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Process performance software solutions

Digital solutions maximizing the profitability of industrial processes - in a repeatable, time-efficient and systematic manner

Process performance with ABB:  Our offering  |  Expert insights |  Your journey  |  Analyst views  |  Testimonials  |    Cyber security  | Digital transformation

If you are looking to capture additional throughput, recovery and consistent quality while reducing energy and consumables -  accelerating autonomous operations in process industries
  • find and implement cost efficiencies within process constraints
  • benchmark your process performance, evaluate reliability of measurements, optimization potential
  • identify process models from data, capturing the intricate relations between various parameters
  • use dynamic model-predictive control automatically adjusting to changes & learning from patterns
  • foster continuous improvement & long-term changes based on monitoring, analytics & simulation
  • let your process engineers teach machines, improving accuracy of AI /ML techniques and enable autonomous operations they can trust

Our offering

Make the next step towards self-optimizing processes - your Process Digital Twin

by solution type
by industry & application

Expert Insights

Your Process Performance journey

Design your process control system applications simply by parametrizing well-tested pre-engineered process control and power control libraries addressing most typical operational situations.High Performance Graphics and alarm rationalization help focus on the most critical process issues. With simplified fault-finding and fast access to relevant information, your engineers can go beyond good process control (keeping the process on setpoint) and think about good process management (keeping the process’s setpoint at a profitable point).

Model-based advanced process control (APC) strategies are common process performance applications in process industries. This is due to the excellent economic returns demonstrated in an abundance of experience dating back to the eighties. However, their use was for some time limited to a minority of applications, where plants were big enough and similar enough to get a return on the enormous development effort and cost required to implement them.

The new generation of intelligent automation, advanced analytics and AI technologies work in a fundamentally different way, offering the possibility to control and optimize processes from an industrial cloud. IoT platforms offer additional cybersecurity, communication, visualization, and memory infrastructure-critical for the execution of computing-intensive applications.

Working with a partner who understands your processes and has clear focus to bring free data flow across the entire value chain is the best approach to harness the power of digitalization and continuous improvement culture based on monitoring, analytics & simulation.

Analyst and ABB views

International Society of Automation
ARC Advisory Group

Develop a vision for your operations

in throughput


in yield


in energy consumption


in variability


utilization factor




"The new digital solution is a good example of how we can leverage our resources even better to increase our productivity and our margins. Operators are able to simulate both their own and overall processes in advance, helping to reduce the risk of unplanned shutdowns."

Ingela Ekebro, Project director at SCA pulp mill

SCA Östrand to increase pulp mill efficiency with integrated, digitalized automation solution

This marks the first time in the pulp industry that an integrated automation solution will manage end-to-end production — from the woodyard to the baling line — from a single control room. ABB Ability™ Advanced Process Control stabilizes pulp production, reduces chemical usage and coordinates the numerous loops to incur optimum, on-specification, pulp quality at minimum variance. It allows operators to have full control over the system and provides insight to keep power supply and production processes at continuous high levels.

Operators can control the system against key ratios, such as reducing operating costs while keeping processes within emissions restrictions. They are able to simulate both their own and overall processes in advance, helping to reduce the risk of unplanned shutdowns.


“Savings of 10% in filler consumption, 20% in retention aid consumption, 15% in polymer consumption, 10% production increase, 10% in sheet break reduction, and a decrease in production cost of $2.50/ton were achieved by effective control of the paper properties. Additionally, optimising the usage of chemicals and utilities, significantly reduced downtime and hence production costs.”

Paper mill in Indonesia

Proactively control retention & reduce ash variability with Wet End Control

Unlike most industrial applications still limited to reactive control schemes that offer mainly single-input single-output control, an MPC (Model Predictive Control) strategy provides a wide scope for proactive control that improves process stability at a lower operational cost.

ABB's Wet End Control APC for paper mills solution improves wet end stability, helping to reduce product variability, chemical usage and sheet breaks while improving machine runnability. To achieve this, it uses dynamic models that automatically adjust to process changes and optimally coordinate chemical dosages in presence of destabilizing back-end process changes.

Available as a subscription-based service, mills can further benefit from continuous monitoring and further control tuning for sustainable results.


“Acting as an ‘autopilot’, the solution drives the process towards more profitable operation via modeling and optimization techniques. It reduces the need for operators to continuously monitor and modify processes around the clock. Remote access support and KPI tracking by ABB expects ensure that the benefits are sustained over the life cycle of the plant.”

Indian steel plant

Enabling ironmakers to squeeze more value out of existing processes

Control of the drying kilns, indurating machine burners and grinding circuits with conventional PID controllers is unstable, mainly due to process delays.

