ABB Wireless

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Wireless Network Management System Benefits

With the advent and recent acceleration of the Internet of Things, Services and People (IoTSP), increasing ‘connectedness’ is driving both organizations and individuals to expect more flexibility and an up-to-date flow of information. We believe modern wireless field area communication networks are critical to building oil & gas, utilities, mining and industrial control system applications; so therefore, managing those networks becomes paramount to successful operations.

Wireless Network Management System

access point

ABB's SuprOS communication network management system, for both wired and wireless networks, provides network-wide visualization tools for fault, configuration and performance management from a single console. Through its web-based interface, it streamlines and minimizes costs of deployment, optimization, operation, and maintenance of ABB communication networks, ensuring networks that are secure, reliable and efficient. A key advantage is the ease with which initial network deployments, expansions, and reconfigurations take place. Through use of advanced auto-discovery, networks devices such as mesh routers are able to automatically find one another, reducing the need for extensive pre-planning, and streamlining network deployment.

Regardless of the industry - oil & gas, utilities, mining or industrial - our wireless network management tools allow you to easily build and scale wireless networks no matter what industrial challenges you face. SuprOS continuously analyzes the network and automatically determines strategies for optimizing performance. Moreover, we have a full line of mesh routers, PTP and PTMP radios, and client nodes all controlled by carrier-class wireless network management software. The perfect wireless network manager is only a click away and we provide the best wireless network management sotware to enable superior next-generation networks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

TropOS 4310-XA Mobile Router

Tropos 4310-XA mobile mesh routers interoperate seamlessly with Tropos fixed routers to deliver a robust, high-performance wireless connectivity solution for mobile workers and equipment.

At vehicular speeds, the mobile routers support voice, video and data connectivity and extend the Tropos fixed network to provide access for handhelds, laptops and other endpoint devices.

Tropos 4310-xa mobile router

The Tropos 4310-XA uses a standard, unlicensed 2.4 GHz radio to connect with clients and other Tropos mesh routers. It is packaged in a rugged, weatherproof enclosure especially suited to extreme applications such as mining, rail transport and other uses subject to harsh operating temperatures, vibration and weather.

An easily deployed solution for increasing the productivity of mobile workforces and enabling mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, Tropos 4310-XA mobile mesh routers can turn any vehicle into a mobile node. When deployed in rail cars, military vehicles or heavy equipment, the mobile router improves operational efficiency and enhances communications.

Tropos 4310-XA mobile routers can also transport video streams from vehicle mounted cameras to an operations center. Real-time of the area around vehicles increases supervisors’ situational awareness to ensure efficient equipment operation while avoiding accidents, injury and property damage. Cameras providing video from vehicle interiors can be used to monitor that well-being of the vehicle operator as well as any passengers that are on board.

When used for mobile M2M communications, Tropos 4310-XA mobile mesh routers can, via a fixed Tropos mesh network, relay telemetry data from moving vehicles to a centralized operations center. Telemetry data enables supervisors to verify that vehicles are being operated with specified parameters, optimally schedule routine maintenance and determine if preventative maintenance is required. Benefits of analyzing telemetry data include minimizing unscheduled maintenance and equipment downtime while increasing efficiency and productivity.

The routers provide a connector suitable for use with a GPS puck. GPS data transmitted using Tropos 4310-XA mobile routers can be used by automated vehicle location (AVL) and positioning systems. AVL systems can be used to monitor the safety of employees in the field while positioning systems can increase efficiency and productivity, as well as enhance safety, in applications such as open pit mines.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Memphis Light, Gas and Water selects ABB Wireless communications to support smart meter rollout

Memphis, Tennessee is known for rock ‘n roll and slow-cooked barbeque, but those aren’t the only good things coming out of Bluff City. Soon, residents will enjoy the perks of a successful smart grid rollout, too. In an effort to modernize the grid and enhance internal operations and customer service, Memphis Light, Gas and Water is deploying 1 million smart meters within its 784 square mile service area.

