One fundamental key to business growth for industrial companies is improving asset performance as measured by duration of operation and uptime. The problem is that there typically are many different systems of instruments and controls and rotating machinery in a plant, and there are corresponding and disparate existing methods to manage assets.
“Our customers can now enjoy control-system-class device management and optimization benefits in a small package.” ABB’s Eric Olson demonstrates the company’s Asset Master software, an easy way to get started in asset management.
ABB's Asset Master is a software solution, first introduced in 2007, that helps its customers meet the need to incorporate these disparate systems into a single solution, while providing traditional set-up tools for instrumentation configuration and calibration.
Eric Olson, ABB product manager responsible for Asset Master, explains: "Asset Master is the first desktop device management and optimization solution that reduces the complexity of these solutions from larger control systems into a compact, easy-to-comprehend interface.” Asset Master can manage up to 500 ABB and non-ABB devices, depending on the fieldbus configuration. Devices can include flowmeters, analyzers, actuators, control valves and positioners — typical instrumentation that can be wired to a fieldbus network. The system is expected to be an essential part of ABB’s new push toward electrical integration—bridging the gap between the plant process control system and electrical control systems.
"Our customers can now enjoy control-system-class device management and optimization benefits in a small package,” Olson said. Intended for engineering and maintenance personnel, Asset Master supports ABB and third-party devices communicating via HART, Profibus and Foundation fieldbus. And, as a comprehensive asset optimization tool, it provides online monitoring and tuning, online and offline device configuration, parameter adjustment, diagnostic alerts, asset monitoring, calibration management and integral work order processing." It is planned to incorporate IEC 61850 at a later date to include electrical devices, such as switchgears and variable speed drives, according to Olson.
Pat Cashwell, ABB vice president for field instrumentation, added: "One of the key things that differentiates ABB in this product area is the bottom-to-top consistency of the engineering and operator interfaces. Asset Master is literally built from the same software as our 800xA control system, meaning that configuration screens, asset alerts and operations methods are identical in both. It also means that an Asset Master installation can be easily expanded into an 800xA control system without the need to re-engineer any existing configurations. Asset Master is another important element of ABB's strategy to make HMIs simple and consistent, reducing the customer's cost of ownership, especially in the mainte nance and training dimensions."