To solve the issue of efficiency and fragmentation, and to help its customers integrate advanced digital technologies into their setups, Byworth Boilers began the search for a suitable technology partner.
“We talked to some of the industry’s leading technology companies and decided to partner with ABB,” explains Atkinson. “We felt the company truly listened to us and understood our needs. As a result, we opted to use ABB’s Freelance DCS at the heart of our Unity program.”
Freelance is ABB’s DCS offering that provides a fully-fledged control system in a small footprint. It offers a way of integrating control engineering, commissioning, maintenance, and fieldbus management into a single package. It also features an all-in-one database, integrated HMI faceplates, logging of historical data and alarm management.
“With ABB’s Freelance DCS there is no need for separate PLC control,” explains Anders Forsberg, ABB regional sales for the Business Unit Control Technologies. “Freelance has been around for twenty-five years and you can still take that code and develop it into applications today.”
This is exactly what Byworth Boilers did. The company used Freelance as a platform on top of which it built its own software application. Unity is an intelligent boiler-house control system developed by Byworth to operate boiler applications.
The system uses a central interface with a built-in touch screen and it can also be accessed remotely using any PC or mobile device. It gives operators a way of seeing trended data such as boiler and manifold pressure, water levels, water conductivity, hot well levels and temperature, blowdown temperature, flue temperature and gas analysis, as well as a variety of other boiler configuration variables.
“As well as the flexibility of the control system, the training that ABB provided was pivotal,” explains Atkinson. “I didn’t have any coding or PLC experience prior to the Unity project, so I went on a week-long course delivered by ABB. Within three months, I had developed the code for the Unity application and within six months of working with ABB, we had sold our first boiler equipped with the new system.”