Friday, February 21, 2014

Electric linear actuators!

Thomson Industries has introduced a new PC Series, a new generation of precision, electric linear actuators for continuous duty applications. They offer the highest power density of any actuator in its class. The compact, efficient design enables machine builders clear advantages over traditional pneumatic linear actuators including simpler machine designs, lower maintenance, higher overall performance and substantially lower energy costs.

Traditional pneumatic actuator systems operate continuously, typically at 10-15% efficiency and also carry the high maintenance costs of compressors and air leaks. High efficiency ball screws employed in the new Thomson PC Series electric linear actuators have efficiencies of over 80% and use energy only on demand. Converting from pneumatic to electric actuation, for many applications, can generate in one year energy savings per axis which exceed the cost of the new actuator.

These electric linear actuators offer new flexibility to machine designers who frequently need to change set-ups to run different products or processes. Changing end stops or velocity profiles can be done on the fly with electric actuators, maximizing productivity and reducing scrap. The PC Series is similarly well-suited for food processing and packaging, material handling and factory automation applications where high accuracy and reliability and 100% duty cycle operation is required. They feature an IP65 rating, and smooth exterior profile which makes them ideal for wash down applications.

This new generation of electric linear actuators offers a lot of power in a small package size which allows machine designers to reduce their machine footprint. PC Series actuators in sizes 25, 32 and 40 have square sizes of only 34 mm, 45 mm and 55 mm, respectively; yet deliver as high as 6,000 N of thrust force. Stroke lengths of up to 1200 mm are available, twice as long as most competitive electric actuators in comparable frame sizes. The Thomson PC Series also conforms to ISO 15552 for mechanical interfaces and adapters, making machine upgrades quick and easy.

The PC-Series actuators allow users to easily mount their own motor using the Thomson RediMount™ system for quick and reliable installation with guaranteed alignment. Motor mounting for both in line and parallel axis units can be accomplished in < 5 minutes, ensuring trouble free installation for over 600 pre-engineered motor configurations. Thomson provides expert support along with online sizing, selection and design tools to simplify the selection process and optimize your design solution.

Technology provides space-saving interface with field assembly!

Harting has combined its Ha-VIS PreLink® data network cabling technology with the M12 mating face to produce an extremely compact field-assembly connector solution for Fast Ethernet or PROFINET communications in industrial environments.

M12 is widely used in industrial environments, particularly for connecting machinery and plant components with data-collection terminals and industrial PCs. In such settings, preLink® technology provides the opportunity to work with pre-wired runs or to easily and quickly expand existing cabling infrastructure or convert it from an IP20 degree of protection to IP65/67.

To expand the application area of the preLink® M12 assembly, they have reduced the size of the connector. The new solution means that a product is now available that enables preLink® technology to be used in conjunction with the M12 connector face in applications where space is limited. At the same time, the number of individual parts has been reduced, so that the installer can also perform assembly quickly and easily on site.

The preLink® M12 D-coded connector is suitable for data transmission up to 100 Mbit/s (Fast Ethernet), and meets the requirements for cabling components under the PROFINET guidelines. It is 100% compatible with the M12 standard specified in IEC 61076-2-109, which also describes the eight-pin M12 version suitable for Gigabit and 10 Gbit/s data transfer rates (M12 X-coded).

A preLink® version of the M12 X-coded is under development.

Process safety workshop!

Free workshop teaches the essential elements of Safety Instrumented Systems including how to comply with myriad safety requirements.

ACM Facility Safety presents a free two-day process safety workshop with hands-on instruction on how to deal with safety requirements such as SIL, HAZOP,  LOPA, SIF Loop Verification, SRS and Reporting. The workshop is available in a two-day classroom in Calgary, or as a three-day webinar.

This workshop is designed for engineers and technologists who want to follow best engineering practices with regard to the application of Safety Instrumented Systems in the process industry. The course is free for qualified students and includes a copy of SafeGuard Profiler software, an IEC compliant Safety Integrity Level (SIL) Life Cycle tool, which students will use to compile data, perform analyses and generate reports during the class.

The workshop covers:
    2-day hands-on workshops:
    March 4-5, 2014
    April 1-2, 2014
    May 6-7, 2014

    3-day interactive Webinars:
    March 18-20, 2014
    April 15-17, 2014
    May 13-15, 2014

  • Safety Integrity Level (SIL)
  • Safety Life Cycle (SLC)
  • Safety Instrumented Function (SIF)
  • Hazard and Operability Analysis (HAZOP)
  • Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA)
  • SIL Determination and Validation
  • Safety Requirements Specifications (SRS)
  • LOPA “Loop” Creation
  • SIL Determination using LOPA Scenario Analysis
  • Risk Graph Analysis
  • SIF Loop Verification
  • Loop Linking (SIF to LOPA, SIF to SIF)
  • Contingency Planning and Risk Exposure
  • Reports
  • Other related topics
The workshop is appropriate for High Integrity and Critical Control System specialists, I & C Team Leaders, engineers and technologists, SIL and LOPA team leaders and scribes, and engineers involved in any aspect of the safety Lifecycle.

All workshops are held at the Institute of Hazard Prevention, founded by ACM Facility Safety in Calgary, Alberta, (CDN).

