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It is estimated that electric motors account for 45 per cent of global electricity demand, and many food and beverage segments place a demand on motors to run continuously for long periods of time. This can lead to premature failure of the motor if it is not monitored closely, according to ABB.

In situations like this, carrying out traditional motor condition monitoring is an expensive and time-consuming process, with unexpected downtime, lost production, and possible secondary damage to other equipment.

However, with IIoT devices, businesses can make use of better big-data analytics and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication to improve energy efficiency and diagnose faults ahead of time.

ABB has developed the ABB Ability Smart Sensor for low-voltage motors, which can be retrofitted to many types of existing low-voltage motors.

It attaches to the motor frame without wires and uses Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate operational data to a smartphone app, desktop PC or in encrypted form to the cloud for advanced analytics.

The sensor collects data including various types of vibration, bearing health, cooling efficiency, airgap eccentricity, rotor winding health, skin temperature, energy consumption, loading, operating hours, number of starts and RPM speed.

The result is that the motor lets the operator know when it's time for a service. Advanced analytics from the cloud can also provide advice on the status and health of the entire fleet.

Data collected by ABB shows that the smart sensor can help users reduce motor downtime by up to 70 per cent, extend the lifetime by as much as 30 per cent and lower energy use by up to 10 per cent, a clear indicator that predictive, rather than reactive, maintenance increases reliability.

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