ABB technology at the forefront: Digital center optimizes customer production

With digital solutions, ABB Collaborative Operations Centers improve productivity and cyber security for Sweden customers. Next step: complement the digital offering with AI solutions.

“This is the future!”

This is how Mathias Nygren describes the ABB Collaborative Operations Center, which delivers ABB Ability™ Advanced Digital Services for customers’ assets and processes, including for automation and cyber security. Today, the center supports more than 40 customers around Sweden, and the number grows with customers worldwide.

“With the help of digitalization, we want to help our customers get the most out of their facilities,” said Nygren, who is responsible for the Collaborative Operations Center in Sweden.

The advanced technological center is the link that connects digitalization, advanced maintenance and process optimization to support ABB customers. With digital services for performance optimization, remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, the facility helps to improve productivity and cyber security for its many customers.

“The key is to solve problems before they arise,” said Nygren. “Today, our customers conduct continuous maintenance of their equipment, regardless of need. With the additional information available through digital services, they can focus on the equipment that really requires immediate action. For our customers, this frees up time for value-creating work.”

Important for BillerudKorsnäs

For BillerudKorsnäs, these digital services are valuable. Every day, the company produces materials for 200 million packages, and as a leading supplier of renewable materials and smart packaging solutions, new technology is an important part of their success. But to be at the forefront of innovation, collaboration on many levels is required, something that the service agreement with ABB supports. This agreement includes a provision for BillerudKorsnäs' production unit in Gävle to connect its ABB Ability™ System 800xA control system to the ABB Collaborative Operations Center. 

“We do not have the same level of expertise of control system that ABB has,” said Andreas Eriksson, service engineer at BillerudKorsnäs. “The Collaborative Operations Center identifies issues early and gives us access to ABB experts. In this way, we prevent disruptions and production losses.”

Handle both systems and processes

How the Collaborative Operations Center adds value to BillerudKorsnäs operations was recently proven when an alarm was triggered. The alarm indicated that an operator interface at the mill showed abnormal values. “If I had received that indication myself, I would not have been able to interpret it,” said Eriksson. “The ABB experts in the Collaborative Operations Center analyzed the error, then ABB field service technicians came here and fixed the issue.”

The incident at BillerudKorsnäs is a good example of one of the advantages of the Collaborative Operations Center: the combination of system and process expertise. At the center, facilities are monitored around the clock, while ABB's network of service engineers around the country ensures that customers can quickly receive site support.

“Thanks to ABB's knowledge of both the systems and our customers' processes, we can offer customers value-creating services,” says Nygren.

Now comes AI and ML

In the near future, Collaborative Operations Center services will be even more advanced. With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, ABB customers will receive even more predictive optimization services for their assets and processes. The ABB experts in Collaborative Operations Centers work closely with ABB’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in its Corporate Research unit to develop even more sophisticated digital services.

“Data and information are prerequisites for applying artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Shiva Sander Tavallaey, AI Lead for ABB Sweden. “Through Collaborative Operations Centers, we access even more data that enables us to develop new advanced AI and ML solutions for our customers.”

“Today, we can monitor, analyze and optimize the customer's facility from the Collaborative Operations Center. And with the help of our service engineers around the country, we can take action on site,” Nygren adds. “When we connect new cutting-edge technology to our services, we can create even higher customer value.”

Facts:

The ABB Collaborative Operations Center in Västerås, Sweden, delivers ABB Ability™ Advanced Digital Services to the Swedish market. The center, which was inaugurated in March 2018, has deep expertise in mining and serves customers all over the world. Examples of services the Collaborative Operations Center provides are Performance Optimization for hoists; Smart Ventilation for mining; proactive optimization of ABB Ability™ System 800xA; and Performance Optimization for control loops, cyber security and drives. New services are being developed continuously.

Caption:

“ABB's strong R&D culture is a great asset for us,” says Mathias Nygren, head of Collaborative Operations Center in Sweden. “We have the AI lab which helps us to continuously develop our services and to build the solutions of the future together with our customers.”

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