European copper producer uses ABB digital solutions to increase uptime by up to 10%

European copper producer uses ABB digital solutions to increase uptime by up to 10%

With the help of real-time data insights and service expertise, Aurubis Olen was able to make better decisions that improved the uptime of its production unit. Aurubis Olen is part of the Aurubis Group, one of Europe’s leading copper producers.

Unexpected downtime does not only cost a lot of money, but it can also affect the production and growth of downstream industries that rely on copper production. Electrical motor-driven application availability and reliability were hence the primary concern for Aurubis Olen, which produces copper cathodes with 99.99 percent purity.

Aurubis Olen decided to adopt a predictive maintenance strategy that allowed them to make better decisions resulting in increased uptime. This was achieved by handing over the performance tracking of their motors and drives to ABB experts. This allowed its maintenance personnel to focus on other critical tasks at its Olen metal recycling plant in Belgium. 

ABB Ability™ Monitoring Service for maximized reliability

Aurubis installed ABB digital monitoring solutions on 22 ABB and non-ABB motors and an ABB DC drive which are driving applications such as ovens, ventilators, and conveyor belts, and by receiving expert recommendations,  plant operators were able to make better decisions for improved maintenance and identify any issues with the assets on time while at the same time giving them time to focus on strategic tasks.

With the ABB Ability™ Monitoring Service, ABB analyzes and tracks the performance of assets, such as motors and drives, and provides regular updates on the status of those assets to Aurubis. Since the plant operators have knowledge of the actual condition, it’s possible to optimize production stops, which in turn shortens the downtime.

Aurubis Olen was notified that for certain motors, the revolutions per minute (rpm) were either too high or were rising to achieve the same speed. They were also informed that the vibration in one of their motors had increased, which was the result of a weak mechanical connection between the motor shaft and the machine that, if left unattended, would have resulted in unplanned downtime. Due to the continuous monitoring of assets and the ABB expertise, Aurubis Olen was able to detect these problems and fix them on time, bringing an increase of around 10 percent in the uptime of the monitored motors.

Thanks to the data insights and expert monitoring coming from ABB, Aurubis Olen optimized its maintenance.  Regular updates on the status of different assets are shared between ABB service experts and Aurubis Olen, which allows for better preparation for planned shutdowns. The results are quite impressive and we are looking to gradually expand ABB’s remote monitoring throughout the production plant in Olen.

By having their motors remotely monitored by service experts, ABB customers can make better operational decisions and stay one step ahead with accurate status information about the health and performance of their equipment. The data insights collected from connected assets are accessed and analyzed by experts who provide actionable recommendations for increased performance, energy efficiency, and reliability.


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