Universal sensor for all applications

The new BVS-E Universal vision sensor from Balluff with integral processing electronics, lighting and two digital outputs is a genuine all-rounder because it combines the functions of the proven BVS-E Advanced and BVS-E Ident vision sensors in a single device. For the first time, a single model is suitable for almost all inspection tasks and simplifies stock management considerably.

Not only can the BVS Universal inspect a large number of characteristics in one pass, it can also simultaneously perform various tasks such as checking brightness, comparing contrasts, counting edges, checking positions, detecting patterns and reading codes at speed. New additional tools such as a 360° contour, barcode and data matrix check as well as the option of counting and checking contours offer virtually unlimited application possibilities.

The result of the check is issued either as an OK or error signal via the digital outputs or the RS 232/Ethernet interface. The position of the detected part can be transmitted to a PLC or robot control, for example, so that the part can be aligned for subsequent process steps.

The universal device is extremely fast. Up to 40 barcodes and data matrix codes are located per second, and then read and verified independently of their position. The code data is available for further processing via an interface.

In addition, an optical character verification (OCV) function can verify printed sequences of characters and numbers such as batch numbers or minimum shelf life dates.

The BVS-E Universal vision sensor is available with different lens versions. Powerful integral red light or infrared LED lights illuminate the image area perfectly. The power supply and peripherals are connected via two industry proven M 12 connections.

The robust, high-end sensor the size of a credit card is easy to use via the supplied ConVIS® software with its intuitive user interface. The user only has to connect the sensor to a PC to configure parameters and operate the sensor using free configuration software. It runs on Windows XP and Windows 7 and also offers the option of storing up to 10,000 inspection images on the computer for troubleshooting purposes, for example.

Training system for BP's Quad 204 North Sea FPSO

A €5.11 million (US$7 million) contract to provide its DeltaV™ Operator Training Solution (OTS) for BP’s Quad 204 North Sea FPSO replacement project has been awarded to Emerson. Training provided through the OTS will help BP personnel achieve safe, efficient operations and take full advantage of the integrated control and safety system (ICSS) that Emerson is providing under a separate contract.

“The OTS will provide a high fidelity dynamic simulation of the Quad 204 facilities,” said Carl Slatter, Quad 204 Project OMS Manager at BP. “It offers a safe environment for operators and others to learn the best ways to deal with situations they may face in actual operations.”

Emerson will install a fully operational training replica of the Quad 204 Project in Aberdeen, BP’s regional production centre, with the longer term aim of relocating it to the BP Upstream Learning Centre at Sunbury (GB). The OTS will include a virtualised DeltaV digital automation system for process control and DeltaV SIS™ for process and emergency shutdown and for fire and gas detection. High fidelity modelling of the topsides process and of an Olga subsea process will be provided by engineering contractor KBR and integrated into the virtual ICSS using SEEDS (Standard Entities for the Engineering of Dynamic Simulators) to ensure consistent implementation.

By providing an engineered, hands-on, process-specific learning environment, the DeltaV OTS will expose operators to what they will experience in their actual control room so they can gain experience in an off-line, non-intrusive environment. Personnel will learn both DeltaV operating concepts and the actual process, preparing operators to effectively handle abnormal situations and process upsets, as well as providing decision support.

“Operator training is an important part of any large project, especially offshore installations where onsite training is difficult to schedule and could delay the start of production,” said Larry Irving, vice president for oil and gas at Emerson Process Management. “The dynamic simulation provided by Emerson’s OTS makes training more realistic – ultimately helping BP to achieve safer and more efficient operation of the Quad 204 facilities.”
Pic: BP
The North Sea Quad 204 project will access the remaining hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, which are located approximately 175 kilometres west of Shetland.  As part of this project Emerson Process Management has been awarded a $21 million USD contract to provide integrated control and safety systems for the new BP FPSO. The new vessel, which will replace the existing Schiehallion FPSO, will be 270 metres long by 52 metres wide and able to process and export up to 130,000 barrels a day of oil, and store in excess of 1 million barrels. Investment in this new facility will enable production to be extended out to 2035 and possibly beyond.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Powerful test systems for test benches and vehicles!

With the FRC-EP series, which consists of the FRC-EP170 and the FRC-EP190, IXXAT offers universally usable hardware platforms for applications on the test bench or in the vehicle, attractive for their high performance, favorable prices, broad range of applications, and support for a wide variety of software solutions.

These devices have FlexRay, CAN, CAN FD, LIN, K-Line, USB, Ethernet, EtherCAT, Bluetooth, and RS232 interfaces, along with analog and digital I/O. Expansion slots make it simple to add other interfaces, including WLAN, GSM, or GPS. This makes the devices scalable, adaptable to specific applications, and ready for the future.

With the new FRC-EP170, IXXAT has now introduced a very compact, cost-effective variant of the familiar FRC-EP190. Both devices have the same processor and the same operating system, making the new variant completely software-compatible and just as powerful.

Thanks to the large number of identical interfaces and its galvanic isolation, extended scalability, and especially its optional EtherCAT slave functionality, the primary target application of the FRC-EP190 is integration with test benches in the automotive communications world.

The handy FRC-EP170 was developed for use in vehicles. Its main application areas are gateway solutions for connection to different ECU integration levels, prototype controllers, expansion of data loggers with additional interfaces, and wireless signal display using off-the-shelf mobile phones or tablet PCs.

