Sasol optimizes operations with ABB Ability™ digital switchgear solutions

Sasol optimizes operations with ABB Ability™ digital switchgear solutions

Sasol adds ABB Ability™ digital low-voltage switchgear to the proven mobile substation concept. With MNS® Digital switchgear, customers gain access to real-time data and condition monitoring to optimize operations and deliver cost savings of up to 30 percent.

ABB has extended its support for Sasol to minimize process downtime as they continue the large-scale substation upgrade project at the Secunda petrochemical plant in South Africa. Following the successful introduction of ABB’s flexible and innovative mobile substation solution with medium-voltage switchgear UniGear Digital, Sasol has opted to expand the concept by adding ABB Ability™ LV Switchgear - MNS Digital.

Sasol initiated a replacement roadmap in the early 2000s, and included therein, the project at the Secunda plant to refurbish aging equipment in the substations. ABB and Sasol cooperated closely to engineer a flexible power supply solution to keep the critical process running while the replacements were made. The mobile substation concept was introduced, where the UniGear Digital switchgear solution was placed in a prefabricated metal enclosure, an eHouse, which was then installed on a truck trailer. Installing the solution on the truck trailer made it easy to swiftly and efficiently relocate it to wherever it is needed.

The MNS Digital delivery consists of two LV motor control center (MCC) replacements that have been installed in an eHouse. Sasol installed their first LV MCC from the MNS platform over twenty years ago. Now, to help proactively manage the operations, the next generation solution of LV switchgear, MNS Digital, has been introduced to enable Sasol to make informed choices, optimize maintenance cycles, and avoid unplanned outages. With MNS Digital, customers like Sasol can gain operating cost savings of up to 30 percent, as the solution provides access to real-time data, which supports fast and accurate decision making.

“Extending the mobile substation solution to include ABB’s digital low-voltage switchgear is confirmation of our customer’s trust in our technologies as enabled by ABB’s customer-first mindset that permeates everything we do," said Marco Tellarini, Product Group Managing Director in ABB’s Distribution Solutions Division. “ABB’s solutions support our customers to improve their productivity and proactively manage their operation to generate a positive impact on their bottom line.”

Not only does the MNS Digital benefit operations, it also enhances the personal safety of employees, a key consideration for Sasol. With MNS Digital, Sasol has a completely arc fault contained system. With digital communication, safety is further strengthened, as the operator is made aware of emerging faults and can perform the necessary actions to avoid potentially hazardous situations and equipment failures.

Building on a decade’s worth of experience in pioneering the digitalization of switchgear, ABB’s MNS Digital is a scalable, modular, LV smart switchgear and motor control center. MNS Digital incorporates intelligent devices with a data interface to enable remote operation monitoring and condition-based maintenance. It gives the operator access to real-time data from across their operations, opening up new possibilities in intelligent devices, IoT (Internet of Things) and cloud technology. MNS Digital can connect to the ABB AbilityTM cloud platform, a local SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) or ECMS (electrical control and monitoring system) to extend the Automation System 800xA or other types of distributed process control systems.

With MNS Digital customers gain access to the ABB Ability™ Condition Monitoring for electrical systems tool, which helps operators determine when maintenance should be performed. The approach provides savings over time-based regular maintenance. Maintenance tasks can be performed only when required, as the operator receives real-time data to monitor the current status of the equipment. This supports decision-making, and most importantly, avoids costly equipment malfunctions.

ABB’s low- and medium-voltage digital switchgear solutions, MNS Digital and UniGear Digital, incorporate intelligent components to enable safe, flexible and smart electrical networks that deliver power reliably and efficiently. These ABB Ability™ solutions are built on ABB’s well-established switchgear families and solid experience of pioneering the digitalization of power distribution networks.

  • MNS Digital LV switchgear
  • UniGear Digital MV switchgear
  • Mobile eHouse


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