ABB Power Grids' plant in Ludvika have installed their own cellular network together with Telia and Ericsson in collaboration with AFRY (formerly ÅF Pöyry).
The plant manufactures winding couplers, an important component in transformers. Among other things, wireless torque drawers which require reliable and robust data have been connected to the cellular network. This gives the machine operator reliable real-time data and thus complete control of the number of torque wires which ensures the quality of the winding coupler. The goal is also to upgrade the existing cellular network with 5G technology, which means faster transmission speeds, shorter response times and more network capacity; important when more critical systems and machines are connected. These systems include AI initiatives ABB is carrying out with Telia and Ericsson.
"With its own cellular network, ABB Power Grids now has access to a robust and secure infrastructure for all the critical data flowing between different systems in a connected factory. It will also be a platform for innovation where they can test new technologies with more partners and we are now having a dialogue about how we can connect a larger part of production to take digitalization to the next level", says Magnus Leonhardt, Head of Innovation and Business Development at Telia Sweden.
The project is part of ABB Power Grids' ongoing digitalization work and efforts are being made to integrate more digital solutions in the factory to further optimize and streamline production.
"We are looking at, among other things, remote control of different processes which benefit us from a safety, efficiency and quality perspective. Another example is optimization and distance monitoring of our drying plants, which are in principle 24 hours a day, seven days a week and thus require some monitoring", says Tobias Hansson, Deputy Head of ABB Power Grids in Ludvika and European Head of Power Transformers. "For us, it is important to stay at the forefront, we have been developing innovations that have changed the world for more than 100 years, which is why I think it is central that we also dare to invest in new technology that is available to develop our own business."
"5G creates entirely new conditions for industry. By installing the latest mobile technology in production, ABB Power Grids has obtained a fast, robust solution with real-time data that does not leak outside the area, which was a basic prerequisite for a secure data analysis", says Erik Josefsson, Head of Advanced Industries at Ericsson.
"The technology that is installed in the factory makes it possible to gather more knowledge about the products during production, to detect errors at an earlier stage and to provide greater transparency and traceability. In the long term, technology will allow for increased automation as well as the use of machine-learning and AI applications, which is not possible with traditional technology."