ABB Ability™ FAQs


Find answers to the most common questions about ABB Ability™ and ABB Ability™ digital solutions here.



ABB Ability™ FAQs

There are many ways to think about what ABB Ability™ is:

  • A unification of our digital capabilities
  • A defined subset of our offerings
  • A technology platform
  • Our answer to the competitive landscape
  • Our roadmap to the digital future

A set of products, a system, and/or services that deliver specific value to the customer. The products can be from either ABB and/or third parties. To be considered a digital solution, software is usually a component of the product or service.

An ABB Ability™ solution is a digital and connected solution that lets ABB deliver expertise to customers.

ABB has acquired unparalleled expertise in information ($400B+ installed base, contextual information, and more than 130 years of experience), technology (materials, mechanical, electrical, and computer science), and know-how (industry/domain experience, regional experience). Our solutions offer this expertise in various increments, so that customers can know more, do more, do better, together (in collaboration with ABB or others).

It can be both or either. Some ABB Ability™ solutions are delivered “as a service” using connected digital technology that is paid for on a subscription basis. Others are sold as a one-time system that the customer can operate entirely on their own.

Today, we have over 220 unique solutions that have been deployed for customers, and that number is constantly growing. They include offerings we have had for a long time, such as our System 800xA distributed control system, as well as more recently announced solutions for charging electric vehicles. Also, every business within ABB is busy developing new solutions.

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No, but increasingly, many ABB Ability™ solutions will have the option (if the customer chooses) to allow selected data to be shared in the cloud. This will enable additional services as well as access to third party applications and other platforms.

Most control or automation systems run “on-premise” in the customer’s plant or factory. With the advent of cloud computing, some data and functionality will migrate offsite to a remote datacenter (the cloud). However, due to latency, data volumes, or mission-criticality, there will always be a need to have systems run on-premise. This is increasingly called fog (or edge) computing (i.e., data processing, analytics and applications conducted at the source of data, on-premise where devices and systems run). This is an area ABB has long been a pioneer in, given that our heritage in automation started with on-premise systems.

ABB is committed to deploying the best cybersecurity technologies at every level (device, gateway, and cloud). These cybersecurity technologies take into account the specific needs of Operational Technology (OT), which are more demanding than those from the world of Information Technology (IT). Furthermore, ABB is leading a conversation on the ownership of data (which we call our Data Manifesto). We believe that customers own their data, and they should know what ABB will be doing with it. Customers also need to provide consent before we share any of their data. Lastly, we respect the intellectual property (IP) of our customers. We don’t ask customers of ABB Ability™ solutions to cede their IP rights to us when they use our digital solutions.

The ABB Ability™ platform is a set of common digital enabling technologies that are used to build the ABB Ability solutions. These technologies exist at the device, gateway, and cloud level. They let ABB develop solutions more quickly, reliably, and securely. Solutions developed on ABB Ability™ platform will be more integrated and work in a consistent manner. We invite customers and system integrators to develop applications on the ABB Ability™ platform.

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