APC for metals maintained the individual temperature profile, delivering a 15% reduction in standard deviation for the indurating machine temperature profile along the indurating machine burner zone, improving pellet quality and reducing burner fuel consumption by ensuring burn-out temperature is reached at the right location.

APC maintained the outlet temperature of the iron ore dryer at the desired setpoint despite intermittent disturbance in feed rate and process delays.

APC was installed on a grinding circuit that included a roller-press with static V-separator and single chamber ball mill, improving control performance with a 4% productivity increase, 3% energy savings and 60% reduction of returns standard deviation.


ABB dramatically improved SO2 emission control and helped to significantly reduce hydrate consumption by 11%. "Previously we found it difficult juggling all the hydrate injection points with other pressing plant distractions. Now it is all handled by Expert Optimizer.”

Wolfgang Schulz, Plant Operator at CEMEX

ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer improved SO2 emission control at a CEMEX plant in Germany

ABB utilized established advanced process control techniques to reduce emission variability. This allowed the plant to run closer to targets and constraints, ensuring zero emission violations while decreasing unnecessary hydrate overdosing and consumption. 

The controller reduced operator workload by automatically optimizing the short-term exhaust SO2 target based on the current daily average. There are two optimization modes that allow the operator to select either normal or aggressive optimization, based on whether to target the daily average below the limit at the end of the day or within the next 30 minutes. ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer automatically adjusts the multiple feeder points of lime hydrate to ensure the SO2 and HCL targets are stringently met.

A study highlights the value of simulations and exciting development opportunities with the AI technology. "It is important to use accurate simulation models and well-defined goal functions. Because an algorithm is only able to solve the problems formulated for it, process know-how and experience are at least as important in this type of development as classic process control."

 Johannes Sikström, Project Manager at Boliden

A study was conducted at Boliden to see if technology is available today that could make concentrators self-learning.

“At systems technology, we develop dynamic simulations of our processes. These simulations can be used in the same way as a game where we define what is a win and what is a loss. In the case of self-learning algorithms – so-called deep learning or reinforcement learning – the challenge is the great quantity of data necessary for the algorithm to learn enough about the system for it to make effective decisions. 

This is why games are such a major area within AI research. Games are well suited to enable algorithms to train themselves, and what constitutes a successful result – a win – is also well defined,”

"Smart components and state-of-the-art software in stockyards are gathering data about the status, operational health and locations of machines and processes. The resulting “digital twins” – virtual copies of machines, processes and entire facilities – are enabling real-time super­vision, planning, automated reporting and simulation of stockyards, thus opening the door to fully automated and ­autonomous operation."

Andre Herzog, Digital Material Handling

ABB's Stockyard Management System allows users to optimize their operations by tracking materials and predicting their flows

When applied to managing mining operations, ports or steel plants, the digital twin of a material handling chain provides the operator with a real-time inventory. Material tracking is realized by evaluating all available process data from a facility’s controllers or central control system. Based on the speed of conveyors, materials are tracked by tonnage or volume in material segments.

All available material properties and quality information can then be associated with the material via automated data interfaces. As this takes place, a calculated pile stacking model is built up based on the tracked belt segments.

To meet goals such as optimized yard utilization, planning, scheduling, and, ultimately, fully autonomous yard machine operation, SYMS provides a stockyard overview and an intuitive multifunction 3D client.

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Cyber security and data ownership

ABB's process performance digital solutions support all the deployment variants needed: on premise, on ABB managed or customer manages cloud, on customer private cloud / data center. You own your data. We ensure defence in depth cyber security, data protection, reliability, privacy, intellectual property.

The Cyber Security Reference Architecture is an ABB-developed design standard for industrial systems and associated security controls. ABB engineering teams use the architecture during system deployments, and ABB service units use it to update and modernize existing customer networks to bring them in line with current cyber security standards and best practices.

ABB Ability™ digital services have successfully improved the cyber security of industrial sites across the globe. Many customers have scheduled risk assessments as part of their ongoing annual service agreements, while others have implemented cyber security analytics dashboards to continuously monitor, diagnose and resolve security issues.


ABB’s security measures in the Reference Architecture meet or exceed IEC 62443-3-3 security level 2 (SL2) as defined in foundational requirement section 5 (RE5). It also aligns with other common standards such as the NIST framework, ISO 27001 and NERC-CIP. Implementing the reference architecture does not guarantee passage of external certification audits; however, ABB can support compliance for specific security standards with additional recommendations.

Digital transformation partnership: you think big, we get practical.

For every industrial operation ambitious about Industry 4.0, ABB has built a framework to help drive and manage a complex change.

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