Sensors Bring "Smart" IoT to "Dumb" Motors


ABB Ability Smart Sensor for motors uses compact sensors to pick up multiple data from low voltage motors and provides information about motor health and performance via a smartphone or a dedicated web portal. ABB's remote condition monitoring solution is the pioneering innovation for uptime optimization, predictive maintenance regimens and efficiency improvements for LV motors.


By converting regular LV motors into intelligent, connected machines, the solution enables advanced maintenance planning that will help businesses to cut costs and boost productivity. Predictive analytics based on data from the solution can reduce downtime by up to 70 percent, extend motor lifetime by as much as 30 percent and cut energy consumption by up to 10 percent.


ABB Ability Smart Sensor for motors will be available from April for the European market. It will be released in the US soon thereafter with UL/CSA certifications. Sensor modules can be factory fitted on new motors or retrofitted on installed motors within minutes. They are available not only for motors made by ABB but also for non-ABB motors.


The sensors in the first release will be CE certified and compatible with safe-area induction motors for direct on-line S1 duty, ABB IEC sizes 160-450 and ABB NEMA sizes 140-449. Quick installation of the sensor module is made easy as no additional wiring is required. Initial monitoring functionality will cover bearing health, vibration, surface temperature, speed, supply frequency, and number of starts. Later releases will expand the range of functionality, and energy consumption monitoring is expected to be added during Q3 2017. Already installed sensor units will adopt these features by a firmware update. The first systems will utilize a smartphone app to transfer data. A gateway unit for automated data uploading will become available later in 2017.


The smart sensor condition monitoring solution is part of ABB Ability, which brings together all of ABB's digital solutions and services, each built from a unique combination of sector knowledge, technology leadership and digital expertise.



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  • Affordable plant optimization solution
  • Reduce unplanned downtime by up to 70 percent
  • Extend motor lifetime by up to 30 percent
  • Improve energy efficiency by up to 10 percent
  • The sensors are attached directly to the motor’s frame
  • The sensors require no wiring, transmitting data through Bluetooth
  • Internal sensors collect vital data points, like vibration, sound and temperature
  • Data is uploaded via an ABB gateway or smartphone to the cloud, where it is analyzed
  • The results are sent back for optimizing performance and predictive maintenance
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