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Smart Sensor now also monitors pumps

10 June 2018

The ABB Ability Smart Sensor provides data for the predictive maintenance of low voltage motors. In partnership with pump producer, Emile EggerABB has now developed the solution to remotely monitor pumps.

Emile Egger became aware of the ABB Ability Smart Sensor in early 2017 which simplified the maintenance logistics of motors by detecting problems early through remote monitoring enabling preventative maintenance work to be carried out and reducing unplanned downtime.

"Pumps, such as those in wastewater plants, usually fail without warning. In order to prevent typical problems such as blockages, it is necessary to undertake time-consuming maintenance several times a week, "explains Michel Grimm, chief business development officer at Emile Egger.  

Egger considered that if smart sensors can monitor motors predictively, then they may also be able to provide the same services for pumps. It challenged ABB to find a solution. The two companies decided jointly to develop a new smart sensor tailored to meet the specific needs of pumps.

In less than a year, the sensor solution has been developed. Using their hardware, the motor sensors were adapted to also provide readout values on pump speed, overall vibrations, unbalance, cavitation (formation of vapour bubbles in fluids), and clogging.  

The first tests were carried out at Egger's test facilities in Cressier at the end of July 2017. Meanwhile, ABB has delivered the first prototypes to enable testing in a real-world environment. In these pilot installations, the whole digital background of the ABB Ability Smart Sensor technology is used: health indicators and key performance indicators are not only gathered but also sent to the ABB Ability Cloud through a gateway. The pump operators can read the data via an app on their smartphone or in a browser. ABB and specialised partner companies will carry out further analyses in the cloud to detect tendencies and to be able to run cloud-based services in the future.

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