ABB Boosts AI Grit in New Investments

With customer demand for predictive maintenance tools on the increase, ABB has acquired a minority stake in Swedish start-up Viking Analytics via its venture capital unit, ABB Technology Ventures (ATV). Accordingly, the strategic partnership to develop the next generation of predictive asset health analytics for electrical equipment.

Particularly, this will allow customers to predict anomalies before they become a risk to their operations.

ABB and Viking Analytics strengthen their strategic partnership to apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to asset management services.

Expands Capabilities in Anomaly Detection

Using AI-based algorithms, Viking Analytics has created an analytics engine that automatically detects unseen or pre-failure operational conditions for electrical equipment. Hence, making it easier for operators to prevent costly failures, plan maintenance efficiently and maximize uptime.

“Our company’s mission is to allow industrial specialists to easily extract insights and value from both process data and asset data through AI,” said Rajet Krishnan, CEO of Viking Analytics. “Entering into this strategic cooperation with ABB allows us to expand our capability in the electrical equipment domain and to develop together a solution to detect anomalies in medium voltage equipment.”

In addition, Krishnan said ABB’s investment further cements the strong relationship between the companies and will enable us to develop and scale new AI software solutions for our customers.”

“With the pressure on to ensure uptime and prolong the lifecycle of electrical assets, the partnership with Viking Analytics allows us to develop analytics that will help customers maintain their operations and cut costs,” said Sherif El- Meshad, Digital Lead, Electrification at ABB. “Customers will get the insights they need to make informed decisions about their electrical equipment fleet and take preventative actions to avoid costly failure.”

Continuing Close Collaboration

Viking Analytics’ technology is complementary to the ABB Ability™ Asset Manager which provides full remote visibility of asset and electrical-system health status. Moreover, the integration of Viking Analytics’ new AI-engine adds advanced analytics for prediction and prevention of faulty conditions in customers’ electrical equipment.

Viking Analytics was a winner of ABB Electrification’s 2020 Startup Challenge, a global competition for tech innovators. Over the past two years, ABB and Viking Analytics have developed software and dashboards for detecting anomalies in a data series, generated by electrical equipment sensors.

“This case is very special, because winning the top prize at the Electrification Start-up Challenge did not lead to an immediate investment,” said Anton Kotov, Chief Strategy Officer of ABB Electrification. In addition, Kotov said, “Instead, the Distribution Solutions Division and Viking Analytics continued with a close collaboration before ABB joined a strong syndicate to make the investment.”

The investment in Viking Analytics is the latest in a number of moves to expand ABB’s ecosystem of innovation partners. Since its formation in 2009, ATV has invested around $350 million in start-ups that support new business models and enhance the company’s portfolio of offerings.