12 Jul 2024

Accelerating digitalisation

ABBs advanced digital solutions are empowering mills to overcome pressing challenges by enabling data driven decision making. Image ABB

ABB has announced it has launched Do More With Digital, a global campaign highlighting the opportunities for the process industries to realise their full potential through digital transformation.

Leveraging its deep ties across pulp and paper, mining, metals and cement, ABB says it recognises a significant opportunity to continue equipping these sectors with advanced industry-specific solutions, driving their digitalisation journey and allowing them to accelerate their adoption curve in a shorter timeframe.

ABB says while these industries will continue to be enhanced through technology development using the likes of generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI), data analytics, machine learning (ML), cloud and edge computing, they are also considered hard-to-abate due to the volume of production, location of operations, energy and heat chemistry, and many other factors. World Economic Forumi reports that digital solutions can accelerate net zero in high-emission industries, delivering up to 20% of the total reduction that the International Energy Agency says is needed by 2050. ABB is leveraging its experience of previous energy transitions, its recent record in industrial software development, and its 140 years of heritage across multiple industries to guide customers on their digitalisation journeys.

ABB says it has worked with customers across the process industries for decades, supporting with the deployment of digital solutions such as advanced process control (APC), energy management systems (EMS), and manufacturing execution systems (MES). These have evolved from original packages to become variations used for distinct industries, with their own tools and libraries, and remain the foundation for advanced technology progression. Customers recognise that they are at different stages of their digitalisation journey often with starters (those embedding digital for the first time), stallers (those piloting a new advanced solution, often with a start-up) or scalers (those moving to the next level, perhaps with a technology company). ABB is currently working across this ecosystem to jointly design and develop new solutions for current and future needs.

“Adoption of advanced digital technologies is still much slower than one might expect in the process industries,” said Sanjit Shewale, Global Business Line Manager for Digital, ABB Process Industries.

“Customers are facing new challenges in proving and scaling up solutions that will drive real, transformative change. However, there are opportunities for all parties to use technologies to retain knowledge of processes in their business as people retire or move on in shorter timeframes than was typical in the past. Through co-creation, there is the chance to show more and do more for positive investment decisions that quickly result in unprecedented levels of energy management, efficiency, sustainability, safety and service.”

ABB says it is currently working with fellow global technology companies to integrate the likes of Gen AI capabilities into the ABB Ability suite of industrial software, supporting industrial companies to improve data collection, unlock insights hidden in operational data, and enable significant gains in efficiency and productivity. Partnerships also exist for initiatives to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions to help industries meet their goals on net-zero emissions. One such example is real-time data transmission using cloud-based software integrated with ABB systems.

ABB says its team embraces what it refers to as five key pillars – operational excellence, process performance, asset performance, sustainability, connected workforce, all with embedded cyber security. ABB considers such a framework when advising industries that need to keep up the rapid pace of innovation, optimize efficiency and, in turn, minimise energy waste and reduce costs.

Company info: ABB GB