At an ABB customer event at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, in China, last month, ABB launched its MNS Digital switchgear, which enables electrification systems to become part of the Internet of Things (IoT).
ABB product marketing director Avi Ramdhin explains that the MNS Digital is aimed at renewing the company’s commitment to developing the next generation of intelligent low-voltage switchgears.
Some of the added features include the ability to become proactive, not reactive, send the right information to the right person, have a live data base of possible faults during fault- finding operations, and monitor the temperature connection.
“All this information enables our customers to spend their maintenance budget where it is required and not on equipment that does not need to be maintained,” Ramdhin states.
He explains that ABB has added smart electronics, edge computing and cloud technology to create its first digital low-voltage smart switchgear solution with built-in intelligent functions.
“MNS Digital is a scalable, modular motor control centre, with connected IoT intelligent features that allow for remote operation, monitoring and condition-based maintenance,” he says, adding that when the switchgear is connected to the internal (LAN) network, users can access the MNS Digital from anywhere in the world using the Internet.
Ramdhin points out that the MNS Digital switchgear can be set up to send individual alarm types to specified people through the Internet. He adds that, for security reasons, the proper access codes and cybersecurity needs to be in place when connecting the system to the LAN network.
Further, he points out that the solution connects to the ABB Ability cloud platform, which is a local supervisory control and data acquisition that connects the switchgear to an extended automation system called 800xA or other types of distributed process control systems.
“Powered by big data processing systems, the platform can predict problems before they happen, and opportunities not considered before. MNS Digital switchgears provide a complete real-time solution, with integrated data connectivity and optimised reporting to assist and enable operators to make informed choices on the maintenance, operation and performance of their platform,” he explains.
Ramdhin highlights that using the MNS Digital switchgear enables end-users to customise maintenance strategies. Setting up the alarms and directing these alarms to the correct person will reduce the fault-finding time.
“One example will be to add an alarm on the insertion cycle of a module. By adding this alarm, the switchgear will send an email to the correct person when this alarm is active,” he adds.
He explains that a message will also be sent to the job card system to activate the maintenance process. “In this way, money is spent on the equipment that is really needed.”
Ramdhin points out that the transition to Industry 4.0 and Maintenance 4.0 requires flexible, scalable and modular switchgear platforms, which have built-in intelligence and IoT.
“We are committed to developing these next-generation solutions, which enable our customers to access the right information at the right time, supporting fast and accurate decision-making and allowing for operating cost savings of up to 30%,” he says.
Ramdhin concludes that several companies in South Africa use systems that are similar to the MNS Digital switchgear, inclusive of different segments. We are well diversified in the mining, data centre, petrochemicals, utilities as well as the food and beverage industries.