Frequency inverters

Adjusting the converter parameters via Smartphone

Adjusting the converter parameters via Smartphone

Straub Cosmetics has installed a more powerful drive solution on an agitator. ABB partner Lamb remotely adjusted the parameters of the new drive using ABB Ability Mobile Connect remote service. This meant the cosmetics company did not have to familiarize itself with the device parameters and saved the cost of an on-site service call.

Not every service case on a frequency inverter requires a technician to be called out. This is especially true if only a few parameters need to be changed on the device or if a simple operation is all that is needed to correct a fault. ABB Ability Mobile Connect offers a simple and fast solution here. ABB's Remote Service is implemented with the help of a smartphone via a Bluetooth connection to the panel of a compatible frequency converter. 

Straub Cosmetics GmbH from Wertheim am Main was convinced of the added value of this service. The occasion was the replacement of the drive solution of an agitator application. ABB partner Lamb supports the manufacturer of cosmetic products in technical matters and drew Straub's attention to the possibility of support via smartphone.

Andreas Dürr, an electrical engineer at Lamb, explains, "Until now, there were two options for simple service cases: telephone contact or on-site service. With the former, the customer first had to read out which parameter values were set in the old frequency inverter. This is time-consuming for the customer as well as for technical support. The customer then had to enter the parameter list manually. This approach can also be error-prone if something is misunderstood over the phone."

The second option used to be to send a service technician on site. This involves extra travel costs. In the Corona year 2021, many companies also did not want to have external personnel on site.

First use on an agitator application

ABB Ability Mobile Connect was first used at Straub when a larger motor was needed for an agitator. As part of the retrofit, the existing ABB ACS480 frequency converter was replaced with a more powerful unit from the same product family. 

To adapt it, the ABB sales partner read out the parameters of the old frequency converter via the Mobile Connect Bluetooth panel. Then the motor data was entered into the new inverter's parameter set, and the current, speed and torque limits were set to match the application. A parameter suggestion was then sent to the Straub maintenance engineer on his smartphone. After checking, he was able to upload the parameter set to the frequency inverter via smartphone.

With Mobile Connect, the on-site maintenance engineer always has the final say. He always has control over the machine and ensures that no one is harmed or the process is disrupted by the parameter change. The maintenance engineer must check the parameter suggestions sent to him by the support employee. Only when he confirms the parameter change can it be imported and become active in the frequency inverter.

"The solution is easy to handle and requires no lead time. The costs for the service call are correspondingly lower," sums up Straub.

Using expert know-how everywhere

ABB Ability Mobile Connect is an extended function of the Drivetune app. It enables case-based access to frequency converters remotely in support cases. Via the app, a direct connection can be established to the support line of ABB or the service partner in order to avoid longer downtimes and ensure high productivity with the support of the experts and the maintenance engineer on site.

The solution goes beyond classic telephone support. It provides virtual access to experts via smartphone, with the ability to exchange voice and chat messages, images, videos and data. It also includes creating and sending parameter backups and support packages with customized parameters to speed up commissioning or troubleshooting. The linchpin is the control panel of the frequency converter. The maintenance staff can connect to it with their smartphone via Bluetooth and thus give the support staff an insight into the status of the frequency inverter.

By Michael Spuck, Product Manager Frequency Converters, ABB Motion Germany