Able Instruments & Controls, a UK supplier of instrumentation and control solutions for the process industries, has announced the award of a multimillion dollar contract order to supply flowmeters to the natural gas processing facility within the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project in Australia, one of the world’s largest natural gas projects.
Able is the exclusive UK & Ireland channel partner for McCrometer flow meters. The McCrometer V-Cone Flow Element, an advanced differential pressure instrument, requires a maximum of 3 diameters upstream and 1 diameter downstream, avoiding the long runs of straight pipe required by other technologies such as orifice plate, venturi and vortex meters.
The McCrometer V-Cone Flow Elements, in sizes from 1″ to 56″, will be used for various applications, including acid gas removal unit trains, dehydration unit trains, mercury removal unit trains, liquefaction unit trains, refrigeration trains, carbon dioxide injection unit trains, heating medium system trains, diesel storage and distribution, and fire and gas protection. Part of the reason the V-Cone was chosen is that it suits rugged conditions, where accuracy, high reliability and long life, low pressure drop, low maintenance and cost are important.
The Gorgon Project is the largest single resource natural gas project in Australia’s history. The project will develop the Greater Gorgon Area gas fields, located 130km off the north-west coast of Western Australia. It includes the construction of a 15 million tonne per annum (MTPA) Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) plant on Barrow Island and a domestic gas plant with the capacity to supply 300 terajoules per day equivalent gas to Western Australia.
The Gorgon Project is operated by an Australian subsidiary of Chevron and is a joint venture of the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (approximately 47 percent), ExxonMobil (25 percent) and Shell (25 percent), Osaka Gas (1.25 percent), Tokyo Gas (one percent) and Chubu Electric Power (0.417 percent).
HUG focus is on transformation, via mobilization and virtualization! says the lead article from the Industrial Automation INSIDER newsletter for July.
The Honeywell User Group convened again mid June, in Phoenix, Arizona, for the annual meeting, billed as for the Americas, but with 1000 plus attendees from 34 countries, it was more like a world event – back at the attendance levels of 2007, and double those from last year (INSIDER, July 2010 page 4). However, as Gary Mintchell observed, and pointed out in his FeedForward blog, the ratio of staff to users has decreased in these events, so the user numbers were even more impressive.
Just like last year, Norm Gilsdorf, president of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS), opened the conference with a keynote speech commenting on four vital elements: – for 2010 you may remember they were the “-ty” elements, like uncertainty, and availability (of capital), safety and security, availability (of engineers), and utilities (green energy and water). Some of these came through to 2011, but there was no mention of uncertainty and capital availability as constraints, which must reflect a general upward mood-swing.
For this year the four vital elements are all “-ations”: spelling them out we have “globalization, mobilization, integration and collaboration” quoted as the vital elements in the competitive marketplace. To respond to this, Gilsdorf declares that Honeywell has changed: “We’ve evolved from being an automation company to a business transformation company,” enabling customers to make “faster decisions, better decisions, decisions in remote-access areas and decisions that will improve profitability.”
Mobilization of people and assets is important, Gilsdorf said, but process industries are really only just beginning to adapt to this trend. By mobilization, he means information transfer to people on the plant or on the move: “Getting information to the right place, to the right experts, wherever they are in the world, can also create a competitive advantage.” Mobile computing devices are being used within industry: “We need to learn to leverage that in the process industries—so you can make faster decisions, better decisions, decisions that sometimes don’t need operator intervention, decisions that help you solve problems better, in a faster way,” he said.
The emphasis of OneWireless at Honeywell is now pointed more at information flow than just at wireless plant sensors and controls. This is the essence of business transformation, using techniques available within automation systems to add more value, enable better business decisions.
Integration and collaboration
Integration and collaboration means Honeywell has been working more closely with the supply chain, with companies such as Microsoft, IBM and SAP, and also refers to the recent acquisitions of Matrikon and RMG: the careful addition of such acquisitions is seen as a Honeywell strength. However, maybe the recent focus on acquisitions like Enraf and RMG has brought management attention back onto field devices, where they realize that investment has lagged behind competitors: one of the new divisions created is to concentrate on field instruments.
Gary Mintchell also reported that Gilsdorf is forecasting increased investment to add more intelligence onto standard field devices in the coming year. He also has committed to bring in 50 new young engineers into HPS centres across the world every year, to enhance both HPS and the industry in terms of youth and expertise.