Demanding Restbus simulation and gateway solutions can be implemented quickly and easily based on either device, using the corresponding software packages from IXXAT. There are also extensive development packages available for the development of specific solutions. Custom functions and applications can be implemented quickly and easily by customers in-house thanks to the use of the Linux operating system and the availability of a free Software Development Kit.

Switches win award!

Red Lion Controls has announced that its N-Tron series NT24k managed Gigabit Ethernet switches were awarded the Golden Mousetrap for Industrial Networking Technologies in the Automation and Control category.
The awards, presented by Design News, celebrate the companies, products and people who are energizing North American design, engineering and manufacturing.
This award further validates Red Lion’s long history of commitment to superior innovation and engineering,” said Mike Granby, president of Red Lion Controls. “Industrial Ethernet switches are a key component in the move to the connected world, and industrially fluent and modular products like our NT24k series continue to be at the forefront of this transformation.”
Available in rackmount and DIN rail models, Red Lion’s NT24k switches provide modular versatility to customers through hot-swappable copper and fiber Fast Ethernet and Gigabit connectivity options. With all-Gigabit capability and a diverse array of connectivity options, the NT24k switches deliver configuration flexibility that meets industrial networking requirements across industries such as factory automation, utilities, video surveillance, security, transportation and alternative energy. Previously, the NT24k won the Automation World “First Team Supplier” Award and the Control Engineering China “Best Product of the Year” award in the Networking Communications category.
“The NT24k has been an extremely successful product in our industrial networking portfolio,” said Diane Davis, director of Ethernet networking at Red Lion Controls. “The NT24k’s modular versatility and plug and play port configuration features are key benefits, which allow customers in different industries to easily customize a solution to fit specific environment requirements, while taking advantage of Gigabit speeds, high port densities and a full range of management features.”
The editorial staff at Design News judged the many Golden Mousetrap entries across four categories to determine the products most deserving to be finalists. The editorial team then shared the finalist entries with the publication’s distinguished Advisory Board to choose the winners, who were named in a ceremony earlier this month in Anaheim, Calif. Red Lion’s Graphite® HMI series of advanced operator panels was also selected a finalist in the Automation and Control category. 

• Red Lion products are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology

Passively-cooled cabinets protect instrumentation on world’s largest vessel!

High performance environmental protection cabinets for Shell’s ‘Prelude’ floating liquefied natural gas project are being supplied by Intertec. Designed specifically for extended service life in hazardous areas, the shelters incorporate innovative semi-passive cooling technology and are some of the most stringently specified instrumentation protection solutions that Intertec has ever produced.

Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project is setting new engineering records. Designed to liquefy natural gas extracted from subsea wells by chilling it to -162 degrees Celsius, and to then store the liquid until it is offloaded to large LNG carriers, the vessel will be the largest in the world, with a length of 488 metres and a width of 74 metres. The hull of the vessel was constructed in South Korea and launched in December 2013. Due to enter service in 2017, the vessel will be towed to the Prelude and Concerto gas fields in the Browse Basin near Timor, about 200 km off the northwest coast of Australia, where it will be permanently anchored for about 25 years. After this time it will be inspected, overhauled and possibly moved to a new location, where it will be expected to provide a further 25 years of service.

Much of the on-line process analysis instrumentation on the Prelude FLNG vessel will be housed in purpose-built environmental protection cabinets supplied by Intertec. In total, the company is supplying 90 cabinets for sample conditioning systems and 30 cabinets for process analyzers, each designed to match the instrumentation content and layout precisely in order to optimise thermal performance.

As Intertec’s Commercial Director, Hans Geiger, points out, “Only three of the 120 cabinets that Intertec is supplying for this project are the same size. Our specialised design and automated manufacturing capabilities enable us to produce custom environmental protection products very easily, to optimise performance and match the space available on demanding applications like this.”

The cabinets are required to be capable of withstanding severe Category 5 tropical cyclones with wind speeds in excess of 252 km/h (157 mph) and to have a minimum service life of 25 years - with 50 years as a design aim. Additional requirements include a high degree of resistance to corrosion being caused by the saline environment and the presence of sour or acid gas, and the ability to cool electronics equipment without using explosion-proof air conditioning systems, which incur high capital and operating costs.

These environmental protection cabinets are constructed from a proprietary composite material comprising sandwich walls of long-fibre glass reinforced polyester (GRP) sheets, enclosing a core of polyurethane foam. The material has a similar strength to that of stainless steel but is about four times lighter, making it ideal for use on offshore platforms and floating structures, where every effort is made to minimise weight.

Other advantages include a very low thermal conductivity which facilitates the construction of efficient, condensation-free cooling cabinets, and an inherently high resistance to corrosion caused by salt or aggressive chemicals such as sulphur or chlorine. For this project, the external surfaces of the cabinets are further protected by a thick layer of UV-resistant gel coat. In order to meet the application’s high wind speed requirements, each cabinet is equipped with special built-in mountings – which are external to the thermally insulated parts of the enclosure – to secure the top and base to Prelude’s deck structure. All external metal components are fabricated from 316 stainless steel with a corrosion-resistant protective coating that is specified for ship use.

Each of the 120 Intertec cabinets incorporates a unique form of semi-passive cooling technology. The internal face of the cabinets' rear walls are fitted with a high efficiency heat exchanger, comprising one or more aluminium cooling plates and stainless steel coolant pipes connected to Prelude’s cold water supply system, which obtains ‘cold’ water from the deep sea by a 150 m long pipe below the vessel. Heat dissipated by the equipment in the cabinets is absorbed by the water and transferred to the vessel’s main water cooling system, where it is dissipated to the environment. The size of each cabinet depends on the power dissipation of the contained sample conditioning or process analyzer system, which ranges from 140 W to 900 W.