ABB has been selected to provide wireless network products and services to support advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) communications. This two-way technology is the foundation of the smart grid. Communication allows for data to be collected on both sides of the meter – customer and supplier – with the understanding that the knowledge is actionable. AMI can alert operations to meter failures, improve billing accuracy, speed up outage restoration and reduce maintenance costs. 

Previous successful deployments of ABB wireless networks for AMI backhaul include Silicon Valley Power, Kansas City Board of Public Utilities and Idaho Falls Power. To read more about the Memphis deployment, you can access the press release here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Utilities: Leaving Leased Lines for Private Wireless Networks

Due to increases in leased line fees and reports that public telcos are discontinuing leased line services, utilities are questioning if leased lines will continue to be a viable communication option. While this is a problem, it is also the catalyst utilities need to take control of their field area data communication systems.

By relying on public telcos, utilities have placed too much dependency on arms-length service providers. This dependency has resulted in no control over the technology lifecycle and no influence over pricing, as both are driven by the telcos’ core consumer and enterprise customer base. Utilities can take control by using private broadband communication networks to replace leased lines and capitalize on the ability to:

  • Control the technology lifecycle: The utility can undertake a one-time project to deploy a modern communication system with a 10-to-15-year lifespan.
  • Reduce O&M costs: The main area of O&M cost savings is the major reduction, if not outright elimination, of the monthly fees paid to a telco for leased line services, fees that are escalating rapidly.
  • Enhance reliability: If the utility needs four or five 9s of system availability, a network capable of delivering that level of availability can be designed and deployed.

Additionally, private wireless networks offer a foundation for capacity and physical growth as new applications are added and service territories are adjusted. Through ownership, the utility can now determine size of coverage areas, bandwidth, availability, security and quality of service (QoS) mechanisms, as well as define which tradeoffs to make between cost and network availability and when to phase out older technologies in favor of new ones.

It is this kind of control that will allow utilities to not only survive through today’s changes, but thrive well into the future as the grid gets smarter and instantaneous data is not only recommended, but mandatory. Are you ready for a modern wireless communications infrastructure?

Monday, May 16, 2016

ABB Named to List of Smart Grid Companies to Watch in 2016

ABB is honored to be chosen by the editors of Smart Grid News, the insider's guide to the digitization of the electric grid, as one of the "Smart Grid Companies to Watch in 2016."  This honor offers further validation that ABB is a proven and trusted solution provider, delivering the bigger picture to utilities needing to deploy successful automated operations that meet the five major electricity requirements of the global society: capacity, reliability, efficiency, security and sustainability. 

Per Smart Grid News, "This year's selections are an interesting mix of security, energy storage, data analytics, the Internet of Things, and even a utility. Regardless of their differences, all share commonality from a strong spirit of innovation to an unwavering commitment to positively impacting the energy industry of the future."

Through our synergies with ABB Enterprise Software, as well as the ABB Smart Grid Center of Excellence, ABB deploys the foundation of the smart grid ­– two-way communications and IT/OT convergence – at the highest levels of performance. By developing interconnected solutions, ABB provides cohesion across the energy planning and operational lifecycle, helping utilities make smarter energy investment decisions, plan operations properly, and efficiently control the grid in real-time.

For our part, within the last year, we enriched our portfolio with several utility-specific product launches: ArcheOS, TropOS 6420, and SuprOS 8.3. ArcheOS is significant technology because it allows utilities to create long-distance, non-line-of-sight communication links to remote substations and other isolated assets – a relevant and necessary offering as more telcos raise leased line prices and discontinue leased line services, forcing utilities to find alternatives. Our launch of the TropOS 6420, an outdoor broadband mesh router designed to enhance physical security applications in electric utility T&D substations, was a timely endeavor given recent high-profile vandalism and sabotage events. In February, we launched SuprOS 8.3, a powerful and innovative communication network management system that manages all of ABB’s wired and wireless technologies from one pane of glass.

To reiterate the sentiment of ABB Vice President of Smart Grids, North America, Gary Rackliffe, this recognition means a great deal to ABB – a strong infrastructure will ensure future success! We couldn’t agree more. We’re pleased to share this exciting news with all of you.

