Smart Systems / Product Innovation / Technology Strategist / Data Analytics

ABB streamlines path to mounted-bearing performance

By Keith Larson

Jan 31, 2019

The ABB Ability Smart Sensor for Dodge mounted bearings is the latest addition to the company’s Digital Powertrain offering, a digital solution suite created to monitor, model and optimize the performance of industrial powertrain systems. This latest wireless sensor—combined with smartphone app and cloud portal—enables users of mounted bearings from ABB as well as other manufacturers to quickly and easily improve the safety, reliability and uptime of rotating equipment operations.

The smart sensor technology provides an early indicator of any potential problems by assessing the condition of bearings from vibration and temperature information. This helps to prevent downtime on applications such as bulk material handling conveyors typically found in the mining, aggregate and cement industries, as well as applications in the food and beverage and air handling sectors.

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The ABB Ability Smart Sensor for mounted bearings provides an easy, cost-effective way to monitor their health.

The sensor uses the latest algorithms to assess, manage and ensure performance of components. Eighty percent of bearing failures are lubrication related and a bearing “running hot” can indicate that proper lubrication procedures are not in place. Monitoring a bearing’s vibration can indicate potential system problems.

The smart sensor easily mounts to the bearing via an unused lubricant port (photo) and communicates wirelessly via a smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled device. This capability keeps employees safe, enabling easy access to the health data of bearings in locations that may be difficult or dangerous to reach. If desired, bearing data can be synched to the ABB Ability cloud for archival storage or further analysis via workers’ smartphones, or through a Bluetooth gateway connected to the plant’s IT infrastructure.

“Bearings are critical components in conveyor systems and are often the first indicator of a system problem,” says Artur Rdzanek, product manager for sensor technologies, Dodge mechanical products at ABB. “Displaying the health status of the bearing enables operators to quickly and safely identify a potential problem, which allows them to schedule maintenance and prevent unplanned downtime.”

“There are tens of millions of Dodge mounted bearings in operation today, so they are a logical target for monitoring to improve reliability and performance,” adds Matt Frady, general product manager for ABB’s Dodge mounted bearings offering. The ABB Ability Smart Sensor for mounted bearings builds on the organization’s 120-year history of mounted bearings expertise, adds Frady. “This is a transformation for Dodge as well. It helps us step into the digital world.”

The ABB Ability Smart Sensor for mounted bearings is part of the company’s ABB Ability offering, which brings together all of ABB’s digital solutions and services, each built from a unique combination of sector knowledge, technology leadership and digital expertise.