This form of distributed cooling has enormous technical and economic advantages, especially in hazardous areas or where space and weight is at a premium. It provides a very efficient means of removing heat from the cabinets without requiring local air conditioning systems, which would necessarily need to be explosion proof – and therefore expensive. Furthermore, transferring heat from individual air conditioners of below-deck cabinet installations to the ambient environment would be a major challenge and involve significant amounts of space-consuming air ducting. The semi-passive cooling system is inherently safe for use in a hazardous environment; at the cabinet level it requires little or no electrical power of its own and is virtually maintenance-free, making it ideal for long life-cycle applications.

The intended operating environment for Shell’s Prelude FLNG vessel poses significant instrumentation protection challenges. The Browse Basin is very close to the Equator, which means that it has a tropical climate with an average temperature of about 32 degrees Celsius. This moist and hot environment, combined with a salt-laden atmosphere, is highly conducive to rust formation, making non-metallic protection cabinets a sensible design choice. In some of Prelude’s more confined spaces, the ambient temperature could reach more than 50 degrees Celsius. Even under these extreme conditions, all of the passively-cooled cabinets that Intertec is producing for the project are designed to keep their internal air temperature below 35 degrees Celsius

Investment boosts air quality instrument rental fleet!

In line with its strategy of continual investment in the latest instrumentation, Ashtead Technology has added TSI’s leading portable air quality monitors to its rental fleet.
The new models include the lightweight, portable Q-TRAK indoor air quality monitor which is available with a probe for simultaneous measurements of CO2, CO, temperature and humidity or an alternative probe for air velocity, temperature and humidity. Both portable and desktop versions of the DUSTTRAK DRX dust/aerosol monitor have also been added to the fleet – these instruments simultaneously measure size-segregated mass fraction concentrations corresponding to PM1, PM2.5, PM10, respirable and total PM size fractions. The portable P-TRAK completes the range providing the ability to detect ultrafine particles (<.1 micrometer) that arise from leaks combustion processes or chemical reactions.

“In combination with a wide range of other air quality monitors, these instruments ensure that Ashtead Technology’s customers are provided with quick and simple access to the most appropriate technology for their needs,” says Key Account Manager Jay Neermul, adding: “We invest heavily in technology, so that our customers don’t have to.”

Leaders in wireless technology solutions!

Yokogawa receives Frost & Sullivan 2014 Global Enabling Technology Leadership Award in wireless solutions category

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has received the Frost & Sullivan 2014 Global Enabling Technology Leadership Award in the wireless solutions category. The Enabling Technology Leadership Award is presented to companies around the world that are best-in-class in a specific category.

Field wireless systems enable a plant’s field devices and host-level monitoring and control systems to communicate wirelessly with each other. This has numerous advantages such as allowing the placement of field instruments or analytical sensors in difficult-to-wire locations, which eliminates the need for cables to connect devices and reduces installation costs.

Yokogawa released the world’s first ISA100.11a compliant wireless system devices and wireless pressure and temperature transmitters in July 2010, and the company continues to enhance its lineup of wireless solutions. In accordance with the “Wireless Anywhere” concept, which was announced in April 2013, Yokogawa is seeking to promote the plant-wide use of field wireless systems by developing new ISA100 Wireless™ devices. In December 2013, the company started providing a wireless communications module with a built-in antenna that can help field device manufacturers significantly shorten the time needed for developing wireless solutions. Later this year, the company also plans to release a multi-protocol wireless adaptor that will enable wired field instruments or analytical sensors to be used as ISA100 Wireless devices.

Frost & Sullivan selected Yokogawa for this award because of the company's efforts to develop ISA100 Wireless solutions that enable high-reliability, openness, and interoperability. In selecting the award recipient, Frost & Sullivan evaluated companies based on whether they enabled the creation of new products, enhanced current products, enabled new applications, had potential for market acceptance, and had a breadth of access to technology. Yokogawa was recognised for making a superior contribution in developing innovative field wireless solutions.

In line with the “Wireless Anywhere” concept, Yokogawa will continue to expand its lineup of ISA100 Wireless solutions and promote the use of field wireless technologies. The company is working on the application of wireless technologies that can be suitable for both monitoring and control purposes throughout plants.

Enclosure for extreme conditions!

Rittal’s SE 8 enclosure range is now fit for extreme conditions with a new NEMA 4/4x protection category. The SE 8 enclosure type has UL, cUL and NEMA 12 (IP55 equivalent) approvals as standard features, with protection class NEMA 12 as the default, sufficient for the majority of applications.

With the optional NEMA 4 (for steel enclosures) and NEMA 4x classifications (for stainless steel ones), which roughly correspond to IP 66, the enclosures offer increased defence against wind-driven dust, rain, splashed water and water jets, as well as from damage caused by external ice formation. Electrical and electro-nic equipment within the NEMA 4/4x enclosure is protected and can now also be used in extreme applica-tions, thanks to the improved dust and water protection.

