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Making the move to digital service solutions

ABB solution experts give their advice on how digital services can support customers in the face of situations that might disrupt normal process operations, such as the current global epidemic.

Dr. David Lincoln

Digital Lead for ABB Measurement & Analytics

Mr. Roger Widenka

Global Product Manager for Instrumentation Service

How can customers keep operations running smoothly if they have a shortage of trained staff on-site?

Roger Widenka: “Some of our customers have already started the journey towards reducing their on-site resources in favor of digital solutions.  They are looking for effective ways to control the long term costs associated with third- party maintenance support and reduce the environmental impact of regular travel.”

David Lincoln: “Technological developments reduce the need for travel, and this is making it easier for customers to maintain plants themselves because with intuitive technology there is a reduced need for skilled intervention, and more and more tasks can be done remotely.”

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Cybersecurity is critically important, what measures does ABB take to protect customers who use digital solutions for servicing?

David Lincoln: “We understand the need for customers to ask this question, security is vital to their business.  By way of reassurance, I can say quite unreservedly that security is fundamental to our work at ABB – it is part of our ‘corporate DNA’ if I can describe it that way.  Our long-standing work in critical infrastructure sectors means our focus on cybersecurity is intense and uncompromising.  We treat the issue extremely seriously and work with our customers to co-develop powerful security and privacy measures.  All our staff, IS systems, R&D processes, products, software and Service support follow security best practices.

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What are the advantages of switching from traditional service visits to using advanced digital services?

Roger Widenka: “Time saved on maintenance, and deeper insight into device diagnostics are amongst the key benefits – that’s because you can react proactively based on the data. You can identify potential future failures, and with ABB condition monitoring services we are able to recommend the right services to reduce downtime.”

David Lincoln: “Another advantage is the reduced training requirement for staff. Typically, customers would need to invest time and money to up-skill staff which can be costly. And what if workers trained with these skills are absent, sick, or they leave the company?  Advanced digital services provide access to expert advice and support remotely, minimizing these risks. Many of our customers have already started using these technologies, others are considering how best to make the move into digital solutions.

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What ABB Advanced Digital Solutions are customers using to access remote servicing for their products?

Roger Widenka: “These are some of the solutions our customers are already finding useful for remote servicing:

• Dynamic QR Code Assistance for analyzers
• My Measurement Assistant 
• ABB Ability™ Verification for measurement devices
• ABB Ability™ Condition Monitoring for measurement devices 
• Visual Remote Support

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How does Dynamic QR Code Assistance for Analyzers work?

David Lincoln: "This technology is a good way of gaining access to a lot of data from a device by simply scanning a QR code.  If the device is proving problematic, it gives the experts the information they need to resolve the issue. It is the type of solution that enables us to support a customer and resolve device problems remotely and fast."

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What is ABB Ability™ Verification for measurement devices?

Roger Widenka: “This is our software for providing the customer with detailed reports describing the condition of their devices, which enables them to plan maintenance. We offer customers the opportunity to download a free version which will give them a PASS/FAIL result on the health status of their devices, and we also offer enhanced and premium versions."

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“Digital services are fantastic time-savers.” 
- Roger Widenka

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What is My Measurement Assistant? How does that work?

David Lincoln: “It’s our free mobile application – a progressive web app that gives the customer access to commissioning, troubleshooting checklists and downloadable video tutorials. When technicians have access to this level of information, they can better self-maintain and speed up critical processes."

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How does ABB Ability™ Condition Monitoring for measurement devices save time for customers?

Roger Widenka: “Reducing the need for a technician on-site saves time and increases the safety of employees. Customers can schedule remote product health checks and it generates reliable early warnings that recommend maintenance actions, which minimizes unplanned downtime.”

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Augmented Reality sounds exciting – is it easy to use?

David Lincoln: “Augmented Reality is the next wave of technological advancement, and it brings a whole new level of remote support to customers.  Many aspects of it are very easy to use because you only need a tablet, such as an iPad, and you instantly have real-time visual and audio access to an ABB expert.  AR enables us to guide a customer through commissioning, start-up, and fault finding in unprecedented ways, and there is considerable knowledge-transfer benefit to the customer.  The recipient of AR support walks through the operation, with expert guidance.”

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“The world is changing fast and there is a necessity to move to digital, and the sooner we move the better.”
- David Lincoln

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If you had to use just two words to summarize the benefits of digital servicing, what would they be?

Roger Widenka: “Save time!  There are various things that can cause delays to plant servicing. For example, during maintenance season, there can be time to wait for a service technician to become available, or a customer might have an employee critical to the servicing process on sick leave. The major advantage of switching to advanced digital services is that they are not dependent on any other circumstances. The overriding advantage of ‘digital’ is that it is entirely focused on the main task of keeping the plant up-and-running to earn revenue.”

David Lincoln: “Stay competitive!  The world is changing fast, and by harnessing the benefits of digital our customers can transfer our expertise right into the heart of their businesses. We are inviting our customers to go on this journey with us - the sooner, the better. The technology is available to start today.”

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