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ABB provides collaborative control room center for smart city approach

Consolidating three different control rooms into one single future proof collaboration environment helps Swedish energy provider realize its smart city ambitions through quicker information exchange between its facilities.

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New collaborative control center at Borås Energi och Miljö

Early engagement with ABB during the design of the new control center has made it possible to consolida­ted three control rooms, spread across various mu­nicipal facilities, into one purpose-built collaboration space housed within the main administration building.

Energy supplier Borås Energi och Miljö (BEM) is building a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Borås, Sweden. Located around the city are power, waste-to-water treatment, water purification, bio gas and district heating plants, each of which had their own control room.

“The early conceptual design study helped the entire project to see the future in a common way. This also gave an understanding of what could be achieved in the process of change that the whole company was facing when the project first started."

Moving to one collaborative control center, shortening the communication chain and reducing the time and costs of travel to individual locations. It also provides a common hub for maintenance planning, helping the company move from reactive to predictive maintenan­ce. The solution enables BEM to optimize its process operations and redeploy operators on other tasks in Sobacken.
The collaborative control center features ABB AbilityTM System 800xA Distributed Control System (DCS) and Intelligent Extended Operator Workplaces (EOW). The combination brings the flexibility needed to adopt to future digital trends, while ensuring operators stay focused on their tasks.
The DCS collects operational data from all the indi­vidual municipal plants, together with that from the company’s own IT systems. It is turned into useable information and relayed, around-the-clock to the operators located in Solbacken. This provides a safer and efficient coordination of the communities’ entire digital infrastructure and directly improves output and profitability. This approach is the basis for ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations – a remote opera­tions and maintenance model that helps power generation companies harness the potential of digitalization.
During the design phase, ABB and BEM held work­shops to engage with the stakeholders to evolve the digital infrastructure needed to coordinate the sepa­rate sites into one collaborative environment. It was during the conceptual design study that ABB identi­fied that it would be more efficient to add an extra level to the administration block, rather than construct a separate building, thereby saving substantial costs.

For operators to be effective, BEM recognized the importance of human factors and the need to make the work environment conducive to efficiency and wellbeing. As such, the collaboration environment is completely modernized, considering ergonomics to maximize operator effectiveness.
Jörgen Karlsson, Sales Manager at Power Generation & Water at ABB

“The value of being able to present optimized and aggregated information, combined with a fully integrated operator effectiveness solution, poses huge potential for business transformation. We partner with our customers to best meet their needs, delivering sustainable progress for power generation operators and company.”

Pierre Schäring, Control Room Designer of the BEM project.
“Faced with rapid technology development, we needed to abandon traditional ways of planning control rooms and create a future proof platform,”

“The 24/7 collaboration center is located in the center of the plant, which gives them quicker access to make faster decisions during normal or abnormal situations. So, during an incident, the room can transform into a crisis center with instant access to all relevant pre-defined functions for the respective roles.”

Göran Carlsson, Technical Manager at BEM
“The move from traditional computerized control rooms into one common digital collaboration environment, makes the entire BEM organization more efficient and proactive.”