In order to achieve NEMA 4/4x classification, modificati-ons to Rittal’s SE 8 range of enclosures has been made. The door and rear panel have been reinforced with a tubular door frame, integrated through a one-piece floor plate with an all-round seal in the base area of the enclosure.
Unlike baying suites with frames and removable side panels, the body of the SE 8 free-standing enclosure consists of two side panels and a roof which is made from one piece of sheet steel. The rear panel can be unscrewed for easy access to the enclosure.

White paper on sensing in shale gas processing!

Advances in optical sensing technologies provide way forward for processing shale gas!

Michell Instruments has issued a white paper, Advances in Optical Techniques for Moisture and Hydrocarbon Detection, which discusses how new optical sensing techniques for processing natural gas will help the industry face current challenges.

Newly emerging gas sources – such as shale gas and biogas – are helping to meeting the world wide demand for natural gas, but bring new challenges to the processing industry. All raw natural gas varies in composition when it is extracted but these new sources vary much more rapidly and over more extreme ranges. Although methane is the main component, the wellhead gas also contains amounts of other hydrocarbons such as propane, butane and some heavy hydrocarbons. There are also varying quantities of other contaminants such as water, nitrogen, hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide. Shale gas in particular can have far greater dynamic variation in its constituent hydrocarbon composition, and also often contains far higher levels of contaminants such as CO2 and water than is typical from natural gas originating from other sources.

The challenge to the processing industry is being able to treat these different compositions of raw gas to meet the same international standards before it is injected into the transmission pipeline. 
The developments in new optical sensing techniques discussed in the white paper show how increased sensitivity in detection limits in optical sensing methods – including both chilled mirror for hydrocarbon dew point and laser spectroscopy for moisture measurements, will help processors to meet the guidelines.

• Michell Instruments are marketed in Ireland by Instrument Technology

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Three pressure switch families from Honeywell #PAuto @HONSensorSwitch

Honeywell has added three new series to its pressure switch portfolio: the HP Series, HE Series and LE Series. The new Pressure Switches provide high burst pressure ranges, a long life cycle rating and IP67 sealing, enhancing durability and reliability.

Pressure switches are often installed into challenging applications with wide operating ranges and specific switching requirements. High burst pressure and up to 2 million life cycle ratings allow the switch to operate and survive in demanding applications and ensure long life and reliable switching. These features can help to protect critical systems, reduce OEM warranty costs and end-user downtime. Pressure switches are also often exposed to harsh environmental conditions and washing applications which can result in damaging water ingress. Honeywell’s pressure switches include IP67 sealing to improve durability and prevent water ingress from causing the switch to fail.

“Honeywell’s platform design allows us to quickly adapt to our customers’ unique needs,” said Wade Wessels, global product marketing manager. “This results in customers receiving product samples within two weeks of ordering, and within four weeks for production units. Additionally, this expanded modular portfolio reduces total cost of ownership and helps to protect operators and critical equipment subsystems.”

A comprehensive selection of ports, electrical terminations and compatibility with a variety of media allow for use in most customer applications, simplifying the design-in process, eliminating tooling costs and reducing manufacturing and labor costs. The pressure switches provide a wide temperature range of -40 °C to 120 °C [-40 °F to 248 °F], and accuracy of up to ±2%. The electromechanical gauge pressure on/off switches are available with either single pole single throw normally open or normally closed circuitry, or single pole double throw circuitry. They are available for use in a wide variety of applications in the industrial and transportation industries.

Remote continuous equipment monitoring on new fixed platform!

Statoil has awarded Emerson Process Management a  €1.96 million (US$2.7m) contract to supply an integrated condition and performance monitoring system for the Gina Krog oil and gas platform in the Norwegian North Sea. The system will enable Statoil personnel onshore to continuously monitor the new fixed platform’s critical and essential pumps, compressors and other mechanical equipment, in order to maximise efficiency and identify any potential problems before they affect production.

Emerson’s integrated Condition Based Maintenance solution provides machinery protection, prediction and performance monitoring of all critical and essential assets. The solution will include Emerson’s CSI 6500 Machinery Health Monitor and AMS Suite predictive maintenance software. This solution will deliver predictive diagnostics as well as equipment health alerts to allow personnel to take timely corrective maintenance actions to avoid unplanned shutdowns and maintain production while reducing maintenance costs.

Central to this solution is AMS Suite: Asset Performance Management, which is built on Meridium’s APM software. The software will aggregate all asset data to present a clear picture of overall asset health and performance so work notifications can be created and fed back to the SAP Enterprise Asset Management system for immediate attention.

The solution also includes a wireless communication infrastructure based on IEC 62591 (WirelessHART) technology, which will support future enhancements to capture additional equipment data on the platform at a lower cost than traditional wired communications.

“As a preferred supplier under our long-term framework agreement with Statoil, we are delighted that our reliability and asset management technologies will be used to support Statoil’s vision for implementing Condition Based Maintenance across its critical assets,” said Larry Irving, vice president, oil and gas industry, Emerson Process Management. “When this is combined with the systems that enable remote monitoring, there are real benefits in terms of maximised production, reduced costs and increased efficiencies.”

This award extends the scope of a previous contract for Emerson to provide an integrated process control, safety and asset management system for the new upstream operations. Located just north of the Sleipner West field in the central part of the North Sea, the Gina Krog field (previously called Dagny) is expected to produce some 60,000 barrels of oil and 9 million Sm3 of rich gas per day.

