scheduling application, meanwhile, combines high-level planning with low-level control through a “heuristic auto-scheduling algorithm”. ABB said: “This allows mine planners to achieve new levels of production scheduling efficiency from bench preparation to crusher, optimising resource usage in real time and following the production plan more effectively.”

In developing ABB Ability OMS with ABB, project teams at both ArcelorMittal Mining Canada’s Integrated Remote Operations Center and the Boliden Mine Operation Center provided operation expertise, existing infrastructure and dedicated resources support, ABB says. The technology was piloted at Boliden’s Renstrom underground mine, in Sweden, and by ArcelorMittal at the Mont-Wright open-pit mine, in Canada.

The ABB Ability OMS is part of the ABB Ability MineOptimize portfolio of digitally connected products, services and solutions aimed at enabling modern mines to “maximise visibility, reliability, productivity and energy efficiency and optimise performance”.

ABB to digitalise dry bulk handling solutions at stockyards

ABB has launched a new digital application to optimise dry bulk material handling for stockyard operations and beyond.

The new ABB Ability™ Stockyard Management System enables fully integrated collaborative operation by connecting all available information and process data to optimise bulk material handling terminals and stockyards of coal-fired power plants, steel plants or mines, the company said.

“Offering sophisticated material tracking and quality management, the new ABB Ability™ Stockyard Management System increases the efficiency of stockyards in connecting consecutive steps in complete materials transportation chains,” ABB said.

This enables seamless integration in production planning, providing real time information on handled material and supports the management of one or multiple inputs and outputs of different material qualities, storage, mixing and blending, ABB said.

It is a configurable system that can be used to digitalise the complete material handling chain, according to the company. The material flow can be modelled across all belt conveyors and transportation equipment with material properties and quality information via automated data interfaces.

Franz Rietschel, Global Product Manager for Stockyard Management System, said: “This application is the latest example of how ABB as a pioneering technology leader in digital industries is helping our customers to realize the true potential of digital to optimise their operations and achieve a certain quality of outgoing material. Just-in-time or even just-in-sequence is long-established in the automotive industry; now these techniques are available for bulk material handling logistics too.”

Notable features of ABB Ability™ Stockyard Management System include:

  • A calculated stacking model built up according to the tracked material and acting as a ‘digital twin’ of the stockyard. This provides the operator with an inventory overview at any time, without the need of an extra survey. All data can be used for operational optimisation such as efficient space use in a yard, better planning and scheduling, or more accurate mixing and blending processes;
  • Control and prediction of the material flow in various lines with material forecast, tracking and production history;
  • The ability to coordinate all excavators in the mine or yard machines in the plant at the right position with the right timing to realise proactive production control which enables online mixing material according to tracking, forecasting and online quality control;
  • Laser scanners or drones which can provide additional surface information of their environments enable a nearly real time update of the pile surface even after material movements due to environmental influences or due to the use of mobile machines;
  • A ‘slice view’ feature which allows operators a look at the inside of a pile to check the material mix and quality, determine its arrival time or changing material properties when more accurate information are available;
  • Modelling for intra-supply-chain quality optimization allowing operation staff to view tonnes and grade by digging position and belt scale values according to geological model and online analysers which provide information on the various material properties, and;
  • Automated interfaces to different systems provide a seamless workflow from ERP to control system for mine, plant and stockyard operations. An integration of PIMS, MES, production-, maintenance- and down-time planning or laboratory management systems combines all available information for analytics at the right time.

ABB Ability™ Stockyard Management System employs sophisticated data collection and configuration management to interface with and various IT and OT applications and systems. This includes connectivity to IT and ERP systems through web services, TCP/IP socket communication or direct database access; data interfaces OT automation systems through OPC and if OPC is not supported thru low level data interfaces based on data wrappers.

ABB said: “The new ABB Ability™ Stockyard Management System is the latest addition to the portfolio of ABB Ability™ digitally-enabled industry solutions, products and services. Developed out of years of sector expertise and customer insights, ABB Ability facilitates automation, the integration of data and the real-time optimisation of mining and plant processes.”

ABB looks to improve mining efficiency with ABB Ability™ MineOptimize

ABB has launched its ABB Ability™ MineOptimize suite of digitally connected products, services and solutions to, the company says, “realise the world’s most efficient mines”.

“With digitalisation at its heart, ABB Ability MineOptimize connects all electrification, automation and digital offerings to optimise all stages in the lifecycle – from design and build to operation and service – of any open pit or underground mine and minerals processing plant,” ABB said.

MineOptimize is a portfolio of optimised electrification, drives and automation solutions, optimised engineering, digital applications and collaborative services, according to ABB. “It combines in-depth sector knowledge, leading edge technology and global and local project management, engineering and digital transformation expertise developed by ABB over 60 years of working with the mining and minerals industry at every stage of the mining cycle,” the company said.

