Canola oil maker implements smart sensor solution

Thursday, 23 July, 2020 | Supplied by: ABB Australia Pty Ltd


GrainCorp Oilseeds is a regional Australia canola seed crusher and oil refiner with more than 20 years of commitment to the local oilseed industry, producing canola oil and a range of oils and meals for domestic and international markets.

Problem experienced

The main cooker bearings were experiencing issues due to overheating. Part of the problem was connected to cooker alignment, which led to the overheating and subsequent failure of these bearings. ABB’s Channel Partner, A1 Electric Motors, offered a monitoring option to GrainCorp Oilseeds to assist with pre-empting a potential alignment issue with the cooker.

The solution

A1 Electric Motors worked with ABB to develop a custom solution using ABB Ability Smart Sensor technology. The ABB Ability Smart Sensor converts traditional motors, pumps and mounted bearings into smart, wirelessly connected devices. It measures key parameters from the surface of the equipment which can be used to gain meaningful information on the condition and performance of the equipment, enabling users to identify inefficiencies within their system and to reduce risks related to operation and maintenance. Maintenance can now be planned according to actual needs rather than based on generic schedules.

The system designed for GrainCorp featured bearing sensors, motor sensors and a gateway. This gave GrainCorp the ability to actively monitor its equipment bearings and assess their condition and help prevent failures. 

ABB Ability Smart Sensor technology is helping GrainCorp Oil Seeds by alerting them to a spike in temperature of their Cooker Bearing, so proactive maintenance could be carried out before an equipment failure. Click here to view a clearer image.

The benefits

With the success experienced by implementing ABB’s Smart Sensors, there are now talks to integrate the sensors into more equipment on GrainCorp’s site.

The combination of motor and bearing sensor monitoring can also be transferred to the ABB Ability Digital Powertrain monitoring platform. This is a suite of digital solutions including devices, software and services. It combines connectivity and data analytics with ABB and its Channel Partner’s team for support.

Consolidating into this complete program will enhance A1 Electric Motors’ capability to remotely monitor GrainCorp’s assets on their behalf, which is particularly important where site access is strictly limited and traditional condition monitoring activities are not able to be conducted at particular times. As working conditions continue to change, continuity of monitoring is more essential than ever.


Empowering GrainCorp to proactively monitor their primary cooker bearings and motors along with the support and service of A1 Electric Motors has ultimately supplied them with process efficiency and eliminated the potential of system failure. The ABB Ability Smart Sensor solution has helped to provide advanced risk mitigation for the company.

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