British Energy: Cutting costs and improving performance

Adept Scientific (Letchworth, Herts) helps British Energy to save money and improve the reliability and flexibility of its Chemistry condition monitoring system using Quality Monitor from Northwest Analytical (NWA) (Portland, Oregon).

Doing its ‘bit’ to fight the credit crunch and combat ever increasing rises in fuel prices, British Energy are very conscious that it’s new monitoring system must be cost effective and meet their rigorous operating standards to make the grade.

Supplying around 18 per cent of the UK’s electricity generating capacity, British Energy were looking for a system that would be capable of running sophisticated analysis programs as well as being financially viable and allow for continual development.  At around one tenth the cost of alternative solutions, Quality Monitor from NWA was the clear solution to replacing their LIMS system.

“As important as the power of the new system,” says Gary Brodt, a contracted systems support engineer within one of the Company’s Chemistry Sections, “was its flexibility and ease of use.  This meant that during system development chemists with little or no database experience could learn enough of the package to make interface modifications in order to deliver a system that exactly matched their day-to-day requirements.”

NWA Quality Monitor is a powerful, dedicated solution for shop floor data collection and statistical process control.  The package allows standardised workflow processes to be built to match the needs of a specific facility, stores data from multiple workstations in a central database and provides live charting and analysis of quality data.  Quality Analyst offers powerful, easy-to-use functionality for data analysis and reporting.

That flexibility continues to pay dividends today; Brodt and his team have continued to make minor modifications to the system since its implementation as more historical data is migrated to the new platform and additional plant signals are added – all with no disruption to users.

Work is now underway on the next phase that will integrate more of NWA Quality Analyst’s capabilities in order to produce bespoke data analysis to allow both plant personnel and corporate staff to gain a rapid, detailed overview of plant performance.

Brodt continued, “Our use of the NWA software from Adept Scientific has brought our data management process into the 21st century by making it possible to capture live data at the source where the data is generated, then analyse the data in the office that is remote to all of the labs.  Monthly reporting has been made more streamlined and training of the use of the system is much easier than any of the other LIMS systems on the market.

“Further development will provide even more improvements to our Statistical Process Control analysis to highlight what part of the plant may be trending towards fault conditions.”

NWA Quality Monitor and NWA Quality Analyst are supplied and supported in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia and Nordic countries by Adept Scientific.

With offices in the UK, USA, Germany and throughout the Nordic region, Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.  Full details and contact information for all Adept Scientific international offices are available at www.adeptscience.com; or telephone +44 (0) 203 695 7810.


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