Hitachi ABB Power Grids Combines Digital Enterprise Software With The Lumada IoT Platform

On July 1, the formal launch of Hitachi ABB Power Grids was announced following the agreement to create the joint entity in December 2018. The new business will have annual revenues of approximately $10 billion delivered by 36,000 employees and is focused on the digitization of the energy value chain. Aside from financial factors, a key part of the logic behind the deal is to combine operational technologies (OT) with information technologies (IT) in a single business structure to achieve competitive advantage in developing integrated IT/OT solutions.

The big question for managers responsible for digital strategy is how effectively Hitachi ABB Power Grids brings together the Digital Enterprise portfolio which was developed by ABB with the Lumada IoT platform that Hitachi launched in 2016. The Digital Enterprise software covers network health monitoring, asset performance management, enterprise asset management, mobile workforce enablement and an asset investment strategy application for energy assets. Lumada is an industry-agnostic integration platform designed to support industrial IoT applications. Verdantix recently benchmarked IIoT platforms across 11 network management and connectivity criteria. Based on this analysis, the Hitachi Lumada IoT platform has the full breadth of capabilities required to meet IIoT usage scenarios such as edge analytics, industrial software support, customer-designed IoT apps and time series data visualization.

Operations managers in the power sector describe challenges with data connectivity, network orchestration and cyber-security as ‘show-stoppers’ for their digitization strategies. At the same time, both grid operators and power plant owners are under huge pressure to adopt more flexible asset management strategies reflective of more volatile demand patterns and the rapidly changing mix of power generating and power storage assets on the grid. If Hitachi ABB Power Grids can create a solution architecture using the Lumada IoT platform which speeds up connectivity between OT such as CoreTec transformer condition monitors and their Digital Enterprise software, they will be in pole position to win the lion’s share of digitization deals in the power sector. Project repeatability across different customer types – from municipal networks to national grids – will be essential to deliver rapid time to value. Ultimately it is going to be APM and EAM systems which prove out the value of the Lumada IoT platform. In the recent Verdantix benchmark of asset performance management software vendors, ABB Power Grids was positioned as a Specialist with the strongest market presence in the power transmission and distribution sector.

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