ABB unveils ability condition monitoring solution for switchgear

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ABB has unveiled a new asset health solution for switchgear (SWICOM), aimed at improving efficiency and operational safety.

With Industry 4.0, increasing focus is placed on the importance of monitoring and diagnostics to improve reliability and make the workplace safer. ABB unveiled a new asset health solution to optimise switchgear using real-time information of the electrical system, ABB ability condition monitoring for switchgear – SWICOM.

Through monitoring and diagnostics of real-time information on the asset health of electrical systems, SWICOM can lower switchgear maintenance costs by up to 30%, prevent unexpected downtime by reducing failures throughout the power process and increase safety.

The consequences of revenue loss due to system failure can be substantial, especially in heavy industries. SWICOM helps to extend asset lifetime, and as a result increase the value of the electrical system investments for each installation.

“Condition monitoring increases availability and reliability of a primary and secondary distribution network, helping to identify a possible failure before it happens through a predictive approach,” said Alessandro Palin, managing director of ABB’s distribution solutions business line. “SWICOM supports optimising of maintenance activities thus ensuring a maximal lifetime, also in case of severe ambient and operational conditions. And, as the switchgear condition is visible without having to open the panels, SWICOM concretely increases safety of personnel.”

Real-time data provides better support for decision making, allowing better analysis, optimisation of operations and improvements in power quality. SWICOM allows site managers and operations managers to monitor the condition of their assets locally via a touch-screen human-machine interface and an intuitive mobile app. Connection with ABB Ability Asset Health for electrical systems – MyRemoteCare – enables visibility and tracking of the plant assets from anywhere in the world.

The solution is applicable to both ABB and OEM switchgear using IEC 61850-based protection. Having SWICOM installed on new switchgear saves time and effort for analysing the switchgear condition. It can provide a cost-efficient solution as just one device supports a full lineup.

SWICOM also fits existing switchgear panels when the circuit breaker and protection relays are upgraded to IEC 61850 standard. It provides a scaleable solution at a scaleable cost – from essential monitoring to fully advanced prognostics, gathering data from the protection relays to additional temperature and partial discharge sensors.