ABB Rolls Out Condition Monitoring Service for Predictive Maintenance of Conveyor Belts

June 28, 2021 by Sara McCaslin

ABB recently released ABB’s Ability Condition Monitoring, a digital toolbox to support condition monitoring of industrial conveyor belt systems.

When a conveyor belt fails or loses its ability to operate at acceptable performance levels, it will impact the material handling system of which it is part. This can result in downtime and production losses, both of which are costly. 

The ability to provide real-time condition monitoring of conveyor belts is critical, and ABB has developed a digital solution to the problem with their Ability Condition Monitoring system.


Challenges of Monitoring the Conditions of Conveyor Belts

From mining operations to warehouses, conveyor belts are critical to many different industrial operations that involve material handling. Monitoring the condition of these belts can be extremely challenging, especially when data for predictive maintenance is sought. Without this type of data, conveyor systems are difficult to schedule timely maintenance for and risk a higher incidence of unexpected failures. 


The ABB Ability Condition Monitoring Service provides indicators that support predictive maintenance and permanence optimization for conveyor belt systems. Image used courtesy of ABB


With the increasing demand for predictive maintenance of conveyor belts, ABB has responded with their solution, the Ability Condition Monitoring.


Key Features of ABB Ability Condition Monitoring

ABB Ability Condition Monitoring is a digital service that provides real-time monitoring of belt performance to support predictive maintenance needs. Sensors designed for use in harsh environments are placed at strategic points along the convey line to track critical data associated with common belt failure modes, including the following:

  • Track speed
  • Thickness
  • Wear
  • Misalignment
  • Slippage
  • Temperature 

ABB’s latest solution aims to provide powerful pre-processing and calculation tools to support condition monitoring and maintenance scheduling with valuable data. Also included are machine learning algorithms that support both condition monitoring and performance optimization. In addition, it can be used to monitor several conveyor belt systems. 

The Ability Condition Monitoring Service can be configured to issue user alarms when these potential failure indicators fall within (or without) user-selected boundaries or are recognized by the machine learning system. Users can also evaluate the data with ABB’s dashboards that provide current data values and how the data has changed over time. 


Actionable Data Integration

The actionable information includes automatic reports from the data that allows real-time corrections to take place, aids in minimizing the impact of downtime, and has the potential to reduce unexpected failures.


A photo demonstrating the capabilities of ABB's new monitoring system. Image used courtesy of ABB



While originally targeted for the mining industry, this service is of use to any industry that depends on conveyor belts for material handling, including automated assembly and manufacturing systems. It is also well adapted for stockyards, ship loading/unloading, stackers, and reclaimers. Ability Condition Monitoring, according to ABB, this system can be used as a stand-alone system or be integrated with any control system.