Shop floor to top floor integration in metals manufacturing

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By Tarun Mathur  LinkedIn
ABB Metals Digital Lead

About the author
Tarun Mathur graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and holds a Master’s degree in mathematical modeling and process control.

He has held several positions in R&D focusing on the development of advanced model-based solutions for process industries.

Tarun is currently focused on projects applying new digital technologies to optimize metals plant performance, processes and quality.

In my previous blog I gave an example of how digitalization is rewriting the story of the metals industry, revolutionizing the melt shop area.  While sensors and other automated sources can provide truly transformative power to the processes, I suggest it is important to build resources for ground teams on the shop floor to feed in information as well.

The impact of any digitalization solution is directly proportional to the volume of data that forms part of data collection, the number of data points and how they are organized, as well as the frequency at which data is updated. More data points and higher updating frequency imply better utilization and impact of the platform. A smartphone app for asset management support on the ABB Ability™ platform is designed with this in mind. 

Adding to the power of data through last mile integration

I believe that with Industry 4.0 comes the opportunity to have access to information at your fingertips. Most IIoT systems present data and analytics-driven insights on dashboards, which act as the single source of information from across the value chain. While several of these data points pertain to sensors and other automated sources, I suggest it important to build resources for ground teams to feed in information as well.  


On the ABB Ability™ platform, we have addressed this need for shop floor level detail to be captured using a simple mechanism – the smartphone. A smartphone-based app plays a key role in the asset management component of the platform. It is easy to install and use, working with standard inbuilt smartphone features such as a QR code reader and the camera.  

Empowered operatives

The app helps operatives working on asset maintenance at the floor level to follow simple workflows and implement maintenance tasks. The primary factor we kept in mind while designing the app was to ensure that it is highly intuitive – all an operative does is use the point-and-scan functionality to scan an equipment nameplate or a QR code, view health status, add notes (including voice notes) / media (photographs, videos) and update the status.  

The ABB Ability™ mobile app for shop floor operatives uses in-built smartphone features for operations management and data gathering

Powerful reporting, analytical and remote support

Integrate your shop floor information

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