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State-of-the-art control room improves productivity at Victrex polymer plant in UK

Optimising production, reducing the risks of human error and improving operator health and safety

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The User Day for ABB System 800xA customers demonstrated how a leading polymer manufacturer is using high performence control desks to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of control room operators.

Polymer plant adopts extended operator workplaces EOW

Improvements in the way operators work were achieved following the installation of ABB’s extended operator workplace (EOW) control desks at the Victrex polymer plant in Lancashire. Victrex, a specialist in advanced polymer solutions for industries including aerospace, energy and medical, has used the EOWs to optimise production, reduce the risks of human error and improve operator health and safety.

Following a presentation on the facilities and functions of the EOW by its manufacturer CGM, part of the ABB group, System 800xA users were given a chance to see the control room in action.

Main facts

Industry Chemical product manufacturing
Customer

Victrex

Country United Kingdom
Solutions System 800xA with
Extended Operator Workplace

Control room in action

Following a presentation on the facilities and functions of the EOW by its manufacturer CGM, part of the ABB group, customers were given a chance to see the control room in action.

Victrex recently installed an ABB System 800xA control system to operate its three production streams. The adoption of ABB’s EOW is central to the success of the project.

Based on up to three large LCD screens, the EOW integrates control graphics, video and audio communications to give operators a complete overview of plant operations.

The EOW brings the ability to adjust the height and positions of display and control desk, as well as lighting and sound levels, to suit the preferences of individual operators. This allows operators to work in a way that lets them focus most effectively on the task in hand.
The EOW brings the ability to adjust the height and positions of display and control desk, as well as lighting and sound levels, to suit the preferences of individual operators.

Victrex’s use of the EOW

Wayne Jones, Software Development Engineer for Victrex and responsible for the plant’s three control systems, gave delegates a tour of the new control room and told how the EOWs have helped Victrex improve the efficiency and productivity of its operators. “We’ve seen productivity increase since the installation of the EOWs. Operators are now more focused and can progress production requests as soon as they come up,” he says.

“The convincer for me was when I came into the control room and saw operators had adjusted the control desk so they could work standing up. They told me it helped them concentrate and direct their attention into resolving key issues more efficiently.”

The System 800xA customers were particularly interested in Victrex’s use of the EOW to manage alarms, allowing operators to focus on those that are most significant. It also contributes to staff safety by siting operators in a centralised control room away from the production plant, allowing controlled shutdown and evacuation in the event of a critical situation.
Wayne Jones, Software Development Engineer for Victrex
“We’ve seen productivity increase since the installation of the EOWs. Operators are now more focused and can progress production requests as soon as they come up”

Making the most of ABB solutions

Anders Forsberg, ABB Regional Service Sales Manager for Control Technologies, says: “The User Day was an ideal opportunity for customers to see how other companies are making the most of our solutions to improve operator effectiveness.”

Joe Fudge, ABB Local Business Unit Manager for Control Technologies, says:

“Seeing how Victrex were using a live control room based on the EOW was very valuable for 800xA customers. The feedback I got from them was very positive and they all wanted to see the EOW used in their own plants. For us, we wanted to show what an ideal set up looked like in practice and the Victrex system was perfect for this.”

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