ABB Exploring Measurement Frontiers

What's New in Measurement Products at ABB?

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What's new in measurement products at ABB? That's a very inefficient question because it results in such a long and detailed answer. In fact, almost all of its measurement solutions seem to be new or in the process of being updated.

Better to ask, "What's not new in ABB measurement products?" Of course, the short answer is "Not much."

However, despite the challenge of presenting so many and varied updates, Greg Livelli, marketing vice president for ABB's Instrumentation Business Unit, presented a detailed accounting of recent technological advances in the company's Measurement Products division this week at ABB Automation and Power World in Orlando.

One reason for all of the Measurement Products division's activity and diversity is that it contains such legendary brands as Fischer & Porter, Bailey, Taylor, Total Flow, K-Tek, Pressductor, Sensycon, Hartmann & Braun and many others. As a result, the division has $1.2 billion in revenues, 4,400 staffers in 50 countries and a worldwide installed base of about $8 billion.

"We offer measurement solutions for safety, control and quality in primary industries, such as chemical, petrochemical, power and steam, oil and gas, and water and wastewater, and also in secondary industries, such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, metals and mining, and pulp and paper," said Livelli. "As a result, our five global product groups include force measurement, analytical measurement, flow measurement, field instruments and devices, and services. Our steadily increasing R&D, which was $45 million in 2010, focuses on energy efficiency and breakthrough technologies, and it has paid off in market-leading technologies in every business. We now have 310 researchers and developers working worldwide."

And it appears that all of them have been working overtime. Overall, Livelli reported that the Measurement Products division has been trying to:

  • Give its products a common look, feel and method of operation
  • Minimize component variety
  • Offer best-quality integration with ABB and with third-party systems
  • Integrate wireless solutions, such as WirelessHART
  • Introduce new products to extend existing ranges
  • Provide an average product age of just five years by 2011, which it's already close to achieving.

For example, Measurement Products has been working on common HMIs for its 60 mm, 90 mm, 120 mm and Color Basic transmitter platforms. Likewise, it's also working to give its four-wire and two-wire transmitters common components, assembly and supply features.

"ABB's advanced sensing technologies are the main components on the first satellite devoted to monitoring greenhouse gases from space," reported Livelli. "Our technologies also are being used to solve sub-sea monitoring problems right at the source, so our solutions are measuring flow, pressure and temperature at extreme depths. Also, ABB's award-winning Cylmate diesel engine performance monitoring system is the most advanced system for continuous diesel engine performance monitoring."

New products that ABB's Measurement Products division expected to release in the next 12-18 months include:

  • 266CSx multivariable flow and level transmitters
  • Wireless instruments to maximize plant visibility
  • EDP300 high-tier digital valve positioner with non-contact position sensor and pressure-based diagnostics
  • DataManager Pro software to enable detailed analysis of information from ABB's ScreenMaster software
  • CoriolisMaster flowmeter with new gas measurement capabilities up to an accuracy of 0.5% of range
  • Aquaprobe FEA 100/200 "magmeter on a stick" for in situ verification
  • StackMaster flow measurement for stack emissions
  • OriMaster for orifice metering
  • Compact DP Range integrated DP flowmeters
  • microFLO basic gas flow computer.