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Improved decision making with digitalization at Vigier Ciment in Switzerland

ABB Ability™ Knowledge Manager solution helps leading cement producer integrate process, quality, maintenance and environmental data for unified productivity decisions

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ABB Ability™ Knowledge Manager collects data from different sources in the plant, transforms it into meaningful KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and makes this information available across the customer organization to facilitate process improvements.

Key facts

 Customer: 

Ciments Vigier SA, part of VICAT Group

 Country: 

Switzerland

Customer need: 

  • The right architecture for unified reporting system across the departments
  • High performance tool to help users make decisions based on consolidated and transparent information at plant and corporate levels
Application
Customer benefits:

Ability to easily view, analyze and act upon critical process data and improve production efficiency:

  • optimization of production planning
  • increase of cement stock capacity
  • root cause analysis of lower cement grinding output
  • mass and energy balances
  • analysis of gas emissions in relation to raw material chemical analysis
Commissioning year: 2018

A clear and integrated architecture of all processes

Vigier Ciment SA, part of the global VICAT Group, has been producing Portland cement in Reuchenette, Switzerland, since 1891. The plant’s annual production is approximately 900’000 tons of cement for use in civil engineering and other major construction projects.

By acquiring ABB Ability™ Knowledge Manager solution, the cement producer recently took a further step towards digitalisation, helping its team make production decisions more quickly, identify weak process areas and opportunities for improvement as well as control the environmental impact of plant processes.

To create such an efficient system that meets the needs of all users, a cross-department project team, led by a project leader who is able to build a full picture of the data system, is a key requirement. A clear and integrated architecture of all processes must be defined before the project starts. While some challenges emerged, ABB and Vigier Ciment were able to solve these.

  .

Kim Tran, quality and environment performance manager at Ciment Vigier SA
“It is important to have the right architecture to create a high-performance tool that supplies the information required by the staff”

Simultaneous access to production, environmental and quality data in real time

The unified and single reporting system of the Knowledge Manager has improved the visibility of the company’s processes as Vigier Ciment now has simultaneous access to production, environmental and quality data in real time.

The transparent access to centralized data has improved communication between the departments and helped the plant’s decision makers to make results-oriented decisions, enabling them to resolve various issues through statistical reports, according to the cement producer. Moreover, the easy and fast data extraction means analysis of unusual events happens in a few hours rather than days.

Kim Tran, Ciment Vigier SA
“The installation of ABB Ability Knowledge Manager and digitalization of our plant data is really helping us to optimize our short-term production processes and long-term operations”

Real process improvements based on conducted studies

In terms of research carried out to improve operational performance, the plant has conducted studies into the optimization of production planning and the increase of cement stock capacity.

Further subjects include the root cause analysis of lower cement grinding output, mass and energy balances as well as an analysis of gas emissions in relation to raw material chemical analysis.

Knowledge Manager is part of ABB Ability™, ABB’s unified, cross-industry, digital offering, which enables customers to increase productivity and lower costs. It has helped cement and mining customers around the world to improve the performance of their operations, and the safety of their on-site personnel for decades.

ABB Ability™ Knowledge Manager incorporates leading-edge digital capabilities and technology to provide cement and mining industry customers with the ability to easily view, analyze, and act upon critical process data.


Kim Tran, Ciment Vigier SA
“The system gives us a better view into our production process, as well as faster and easier access to our data. The instantaneous reports, trends and the data collection tools help us to carry out studies and take decisions. This new tool already leads to real process improvements.”

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