For additional information, visit the ABB Smart Grid portal at:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Helping Make Things and the Stuff Used to Make Things

Making things yields more grit than glamor. Take a step back to providing inputs to the manufacturing process – the stuff used to make things – and you find even more grit and less glamor. But, manufacturing and the industries that feed manufacturing, including oil and gas production, mining and electricity distribution, create the things we use to survive and thrive.

The two most recent products announced by ABB Tropos Wireless Communication Systems, Tropos Mesh OS 8 with reliable broadcast capability and the Tropos 1410-DIN wireless bridge and mesh router for automation applications, share something in common – they help our customers make things and the stuff used to make things. And while these products may lack sizzle, they provide plenty of steak.

Tropos Mesh OS 8 supports for reliable Layer 2 broadcasts. Reliable broadcasts enhance support for automation protocols and applications including GOOSE, RNRP and mine management systems. With Tropos Mesh OS 8, the benefits of wireless mesh networking – large outdoor coverage areas, mobility, faster process reconfiguration, lower cost retrofits of existing facilities – are now available to a wider variety of industrial operations.

The Tropos 1410-DIN wireless mesh router and wireless bridge is designed to be installed, using standard DIN rail mounting, in the types of enclosures often employed in process control, energy and industrial automation systems. It extends the functionality of wireless mesh networks to devices where installation of standalone Tropos routers is impractical. The Tropos 1410-DIN enables automation devices to communicate with other devices and with central computing applications such as SCADA systems. It also allows workers with Wi-Fi equipped laptops or tablets to communicate with automation devices wirelessly, rather than having to be close enough to the device to plug into it with a cable.

“As demand for Tropos wireless mesh networks in industrial applications grows, we’ve responded to the market by offering the Tropos 1410 in a form factor used by standard enclosures for process control systems,” said Mike Bailey, senior vice president of engineering and operations for ABB Tropos Wireless Communication Systems. “The Tropos 1410-DIN will enable more industrial facilities and applications to reap the benefits of broadband wireless mesh networks.”

Exciting? No. But we’re happy to allow the latest hot social media startup to bask in the spotlight. We’ll keep doing what ABB has always done best – helping our customers make things and the stuff used to make things.

Bert Williams

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Minding the mines

Nothing says happy customer quite like repeat purchases. Recently, ABB Tropos Wireless Communication Systems installed a wireless mesh network at PotashCorp – White Springs’ 100,000-acre phosphate mine in White Springs, FL. A previously deployed Tropos network is being used to improve safety and productivity at PotashCorp – Aurora. Repeat purchase, happy customer.

Wireless communication networks are not usually the first things that come to mind when people think about open pit mines. They generally envision large pieces of equipment unearthing and moving huge quantities of ore, rock, phosphates and other minerals. However, there’s a largely unseen but critical component of mine operations – digital technology, including communication networks, that helps keep mine operations efficient and safe.

Tropos wireless mesh router mounted on a PotashCorp shovel
A large piece of mining equipment...and a Tropos mesh router!
Photo courtesy of PotashCorp

What does this digital technology do? Here are some examples of applications enabled by robust, high throughput, low latency networks:
  • Video monitoring: Real-time, remote video allows for analysis of the amount of material being mined and aids operations in deploying trucks for transporting material from the pit to the processing plant. Also, the ability to monitor real-time video remotely enables managers to ensure that safety protocols are being followed.
  • Remote performance monitoring: The communication network quickly transports telemetry data from mining and process equipment, such as draglines and other in-pit equipment, to the facility’s operations center in real time. This allows mine operators to gather critical operational data in order to recommend scheduled equipment maintenance - vastly increasing efficiency, equipment uptime and worker safety.
  • Mineral analysis data: Fast access to mineral (phosphate, in the case of PotashCorp – White Springs and PotashCorp – Aurora) analysis data provides visibility into trends related to production issues enabling proactively problem resolution.
In the case of PotashCorp – White Springs and PotashCorp – Aurora, plant managers wanted to achieve near real-time access to data and video from the mining pit, in the pit trailer and the processing plants, in order to improve operational efficiency and safety. Their Tropos wireless mesh networks enabled them to achieve their goals.

Bert Williams