Gina Grog (1847-1916), was a Norwegian feminist pioneer, teacher, liberal politician and editor.

Leader in steam, air, and hot water joins #wireless body!

The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute has announced that Armstrong International, a leader in steam, gas, and hot water systems, has joined the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute.

“Adopting ISA100 Wireless was a simple decision for us,” said Kerry Phillips, Global Manager of Smart Services Group, Armstrong International. “We are confident about the reliability, interoperability and scalability offered by ISA100 Wireless. It is a well-constructed, user-defined wireless standard that offers great ROI for suppliers.”

A thriving company for more than 100 years, Armstrong International delivers intelligent solutions that improve utility performance, lower energy consumption, and reduce environmental emissions. Armstrong International operates across many industries, including hydrocarbon and chemical processing, pharmaceutical, institutional campuses, healthcare, and food and beverage processing.

“Armstrong International’s products will round out the ISA100 Wireless product portfolio for steam, air and hot water applications,” said Andre Ristaino, Managing Director, ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute. “We look forward to Armstrong’s contributions at ISA100 WCI.

WEG strengthens its position in the oil & gas sector!

WEG has achieved approved supplier status for two global oil and gas companies, strengthening its position as a leading supplier to the industry. WEG, manufacturer of drive technology, automation equipment, power generation/ distribution solutions and electric motors, has been approved by Scandinavia’s Aker Solutions and Italy’s Eni S.p.A to deliver its reliable and energy efficient solutions, enabling customers to increase operational efficiencies and improve bottom-line results.

WEG has been categorised as a Level A supplier by Aker Solutions’ sourcing Supplier Qualification System. WEG earned a high score of 95 out of 100 on the Supplier Qualification System, which evaluates categories including quality management, health and safety, supply chain management, human resources, process management and operational results.

“We are delighted that we have been recognised as providing excellent solutions and have achieved approved supplier status with these two renowned global leaders in the oil and gas markets,” says Marek Lukaszczyk, European & Middle East Marketing Manager at WEG. “This status cements our position as an expert.”

WEG provides the highest levels of energy efficiency and protection in hazardous environments and its equipment is reliable in the harsh operating environments found in the oil and gas industry, from reservoir to production and through the life of a field.

WEG’s W22Xd flameproof motor meets worldwide standards and has recently achieved certification to meet European ATEX and International IECEx requirements. The WEG W22XdB/W22XdC and W22XdM flameproof motors are specially designed to meet the certification requirements for equipment installed in oil and gas and mining hazardous areas respectively.

WEG works with OEM pump suppliers and major oil and gas companies worldwide to help them realise energy cost savings and its optimised motors and drives provide energy efficient operation in some of the most arduous applications and prestigious offshore oil projects.

More productivity with optimally cushioned pneumatic cylinders!

Festo, the leading supplier in automation equipment, has issued a new whitepaper “More productivity with optimally cushioned pneumatic cylinders” to help engineers and designers understand the advantages and disadvantages of various cushioning technologies, so they can improve their processes.

Free to download from their website, the whitepaper clearly outlines the benefits of end-position cushioning systems in pneumatic drives and highlights the latest end-position cushioning technology for pneumatic cylinders.

“Good end-position cushioning decreases the impact forces generated by changing loads and extreme dynamic stress – factors that play a crucial role in defining the travel time and speed of pneumatic cylinders,” says Steve Sands, product manager at Festo.

With the right end-position cushioning, machine builders can significantly increase the efficiencies of their entire pneumatic systems and when used to its full effect, it can improve cycle times and even reduce the size of the components used.

Predictive-diagnostic software and services improves uptime, reliability & equipment insight!

Statoil has chosen GE’s Proficy® SmartSignal predictive-diagnostic software and services from GE’s Industrial Performance & Reliability Center (Industrial-PRC) to improve the uptime and increase the reliability of heavy rotating equipment such as gas turbines, generators and compressors.

Statoil, headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, is the largest Oil & Gas operator on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and operates more than 30 offshore platforms, in addition to onshore facilities such as gas treatment, crude oil reception, refinement and methanol production.

In considering Proficy SmartSignal, Statoil was looking for a solution with a proven track record that demonstrated timely payback while ensuring consistent implementation quality. As a result of a competitive proposal process Statoil chose GE Intelligent Platforms’ Proficy SmartSignal solution, with a strong focus on the technical solution as well as the commercial aspects. GE completed the rollout and “go live” of the 50 equipment items (assets) in the initial phase in a little more than eight weeks.

The company intends to implement GE’s software as part of its ‘Condition Monitoring Predictive Analytics’ (CMPA) solution, initially for its offshore fleet. They are currently considering expansion of the solution to onshore and across its other regional business units.

“With Statoil’s fleet of gas turbines and its large Bently Nevada installation, adding Proficy SmartSignal provides the greatest value solution for providing the foresight to help Statoil move towards becoming a fully proactive organization,” said Brian Courtney, General Manager for GE Intelligent Platforms’ Industrial Data Intelligence business. “The Industrial-PRC is staffed with oil & gas experts, which provides low risk and high value to Statoil by ensuring the proper adoption of the SmartSignal solution.”

Proficy SmartSignal matched well with existing work processes and software tools used by Statoil’s Condition Monitoring Centre.

