One of the industry's most advanced control rooms improves the production at Elkem’s plant in Bremanger, Norway
21-meter-wide large screen with 51 monitors
Elkem is one of the world’s leading companies within advanced materials based on silicon, a critical raw material for the green and digital transition. The company is now taking a significant step towards digitalisation at their Bremanger plant in Norway. By centralising their control rooms and production management system, Elkem aims to increase quality and control of the production at the plant, enhancing safety and improving efficiency. Through collaboration with AFRY and partners, three out of eleven production facilities have now been merged into the new Central Control Room (CCR).
“The establishment of the control centre aligns with Elkem's strategy to increase digitalisation across our plants. With this technological advancement, Elkem seeks to break down internal silos, enhance employees’ understanding of value chains, improve production processes and strengthen our commitment to sustainability”, says Arne Werge-Olsen, Plant Manager at Elkem Bremanger.
The Bremanger plant consists of 11 smaller production facilities, each equipped with a control room. The project's objective is to consolidate these control rooms into one centralised control centre, enabling comprehensive monitoring of the entire plant from a single location.
The new state-of-the-art control room features a 21-meter-wide large screen with 51 monitors, representing an investment of NOK 40 million. Three of the production facilities are already integrated into the new system, and the process of incorporating the remaining facilities is underway.
The number of alarms has decreased from over 5000 to less than 140 alarms per operator during a 24-hour period. One of the issues in the past was also that the same alarm could be reported several times, which made it demanding to detect the most urgent alarms. This has now been solved and was also a prerequisite for starting up the new CCR.
With the new control room, there is always an operator actively monitoring the large screen to ensure a quick detection and response to an issue. Over time, this will increase the security, stability and quality of operations, positively impacting on the final product.
Secures a better overview of the production chain
Elkem has been working on the new control room since 2018, and it officially opened in March 2023. Given the complexity of the project, Elkem decided to engage multiple partners to ensure successful implementation. Around 50-60 people have actively been involved in the project.
AFRY provided advisory services for the large screen project, led the associated alarm management project and also implemented the required changes in the underlying SCADA system (AVEVA System Platform) for the furnaces. Additionally, AFRY assisted with the integration, testing and startup at the site in Bremanger. AVEVA supplied the software (AVEVA Unified Operations Centre), design and implementation services for the large screen solution, while GCCD provided the necessary hardware and installation services.
“We are really proud of what we have achieved at the plant in Bremanger together with Elkem and other partners. The new CCR provides Elkem with a comprehensive overview of the entire production chain, from raw materials to finished products,” says Asle Davidsen, Head of Digitalisation, AFRY Process Industries Division in Norway.
An important partner on their digital journey
“The smooth and efficient collaboration between the partners has been essential for the development of the new CCR. Their understanding of Elkem's business, and their adeptness in handling complex projects were instrumental in ensuring a successful implementation,“ says Werge-Olsen.
“The project of integrating the other production facilities into the same platform has just begun and we look forward to continuing the collaboration with Elkem. This project represents a significant milestone in Elkem’s digital journey and offers aspiration for others,” concludes Davidsen.
Elkem is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced silicon-based material solutions shaping a better and more sustainable future. The company develops silicones, silicon products and carbon solutions by combining natural raw materials, renewable energy and human ingenuity. Elkem helps their customers create and improve essential innovations like electric mobility, digital communications, health and personal care as well as smarter and more sustainable cities.
With a strong track record since 1904, the global team of over 7,300 people shares a common commitment to stakeholders: delivering your potential. In 2022, Elkem achieved an operating result of NOK 45.9 billion and a CDP rating of A- for climate and forest.