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A leading boiler manufacturer has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for its market leading Unity boiler management system, based on ABB control equipment.
Byworth Boilers, based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, produces a range of boilers for industries such as pharmaceuticals, brewing and distilling, food and beverage plants as well as facilities like hospitals and schools.

The company and its customers were faced with the challenge that boiler controls use a variety of third-party instrumentation and control products, making it difficult to put together a compatible system.

“Instead of using different instruments to measure individual parameters such as water and steam pressure, the boiler house needs to be treated as a complete integrated process,” explained Jason Atkinson, Control System Engineer for Byworth Boilers. “No boiler manufacturer was offering this sort of system but it was something our customers were asking for, so we decided to look for an integrated solution that we could package as a complete product for our users.”

Byworth chose the ABB Freelance system, comprising ABB AC700F controllers and S700 I/O units and DIGIVIS, a human-machine interface that runs on standard Windows-based PCs. With training and support from ABB facilities in Stone and Minden, Byworth software engineers developed Unity, a control system that gives customers a more efficient and configurable boiler house.

As well as obtaining information from a PC, data can be accessed from the Cloud, allowing managers to see boiler performance on a tablet. Byworth’s engineers can also monitor customers’ systems remotely and advise on corrective action or maintenance.Capable of handling dozens of simultaneous I/Os, Unity is suitable for any boiler house, from control of a single boiler to complex multi-boiler, multi-fuel installations incorporating waste heat and composite boilers.

Using ABB components allows Unity to communicate over Modbus or TCP/IP, simplifying cabling and dramatically cutting costs and installation time. “Having better control makes the customer’s plant safer and more efficient, as well as reducing emissions,” added Jason. “We won the Queen’s Award through two years of team effort to produce Unity which, as a product, is the first of its kind and represents a whole new approach to managing boiler plants safely and efficiently. The support we got from ABB was second-to-none on this project. We also had a swift response to our queries and excellent help in developing the software.”

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people.


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