Proficy SmartSignal predictive-diagnostic software identifies equipment problems and helps avoid unexpected shutdowns. The software identifies developing faults utilizing exception-based, prioritized, ‘apparent cause’ diagnostics. This monitoring and diagnostic capability runs, 24 hours per day, seven days per week. GE’s Industrial-PRC monitors more than 50 sites and 4,000 high-valued assets worldwide processing terabytes of data to predict equipment failures.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Electromagnetic flowmeter!

Magnetrol has introduced the Polaris electromagnetic flow meter, which is capable of measuring liquids with a conductivity as low as 5 µS/cm in closed pipes. It is an accurate and repeatable flow meter that is suitable for a variety of water based and sludge flow applications.

This transmitter is backlit and rotatable with the capability of measuring forward and reverse flow rates, as well as total volume. HART® protocol allows the use of PACTwareTM for configuration and diagnostics. The sensor can be flanged or wafer style and is available with an assortment of standard liners and electrode materials.

The POLARIS transmitter is the first liquid flow meter offered by MAGNETROL, expanding the already diverse level and flow measurement portfolio that has been established over the last 80 years.

Next generation Fork Viscosity Meter!

Direct insertion Micro Motion® Fork Viscosity Meter is designed for demanding applications where accurate, fast-response viscosity and density monitoring is required

Micro Motion® Fork Viscosity Meter, the next generation of the market-leading Micro Motion 7827 and 7829 direct insertion viscosity and density meters has been announced by Emerson. Incorporating the same rugged and reliable tuning fork design as its predecessors, the Fork Viscosity Meter is built to tackle demanding process applications such as oil fired heater combustion control, HFO blending/production and pump protection.

In applications where accurate, fast-response viscosity and density monitoring is required, this instrument is the ideal choice. The meter helps solve problems customers face on a daily basis, such as reducing oil fired heater combustion emissions, minimising cutter-stock usage in HFO blending and reducing contamination risks on multi-product pipelines.

The Fork Viscosity Meter incorporates a hazardous area approved head-mounted transmitter that has the flexibility to connect to control systems via a wide range of digital and analogue protocols. Because it supports 4-20mA, HART, WirelessHART, FOUNDATION fieldbus and RS485 Modbus, system integration and start-up/commissioning costs are significantly reduced.

An additional benefit of the Fork Viscosity Meter is the capability of accepting and processing external signals from other field instrumentation such as temperature, pressure and mass/volumetric flow devices. The input of these external measurements enables the Fork Viscosity Meter to calculate and output enhanced process measurements while minimising installation and cabling costs.

The Fork Viscosity Meter also incorporates a new diagnostic capability called Known Density Verification that checks the meter for measurement alarm conditions, sensor integrity and the presence of coating, erosion or corrosion. This new technology expands the availability of diagnostics information in critical viscosity and density measurement applications which can result in significant maintenance costs and cycle time reductions.

Wireless receiver with TCP/IP-interface!

For the integration of wireless switchgear in Ethernet networks

As wireless technology spreads through industrial automation, possible connections to superordinate communication networks are also on the increase. One example of this is the .steute TCP/IP receiver.

This bidirectional gateway enables switchgear from the steute Wireless range to be connected to terminals which communicate via the universal Internet/Ethernet protocol TCP/IP. It can receive and pass on signals from up to 40 sensors.

The interface corresponds to the IEEE 802.3 standard, with a transmission rate of 100/10 Mbit/s. Configuration of the wireless Ethernet gateway takes place via a web-based interface which supports both initial operation and diagnosis. The gateway is linked using a RJ45 connector.

The TCP/IP receiver is available in three versions: for the sWave 868 and sWave 915 wireless technologies developed by steute especially for industry, as well as for the EnOcean standard which is frequently found in the context of building automation. It is also well suited to use in combination with all the switches, sensors and push-buttons in the steute Wireless range.

Explosion proof stainless steel vertical float switch!

The Deeter Group now has an Explosion Proof Stainless Steel Vertical Float Switch. The F/S FP is a stainless steel vertical float switch providing users with flexible options for sensing liquid level heights within a hazardous environment. The switch is customisable for different switching points and sensor lengths to suit the required application.

The new Explosion Proof F/S FP Explosion Proof Stainless Steel Vertical Float Switch is suitable use in high liquid pressures and may be used in gas or dust contaminated environments, is IP68 ingress protected and can be provided in custom lengths up to 4m.

The Deeter F/S FP uses reed switch sensors to provide up to 7 switch points on one stem. Custom options include mixed normally open and normally closed switch contacts and internal and external mounting options may be specified.

Neil Palmer, Sales Manager of Deeter Group, comments, “The development of our new explosion proof vertical float switch is in response to growing market demands for sensing in hazardous areas. Having our design and manufacturing based in the UK enables us to offer a rapid response to custom sensor requests.”

Typical applications for the new Deeter Explosion Proof F/S FP Explosion Proof Stainless Steel Vertical Float Switch include, level sensing in hydraulic Fluid tanks, level sensing in Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking) water holding and recycling tanks.

LNG carrier control system order for Ichthys LNG Project!

Yokogawa has received an order from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. to supply the control system for an LNG carrier that is being built for the Ichthys LNG project in Australia. This project is being carried out by a joint venture between INPEX (operator), Total, and several other companies. 

