Case: ABB

Saving power wisely

Drives is part of the worldwide ABB organization, designing and supplying electrical drive equipment for industrial and commercial use. ABB’s variable speed drives are especially environmentally friendly because of the considerable energy savings they bring about in pump and fan applications.

Predisys and the ABB drives factory in Finland have been working together since 2000, implementing Predisys eCoach™ (now rebranded Predisys Analytical Suite) at a drives production line in Helsinki. Predisys also trains ABB employees in getting the most out of the eCoach™ solution.

Efficiency in quality control

During the complex production of AC drives, a large quantity of data is produced. This data is used to control quality on the production line and to further enhance the seamless flow of production. Stored in the factory's central database, all data can be retrieved according to the needs of each eCoach™ user. Quality trends can be followed with the use of set information retrieved at chosen intervals and with set parameters. Automated reports ensure continuity and online information that is precise and error-free.

ABB's recent newsletter reveals the benefits of eCoach™ and its return-on-investment: eCoach™ resolves a soldering bottleneck

A new web-based quality tool that collects, analyses and reports process data has resolved a soldering bottleneck on a production line at the drives factory in Helsinki. Defects and process interruptions have more than halved since March 2000. Since its start-up in 1998, the production line in Helsinki has experienced a bottleneck in the soldering process that occurred when the power semiconductors and the main circuit board were welded together. The correct soldering parameters could not be tracked down and it was difficult to schedule the maintenance need of the soldering robot.

The results of the 'conventional' method of collecting information on paper were non-uniform and ambiguous. A study revealed that the reason for the soldering problems was often the worn-out soldering tip of the robot. In March 2000 the web-based eCoach™ was installed on the production line. The system installation and implementation took three months, including the system server, a customized data acquisition interface and training.

eCoach™ does not burden the company's data systems.

On the production line, eCoach™ reads the product type data saved in the assembly palette's memory, and uses this information to evaluate the soldering process. The 'fact-based management' of data has considerably improved the soldering process, and defects and process interruptions have more than halved since March 2000.

 

Tuukka Lintula, Quality Manager for the production line, comments: "A key benefit of the new tool is that the soldering process data is now available on the PC screen of any ABB employee who needs this information. All database queries take place in the system server, only the results in different views are displayed on the PC. eCoach™ is a smart system - it does not burden the company's own data networks. All maintenance and corrective actions done on the robot are registered in the system, and the robot's maintenance schedule is very easy to plan, based on this information."

ABB: Environmentally sound power and automation technologies

ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering their environmental impact. It is the world's leading supplier of AC and DC drive products and systems for use in industrial, commercial and residential applications, improving the manageability, efficiency and energy economy of processes.

Predisys has worked together with the Finnish ABB, which is a market leader in the design and supply of electrical drive equipment for industrial and commercial use. Installation work to integrate eCoach™ into the drives production line in Helsinki began in 2000 with the goal of ensuring the flow of precise and error-free information, which is needed during production.