The problem that BP had was that their 13 LPG filling terminals sites were all 24/7 operations and the Health and Safety Executive insisted on 2 people being present at all times to oversee the filling operations. Some days there may not be a single tanker pulling in to refuel and yet there would still need to be 2 BP staff on site. Over all of BP’s sites this amounted to 26 staff that would have to be employed and also paid overtime (with unsociable shift allowances) although in many cases these staff may not actually be required.
Oriel Systems’ PC based Control and Monitoring software system was installed at each site, which, upon a tanker arriving out of hours would open a voice communications channel between the filling site and the Central Control Station located in Scotland. As soon as this communications link is opened up the screen for the individual site automatically appears in the foreground on the PC. From the overview screen the Central Control operator grants the tanker driver the required permissions to commence re-fuelling operations and a “time band” is allocated to him. During this “time band” all the critical and emergency systems such as the fire pump and deluge system are running non-stop. Once the “time band” has been exceeded the system will automatically shut down necessitating another “time band” to be allocated and permissions to be repeated.
At all times, two cameras, one fixed the other moveable via on screen controls follow every move the tanker driver makes. If he were to fall and injure himself this would be picked up immediately and the necessary action initiated and the operation automatically shut down.
Although CCTV is commonplace these days, the difference was that BP wanted a system that allowed their remotely sited operators to view their own sites on their standard office PC’s and also that the filling operations at each of the remote sites could be viewed over BP’s own high speed Wide Area Network from any location around the country just by plugging a laptop into the nearest standard telephone connection point and accessing the relevant password protected pages. This gave BP the flexibility that they needed at this time, with the option to move the Control Centre to another location at a later date without incurring additional expense.
Oriel Systems, established over 25years provides innovative and flexible remote monitoring and control products and solutions to industry in the UK and averseas.