Gas from the Ichthys field, which is located offshore of northwestern Australia, will undergo preliminary processing at sea to remove water and impurities, and extract condensate. The gas will then be transported by undersea pipeline to onshore processing facilities in Darwin. The project is expected to produce 8.4 million tons of LNG and 1.6 million tons of LPG per year, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.

The ship will be the world’s largest Moss-type LNG carrier and will be used for transporting LNG from an onshore LNG processing plant that is being constructed as part of the Ichthys LNG project. The ship is scheduled to enter service by the end of 2016, in time for the completion of the plant. The ship is also the first Moss-type LNG carrier equipped with a dual fuel diesel engine (DFDE), which burns both fuel oil and gas.

Yokogawa will deliver the CENTUM® VP integrated production control system for monitoring and controlling the LNG carrier’s LNG tanks and loading/unloading facilities as well as the supply of gas to the DFDE and the supply of power to other driving units. Yokogawa will also be responsible for the engineering and commissioning of the control system.

Yokogawa believes that the following factors were key considerations in the decision to give it this order:

  1. The company has already delivered control systems for other DFDE ships.
  2. The company has a global service network, ensuring that vessels can undergo maintenance at any LNG port.

They won the control systems order for other Ichthys LNG project facilities in 2012. These include the onshore LNG processing plant, offshore production/process facilities, and the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. With this contract, the CENTUM VP system will cover all project facilities, from production to LNG transport.

Globally, the construction of many LNG carriers is planned for the transport of LNG from North America, Russia, Africa, and other regions. Backed by this order, Yokogawa will expand its control business for marine resource development facilities, including LNG carriers, FPSO vessels, floating LNG (FLNG) vessels, and floating storage and re-gasification units (FSRU).

Monday, February 17, 2014

Controls for combined cycle power plant in Uruguay!

Yokogawa has received an order from Hyundai Engineering & Construction, a major engineering company in South Korea, to supply a control system for a combined cycle power plant that it is building for La Administración Nacional de Usinas y Trasmisiones Eléctricas (UTE) in Punta del Tigre (UY). Plants of this type rely on gas and steam turbines to generate electricity. The exhaust heat from a gas turbine is used to generate steam, which is sent to a steam turbine to generate additional electricity.

Pic: Hyundai
This is the first combined cycle power plant in Uruguay and the order is Yokogawa’s first for a power plant in this country.

Uruguay depends largely on hydroelectric power. However, the amount of electricity that can be generated varies depending on seasonal weather-related factors, and the country must make up for shortfalls by importing electricity from neighboring countries. To increase the country’s power generation capacity, UTE has commissioned the construction of a highly efficient combined cycle power plant next to its existing thermal power plant in Punta del Tigre. The new plant is expected to come online in June 2015. With an installed capacity of 520 MW, it will be Uruguay’s largest thermal power plant.

For this project, Yokogawa will deliver a CENTUM® VP integrated production control system for the monitoring and control of all plant facilities, including the gas turbines, exhaust-heat-recovery boilers, and steam turbines. The company will also supply an Exaquantum™ plant information management system and DPharp EJA/EJX differential pressure/pressure transmitters, and will be responsible for the engineering, installation, and commissioning of these products. In addition, it will provide operator training services.

The winning of this order to provide a control system and other solutions for this plant, which is expected to make a significant contribution in improving the supply of power throughout the country, can be attributed to the following:

  • Yokogawa’s solid track record in the power industry, including the combined cycle power plant segment
  • Their long-term relationship with Hyundai Engineering & Construction
  • An excellent customer support network in South America

Interest in combined cycle power plants has risen because they generate power more efficiently and emit fewer greenhouse gases than conventional thermal power plants that use only gas or steam turbines. In comparison to thermal power plants that use coal and other fuels, combined cycle power plants do not require large-scale onsite facilities, and can thus be built more quickly and at lower cost. For such reasons, power utilities all over the world are planning to construct plants of this type at sites that have ready access to natural gas.

Encouraged by its success in winning this order, Yokogawa plans to expand its control business in the power sector, including the combined cycle power plant segment.

British robots still doing well!

The annual sales of industrial robots for 2013 have beaten are almost as strong as the record year in 2012 reports the British Automation and Robot Association (BARA). Once again the automotive and automotive components sectors have been the main source.

2012 was a record year for Robot sales with 2,476 industrial robots being sold from the major suppliers, but 2013 has almost matched this figure at 95% of last year’s sales with 2,305 units being sold. Mike Wilson Chairman of BARA said ‘whilst this is good news and the automotive sector has unsurprisingly generated most of these sales, we are witnessing only a modest upward trend over the last few years in the uptake of automation and robotics across other sectors. The Pharmaceutical industry being the strongest with growth of 116% over last year’s result and food and drink rising by 28%.”

Grant Collier Head of Marketing for BARA, and responsible for the Automating Manufacturing programme – a government initiative to persuade UK companies to automate and remain competitive, said “we have seen a tremendous level of interest from all sectors for the use of automation but in particular 37% of the total 367 applications received came from the food sector. However, when surveyed there is a great deal of reticence to automate the food sector due to the pressure that the major supermarkets apply to supplier margins. The Groceries Code Adjudicator has been appointed to try to sort these issues out which in turn should help when it comes to investment in robotics and automation equipment. The Adjudicator will explain at the PPMA show at the N.E.C in September just how she is tackling this supply chain blockage’.  

Other sector variances include the plastics sector with robot sales up by 58% but Aerospace is down by 46%.