ABB says its “groundbreaking” smart sensor solution, launched at the Hanover industrial fair recently in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama, was developed together with the Swatch Group of Switzerland.
ABB collaborated with Swatch-owned EM Microelectronic to develop the sensor hardware based on a specification provided by ABB, that transforms simple motors into intelligent machines that tell operators about their operating conditions and when they need servicing.
The sensor can be applied to almost any low-voltage motor, whether new or already in use, to provide actionable information on a motor’s condition to avoid unexpected breakdowns and optimize performance.
“We are very proud that we were able to jointly develop our revolutionary smart sensor solution with the Swatch Group in Switzerland,” says ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “Partnerships are an important part of our Next Level strategy. The cooperation with Swatch is an impressive demonstration of what two such innovative industrial companies can achieve.”
Applied to the estimated 300 million electric motors in service around the world today, the resulting reduction in energy consumption would be equivalent to the capacity of 100 power plants.
As well as significant potential savings on maintenance and repair, the new technology allows operators to take advantage of the opportunities of digitalization and cloud-based technologies offered by the ABB concept of Internet of Things, Services and People.
The solution is secure because the smart sensor is not electrically connected to the motor, so cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties. The smart sensor wirelessly transmits data via encryption protocols to a secure server where they are analyzed using special algorithms.