ACROSS societies and economies, many take it for granted that there is reliable power at the flip of a switch, that water flows at the turn of a tap, or that goods are readily available. What’s rarely considered, are the sophisticated, interconnected processes, systems, technologies, and operations working around the clock to enable everyday life as many know it.
ABB’s ‘Making a World of Difference’ programme demonstrates how its automating, electrifying, and digital technologies are making a world of difference by enabling industries to become more efficient and sustainable, from hydrogen and mining to water, shipping, emissions monitoring, and automation. ABB’s involvement also extends to hydrocarbons, pulp and paper, ports, food and beverage, and metals. “Our technologies and experts orchestrate industrial processes, machinery and systems to operate seamlessly and efficiently to enable our everyday,” says local division manager, ABB, John Manuell.
At the heart of this seeming ‘magic’ in the background is process automation. For nearly 50 years, automated measurement and control of plants and processes has been central to empowering the industries that provide the basic building blocks of everyday lives – power, water, metals, minerals, chemicals, and transportation – to reliably meet daily needs.
Today, fuelled by economic and population growth, these industries are working hard to meet one of their greatest challenges: reducing emissions and increasing the share of low-carbon sources in their energy mix. ABB’s integrated automation and electrical systems are essential to supporting industries on their sustainability journey, helping control production while optimising the use of power and navigating the energy transition.
ABB has built and maintained a leadership position in distributed control systems (DCS) that are at the heart of some of the largest and most critical operations on the planet.
For many producers, a key action is to electrify processes formerly powered by combustion and fossil fuels, to enable a transition to greener energy sources. Integrated process and electrical control and power management increase the energy efficiency of operations and reliably incorporate renewable energy sources. Digital technologies furthermore allow experts to cost-effectively design and deploy such integrated systems for efficiency, ease of use, and energy optimisation.
To maximise economies of scale, many plants today produce single commodities. At the same time, demand for customisation drives smaller, specialised plants that are close to the customer. Automation must scale to address these varying needs. Automation is a significant asset base for producers, and often the digital core of the business. As digitalisation progresses, operational and information technology will converge, allowing value-adding applications to run on the ‘edge’ of the process, or in the cloud.
“The control system of tomorrow will leverage new business models that facilitate change, while conforming to workplace expectations. ‘automation-as-a-service’, with readily accessible and selectable applications, will provide options alongside traditional business