Net Gain: Keep track of your Control System via the Web with ABB’s My Control System

Aug. 7, 2013
MATTHIAS STEIN – ABB has been installing industrial control systems for several decades now and has built up a substantial installed base in a wide variety of industries around the world. Apart from the technical complexity of the control system insofar as it interacts with its particular manufacturing process, there is often non-trivial administrative and support complexity to deal with too: Typically, a control system will require software licenses, up-to-date malware protection, system diagnostic and maintenance tools, training modules, safety monitoring reports and so on. Until now, it was necessary to look in a variety of places to obtain an overview of these. However, ABB’s new My Control System Web application now provides control system users with a simple and convenient means of keeping track of many aspects of their system. Download article in its entirety here.
ABB’s My Control System provides users in all industries with an ideal tool to keep track of their ABB control system.

The large installed base of con- trol systems that ABB has built up in many industries over the last 30 years represents a major commitment. ABB looks after this installed base by crafting solutions that ensure the continued productivity, reliability and capability of all ABB assets involved. One important aspect of this is the support ABB offers customers throughout a plant’s entire life cycle, even when service requirements change, via a comprehensive spectrum of services – from preventive maintenance through remote monitoring to performance-enhancing assistance. In particu- lar, life cycle services increase the productivity of facilities, minimize costs and extend the life of installed equipment.

ABB Automation Sentinel Program

Automation Sentinel is ABB’s control system life cycle management and sup- port program. With this program, system owners can keep their control system up-to-date and maintain a flexible path to new technology. It provides the basic support required to maintain operation and maximize the life cycle of the ABB control system. The new release builds on the existing Automation Sentinel program and adds new, valuable services, one of which is the newly launched Web-based platform My Control System.

My Control System

1 Customers can retrieve detailed information about their system from one location and view it using any browser and on nearly any device.

My Control System is a secure, Webbased platform that provides comprehensive information about and services for the ABB control system in operation at the customer site. By using a secure log-in at the website, customers can access one easy-to-find location from which they can retrieve detailed information about their system. This data can be viewed using any browser and on nearly any device, such as a PC, tablet or, soon, a smart- phone ➔ 1.

My Control System presents, in dash- board format, important information about the control system’s subscriptions and software licenses in terms of con- tent, expiry dates, tools and license key downloads. All this data is available with just a few clicks. For convenience, the ABB local service contact information is listed on the starting page ➔ 2.

Using My Control System, customers will be able to download documentation and software updates relating to their control system, view online training videos, run system benchmark reports and access all relevant safety reports, alerts or product documents. Rapid problem identification through real-time access to the dashboard is one of the main benefits of My Control System.

IT security

IT security is more important than ever before for process automation owners as malware is now targeting control sys- tems. Further, many governments are currently developing legislation to regu- late the defensive posture of national and commercial enterprises in the face of cyber attacks. In My Control System, a report showing the status of the installed software is available and actions can be taken by the customer to secure the system further.

Benchmark and Fingerprint Reports

Other features are also available in My Control System to support ABB control system customers during operation and maintenance: The health status of the control system can be checked with benchmark reports, which indicate optimization possibilities. In addition, Fingerprint reports can show the status of the control system’s return on investment (ROI) key performance indicators (KPIs) and suggest what the customer should do to bridge any performance gap.


My Control System not only assists ABB’s customers to optimize the mainte- nance of their installed control system, but it also helps plan the training of their operators.

Web Coach is a series of Web-based maintenance training modules for vari- ous ABB control systems that is combined with live question and answer sessions to provide cost-effective and convenient training and a valuable tech- nical information resource.

Web Tech Talks are frequent Web-based meetings for advanced users. These meetings are moderated by ABB product experts and deal with relevant technical topics and issues. Control system users can keep up-to-date with the latest con- trol system technical information and market trends and receive practical tips.

The schedules of Web Coach, Web Tech Talk and other online training opportuni- ties offered by ABB are available in My Control System.


Customers can lower their total support cost and reduce after-hours phone sup- port or service calls by using My Control System to access pre-filtered informa- tion dedicated to their installed control system. This also reduces the time and effort spent looking for information ➔ 3. My Control System provides ready answers to frequently asked questions, thus reducing the effort spent looking for information. Further, users can download service packs and updates for immedi- ate installation and, thus, shorten soft- ware delivery times.

3 Customers can lower their total support cost and reduce after-hours phone support or service calls by using My Control System to access pre-filtered information dedicated to their installed control system.

ABB sales and field service personnel will also have access to relevant informa- tion via My Control System, giving them improved visibility into customers’ con- trol systems. This will help service per- sonnel meet customer needs more pro- actively and smooth the support process.

My Control System scope

The development of the My Control System platform started in June 2011. The development program progressed quickly and the platform is now available for all

ABB control system users. It has elicited an enthusiastic response. Additionally, when demonstrated at the Hanover Fair in Germany and the Automation and Power World exhibition in Houston, Texas, both in 2012, My Control System evoked a very positive response from customers in general. A basic version of My Control System with limited access will be provided to all ABB control systems customers. Sub- scribers to the Automation Sentinel con- trol system life cycle management and support program will enjoy more My Control System benefits ➔ 4.

4 Features of My Control System

General availability for all control system customers:

  • Welcome page
  • System details page
  • My safety reports/My product alerts
  • My training
  • ABB local service contact information
  • Customer system administrator contact information
  • My software/subscription licenses
  • Language localization

Additional availability for customers who have an Automation Sentinel program license:

  • My product documents (user manuals, Microsoft security update validation reports, System 800xA certified hardware reports)
  • My software (software downloads, access to patches, service packs, new software versions)
  • Benchmark report: Control system health and performance check and software validation
  • Fingerprint report: Advanced diagnostic analysis of the performance of the control system to quickly close performance gaps
  • Web Coach/Web Tech Talks
5 My Control System provides a license and service overview of even the most complex installations.

Through My Control System, both the customer and ABB have an overview of the control systems software licenses and service products that have been purchased (or not) and information regarding validity and expiration dates – even for complex installations ➔ 5. In addition, My Control System is an excellent source of technical information, best practices and expert knowledge. My Control System brings the customer closer to ABB and ABB closer to the customer, resulting in a solid, long-term and mutually beneficial business relationship.

Download article in its entirety here.

Matthias Stein
ABB Process Automation
Mannheim, Germany
[email protected]

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