GE Fanuc 2009 presentation

At a recent press briefing, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms took time to highlight their focus on ‘infrastructure’ industries, confirmed with examples of recent process control system projects, covering oil and gas, power and water. The Fanuc in the name indeed relates to the Japanese CNC machine tool supplier and robotics manufacturer, who have a (minority) share of the joint venture company: and GE Fanuc indeed came from automation in discrete manufacturing. But Gordon Morrison, Western European Director of their Control Systems Business, emphasised that they employ around 10,000 people, spread around the UK, on control system (hardware and software) and are to establish a GE Oil and Gas industry Centre of Excellence in Luton in July 2009.

This new centre arises from significant activity in oil and gas projects offshore, particularly with Fire and Gas systems, for example on BP Talisman, and the integrated control and safety system for the FPSO on the BP Schiehallion field west of Shetland. For this project, Silvertech chose the HMI/Scada software from the GE Fanuc Proficy production and automation software suite, in response to a BP initiative looking at ‘best practice’ solutions within its ‘Fields of the Future’ project (Link).

Michael Desloges, Manager for Process in Europe, explained that the first Proficy Process Systems DCS project was for Xinneng Energy in China, in a Di-Methyl Ether production plant. This plant was quoted to have moved from green field to full production in under 5 months, using Proficy control (Link). GE undoubtedly has a strong base of projects from the other divisions in their group, providing projects in turbine control, load shedding and gas compressor stations from GE Power, and other projects from GE Water. This has led to the development of special Proficy software packages that provide a blueprint sketch to optimise performance in these applications. Quoted water industry projects included the pumping stations for Palm Island in the Gulf, and various desalination plants in Spain, Algeria and the Middle East. The recent application story presented on Processingtalk covers their Formellino Wastewater Treatment plant project at Faenza in Italy (Link).

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