Friday, 9 September 2011

Wireless strain measurement technology offshore

Mantracourt's Wireless Strain Measurement Technology is Chosen for the Testing of Critical Offshore Systems

Mantracourt's wireless telemetry strain acquisition technology has been chosen by Technip Umbilical Systems (DUCO Ltd), a company that manufactures a range of bespoke 'umbilical systems' for offshore applications.

DUCO umbilicals form the critical link between a subsea production arrangement and a remote facility providing control, power, and communications and chemical services. Applications include production control, chemical injection, subsea pumping and processing, gas lift and underground gas storage among others.

Using Mantracourt's wireless technology, DUCO perform steel tube fatigue tests and remotely monitor strain throughout. This testing is essential as umbilical structures can undergo dynamic stresses throughout service life, which can impact on lifespan and performance. Accurate fatigue data is therefore essential.

"Mantracourt's T24 wireless strain measurement system is ideal for our application," said Robert Nesbitt, Principal Engineer at DUCO. “The tubes rotate during component testing, so 'wired' systems have proven impractical. Moving to the robust, wireless telemetry approach of the T24 is enabling us to reliably collect critical data.”

Tom Crawford, Test Technician at DUCO added that “With the sleep and wake feature, the requirement for personnel intervention can be reduced and battery life increased. Features such as the very small size of the device and Mantracourt’s excellent technical support have also contributed to the success of this project."

Mantracourt are specialists in the design and manufacture of electronics for measurement technologies including strain gauge, temperature, pressure, voltage, current, potentiometer, rate, flow, LVDT and displacement in either analogue, digital or wireless form.

The DUCO system operates with a Mantracourt T24-ACMm, a mini IP54 enclosure which houses the strain gauge acquisition device, converting the analogue signal (mV) to a digital format which is then transmitted via 2.4Ghz frequency to a PC. The internal antenna provides range of up to 100m. The T24-ACMm also has options for a voltage or current input. A small battery pack with 2 x AAA cells is used to provide 3V DC power and has been fixed to the rotating tubes. Duco have used Mantracourt’s toolkit software to receive and log data to a .csv file.

“This is an ideal example of how Mantracourt work with our customers to overcome measurement and instrumentation challenges,” said Kelly Voysey, Marketing Manager at Mantracourt. “With all of the design and manufacturing of our products taking place at our UK factory, we are able not only to maintain absolute quality, but also to provide bespoke systems and the highest level of technical support.”

Features of T24-ACMm
  • Miniature connectivity enclosure (20 x 35 x 60mm)
  • For Strain, Current or Voltage input
  • Separate (optional) battery pack – 2 x AAA cells
  • IP54 Rated
  • Internal chip antenna giving up to 100m range
  • Simple configuration and calibration of acquisition module via PC using base station & T24 Toolkit software
The T24-ACMm enclosure is designed for Mantracourt’s range of telemetry acquisition modules: T24-SA (Strain Acquisition), T24-IA( 0-20mA Current Acquisition), T24-VA (0-10V Voltage Acquisition). The T24 ACMm has simple screw field terminals for easy wiring to a variety of sensors. It also offers users the option to fit wired completion resistors allowing a strain input to be either full, half or quarter bridge. The optional T24-BB1 provides battery power using 2 x AAA Cells and is connected to the ACMm via simple screw field terminals for easy wiring.

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