ABB Ability™ Smart Sensors in operation in Vietnamese factories

A low voltage motor is the workhorse of many industries, running a broad range of machines, including conveyors, mixers, pumps and fans. The ABB Ability™ Smart Sensor now makes monitoring the condition of each motor in a plant simple and affordable – tracking the motor’s health and performance is as simple as opening a smartphone application.


An ABB smart sensor is a small, unobtrusive, self-powered device that is attached directly to the motor frame, and most importantly, creates a wireless connection to the cloud. The smart sensor monitors the motor's performance and can detect issues like bearing faults, air gap eccentricity, cooling problems and overloading. It can reveal issues that account for 70 percent of motor failures.

The smart sensor easily fitted to the motor in a matter of minutes. Once installed, the motor's nameplate details and bearing information are fed into the sensor, and a wireless connection is established to transmit data via a smartphone or a gateway to the cloud. Sophisticated algorithms analyze the motor data and convert it into useful actionable information. The sensors are connected to motors at ABB's facilities in Vietnam.

Cuong Le at the ABB transformer factory was on his morning shift as an alert popped up on his computer screen. With a click of a button, he reviewed several multi-color charts of data diagnosing a potential mechanical issue with the two low voltage motors located at the sand blast oven. Reading the vibration data of the two motors, Cuong decided to go down to the factory and check and found that the coupling between the motors and their fan propeller was not working properly. Cuong made some adjustments and the fans returned to normal operation with a standard vibration level.


"My colleagues and I can now easily access each motor's health and operations parameters at any time from smartphones, tablets or PCs," said Cuong. "A quick glance at the screen provides a first-level indication of the motor's condition. Issues like bearing faults, air gap eccentricity, cooling problems and overloading can be easily detected."

In addition to monitoring a motor's health, the ABB AbilityTM Smart Sensor also enables the analysis of energy consumption patterns. This plant engineers to identify and select the correct motor for the actual load and application. The analysis also helps users optimize processes to reduce energy use.

"I have so much accurate data continuously available so easily from operating motors. Thanks to this, my colleagues and I can identify potential problems before they occur. This significantly helps us reduce costs and increase productivity," Cuong added.

ABB has recently equipped low voltage motors with smart sensors at its own transformer and high voltage products manufacturing facilities in Vietnam as part of a demonstration of the benefits of its new technologies.


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