The products, services and solutions within the solution include state-of-the-art digital technologies for remote services, predictive maintenance tools as well as solutions for upgrades and retrofits, according to ABB.

The company said: “Advanced application libraries, software solutions and digital platforms reduce process complexity, promote safe and secure production and lower lifetime operating costs. By ensuring that the right people have the right information at the right time and from anywhere, ABB Ability MineOptimize digital applications enable mine operators to maximise reliability, safety, productivity and energy efficiency while optimising planning and visibility across operations and the entire enterprise.”

Martin Knabenhans, Head of Product Management for ABB’s Process Industries business unit, said: “Optimisation of mining and mineral processing operations in order to improve productivity, reduce downtime and protect workforce and the environment is essential and an important factor in being competitive in the market.

“The ABB Ability MineOptimize portfolio offers open, digitally connected mining applications for unmatched operation, maintenance, process and production performance. As digital transformation partner ABB Ability MineOptimize enables IT/OT integration for some of the world’s most cost effective mines.”

ABB will roll out new electrification solutions, digital applications and collaborative services in the MineOptimize portfolio throughout the year, it said, to:

  • Enable sustainable mining by powering the all-electric mine;
  • Re-invent mining automation with the next generation of ABB Ability™ System 800xA for Process and Power Control, and;
  • Improve availability through enhanced collaborative services with new predictive cloud based analytics for grinding, hoists and conveyors.

The new MineOptimize digital applications complement electrification and automation solutions and dedicated mining systems for hoists, gearless or ring geared mill drives and material handling which can be applied in the building or revamping of a mine, ABB said. They will also sit alongside collaborative remote assistance, availability, performance and quality services.

ABB twins digital solutions with Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform

ABB and Dassault Systèmes have announced a global partnership to offer customers in digital industries a “unique software solutions portfolio ranging from product life cycle management to asset health solutions”, the two companies said.

ABB and Dassault will, they say, provide customers an end-to-end offering of advanced open digital solutions, enhancing competitiveness of industrial companies, while increasing flexibility, speed and productivity of their products’ lifecycles, manufacturing and operations.

The partnership will combine ABB Ability™ digital solutions and Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, and build on both companies’ strong installed base, deep domain expertise and global customer access, they said. ABB has already adopted the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to model and simulate its solutions before delivering them to its customers.

“With this partnership, ABB will develop and provide customers with advanced digital twins, enabling customers to run ABB’s solutions and their operations with improved overall efficiency, flexibility and sustainability,” ABB said.

The companies will, in a staged approach, focus on factory automation and robotics, process industry automation, as well as electrification solutions for smart buildings, with the first joint solutions showcased at the upcoming industrial Hannover Messe trade fair, in Germany, on April 1-5.

ABB CEO, Ulrich Spiesshofer, said: “This game-changing partnership will serve our customers to lead in innovation and growth, fundamentally transforming their entire value chain to tap the vast opportunities of industrial digitalisation. Together, we are offering an open, end-to-end digital portfolio – from digital twin to asset health – that gives our customers a competitive edge, building on our combined offering, domain expertise and global reach.

“ABB is adding Dassault Systèmes to its strong partner network for industrial digitalisation, including Microsoft, HPE and IBM. We look very much forward to working with the entire global Dassault Systèmes team to drive innovation and customer value.”

Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dassault Systèmes, said: “The industry of the 21st century is no longer determined simply by the ability to manufacture goods. Today’s leaders will be determined by superior mastery of technical know-how. This is the new competitive differentiator and it’s happening now due to a convergence of digital technologies that are transforming every aspect of industrial business.

“In this industry renaissance, a platform approach enables the real and virtual worlds to inform and reinforce one another. Our partnership with ABB will draw from decades of combined expertise to help customers make the most of this powerful and dynamic trend.”

ABB’s digital solution offering within the industry is tied to its ABB Ability platform, launched in 2017, which offers more than 210 digital solutions to plan, build and operate industrial operations with higher productivity and safety at lower costs.

Dassault Systèmes, meanwhile, works with companies of all sizes in 11 industries to help them meet new challenges. “The 3DEXPERIENCE platform integrates all the technologies and capabilities that leverage knowledge and know-how into one cohesive digital innovation environment that delivers digital continuity from concept to manufacturing to ownership and back,” the two companies said. Industrial companies can integrate the platform’s 3D applications to create a digital twin that captures insights and expertise from across their entire ecosystem, to measure, assess and predict the performance of an industrial asset and help optimise its operation in an intelligent way, they added.

The ABB – Dassault Systèmes partnership will initially focus on factory automation and robotics, smart building and process industries.

On the latter, the two companies said: “Competitive pressure in process industries, such as mining, requires companies to continuously look for new ways to increase safety, productivity and energy efficiency of sites, while reducing costs and risk of daily operations. A digital model of the underground environment, in connection with mine planning and control systems, would allow to optimise energy consumption and mine automation, as well as enable mine operators to monitor and optimise production in real-time, while running virtual simulations of future scenarios.”