Latest product developments
Jason Urso, chief technology officer at HPS, then detailed some of the major new product launches and developments of interest for 2011, in a fairly packed presentation. First came the Honeywell approach to reducing TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), a critical priority for HPS. Major user attention in Phoenix was paid to all lectures discussing virtualization technology, to be available with the Experion PKS, via the Honeywell collaboration with VMWare, by Q3 2011 (VMWare was a sponsor of the HUG conference, as were Microsoft and Matrikon). Virtualization is promoted by HPS since it can reduce the PC hardware users need on site by around 90% in some cases.
Mobilization now allows DCS information to be transmitted via OneWireless from the Experion PKS to integrate smart devices in the field network, such as the Dolphin operator interface from Honeywell Hand Held Products, making operators more efficient in the field: also data can be transmitted securely to commercial devices, such as iPhone and iPad.
Personal gas alarm
Also for these mobile operators, Honeywell are still planning the launch of the personal gas alarm and wireless locator in 2011: first discussed at the HUG European meeting in October 2010 (INSIDER November 2010, page 3) this was new to the US audience, and described as “game changing” by Urso, so possibly includes other capabilities.
Similar devices offered for lone worker protection (but in non-hazardous areas) by Intelligent Distributed Controls in the UK use ZigBee wireless communications, and include temperature monitoring and a positional location engine, based on the inputs from built-in accelerometers: these sensors also provide a tilt alarm, triggering if the operator should fall. The basic Honeywell concept is for a five gas detector, which alarms locally and back in the control room, with an ability to provide location information on the plant, so help can be despatched – for example if there is no movement or response. The location data can also be used to alert control rooms if personnel or contractors, equipped with the devices, stray into areas of plant where systems are being started up, etc.
Another OneWireless capability introduced at HUG was the Wireless Rotating Equipment Solution, a package of the XYR6000 Multiplexer wireless vibration monitor and the enhanced Asset Manager R400 software for online performance and condition monitoring, targeted at assets that were not previously monitored with static vibration monitors. The XYR6000 offers a four year battery life from field replaceable intrinsically safe batteries.
HPS ISASecure cyber-security certification
The ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) is a consortium of asset owners and automation suppliers dedicated to improving cybersecurity in the process industries. The ISASecure certification was designed by ISCI, following the security roadmap defined by the ISA-99 Industrial Control Security Standard. The Honeywell Safety Manager has become the first automation module from any supplier to receive the coveted ISASecure Embedded Device Certification from ISCI. Part of the PKS suite of products and tightly integrated with the Honeywell Experion control system, Safety Manager is a hardware and software platform that provides complete SIS safety protection for process plants. “This demonstrates our commitment to building cybersecurity into our products,” said Jason Urso, at the HUG meeting.
Erik de Groot, Honeywell marketing manager for safety systems, added: “We are dedicated to open standards for safety and security, and we started with Safety Manager because security is a safety issue at the plant level. This [certification] was not a cakewalk. There were changes in the software, which will be embodied in the upcoming maintenance release R145 of Safety Manager, and there were substantial changes in our documentation requirements discovered during the assessments. Our design procedures were robust before certification and are now even more so.” Existing Safety Manager installations in the field can be upgraded to compliance with ISASecure by installing release R145.
Honeywell Engineering Fellow, and Technical Chairman of ISCI, Kevin Staggs, explained further: “Now we’re [ISCI] working on a higher level of certification for entire automation systems, and we hope to have a preliminary standard available for the ISCI membership and the ISA99 committee to vote on later this summer” adding that “We [Honeywell] are, I think, justifiably proud of our accomplishment, and we think that we and ISCI have set the bar at a high, but achievable level for other suppliers who wish to have the ISASecure-compliant logo on their products.”
The Honeywell European User Group meeting will be held from 25-27th October in Italy, with the theme ‘Where technology shapes solutions!’
The establishment of a UK centre of excellence to support the development and commercialisation of offshore renewable energy technologies across the country drew closer today as the Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org) announced that it is seeking expressions of interest from organisations that might lead or form part of a new Offshore Renewable Energy technology and innovation centre.
Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable said: “An offshore renewable energy technology and innovation centre is the next step towards fulfilling the Government’s commitment to creating a greener economy. The UK is a world leader in offshore engineering and our reputation makes us an excellent location for research in this area. It is vital we invest in renewable energy now to gain maximum benefits in the future. This is an exciting opportunity to bid and become involved in supporting the growth of the UK economy.”
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: “The Government’s continued investment in technology and innovation centres will make sure the UK stays at the forefront of global innovation and technology. The centres will play a vital part of the UK’s future innovation landscape and enable world leading businesses to emerge.
“There is huge potential for growth in the sector and the prospect to generate billions of pounds for the economy whilst creating thousands of job opportunities at the same time.”
Announcing the opening of the process to establish the centre, Iain Gray, the Technology Strategy Board’s Chief Executive, said: “Our reputation and expertise in offshore engineering makes the UK an excellent base for innovation relevant to the emerging offshore renewable energy sector. By bringing forward technologies for offshore wind, wave and tidal power, the centre will accelerate commercialisation across the sector. It will pull together UK strengths in research, design, offshore engineering and device/component development. Innovation could accelerate large-scale, commercial deployment in all aspects of offshore renewables and, crucially, reduce the cost of energy generated.”
The Offshore Renewable Energy centre will be the third of a network of technology and innovation centres to be established by the Technology Strategy Board, with a government investment of more than £200 million over the next four years. The first two centres announced relate to high value manufacturing and cell therapies. The centres will be drivers of future economic growth, attracting substantial investment to establish world-leading capability and global impact in pre-commercial development.
The Offshore Renewable Energy technology and innovation centre will provide improved access to the best technical expertise, infrastructure, skills and equipment, including those scarce resources which companies, particularly small ones, can seldom afford alone. It will provide a national focus for joint work between businesses and the research base, creating a critical mass of activity which will benefit the wider offshore renewable energy sector, and beyond. The centre will attract work and engagement from a wide cross-section of industry ranging from multinationals to small businesses, and will work closely with the best universities and technology organisations in the UK and internationally.
The centre is likely to cover the range of technologies involved in offshore wind power development – transferring knowledge from the established offshore engineering industry into foundations, installation, connection, operations and maintenance but also into developing turbines, blades and other subsystems/components, where links with the UK’s lead in high-value manufacturing technologies such as composites, direct drive and control systems may help drive success in these areas.
Marine power – wave and tidal – is further behind wind in terms of its development and deployment but will also be a key focus of the centre, drawing as it does on many of the same underpinning science and engineering capabilities. Over time, the expertise of the centre could also be applied to other areas of offshore energy technology.
The deadline for registration is 25 August 2011 and organisations must submit their expressions of interest by 1 September 2011. Selected organisations will then be invited to submit full proposals, by 17 November 2011. The successful bidders will be announced in December 2011 and the centre will begin operations in the summer of 2012.
Detailed information about the call for expressions of interest can be accessed at: ORE document.
Honeywell has announced that Ithaca Energy (UK) has selected the digitally enabled Well Performance Monitor(WPM) from the Advanced Solutions business of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) to manage the operational performance of its new Athena oilfield in the North Sea. The agreement illustrates the growing adoption of digital oil field management technology among the leaders in global oil and gas operators.
The Athena Field – which is expected to produce approximately 22,000 barrels of oil per day when it comes into production – is a joint venture between Ithaca Energy, Dyas UK, EWE and Zeus Petroleum. Ithaca Energy is the operator of the project.
The HPS WPM, powered by Matrikon, will be used to monitor as well as optimize production from the new field while maintaining the safety and integrity of its operations.
“Honeywell’s Well Performance Monitor matched our requirements perfectly,” said Marco Peña, operations petroleum engineer at Ithaca Energy. “It was cost effective and easy to implement – literally out of the box. But the real value is in what it delivers: allowing us to have the system up and running before the facility is operational is a huge plus, as is giving us access to real-time information, to pinpoint underperforming wells and, last but not least, help improve collaboration throughout the team.”
Using WPM, Ithaca Energy’s engineers can monitor how their wells are performing compared to their expectations, while visual models will predict what each well is capable of producing. The solution extracts summary information and key performance indicators from real-time process data historians, production databases and engineering well models, allowing operators to visualize field performance data and manage equipment assets. Engineers can see where the shortfalls in production are occurring and take immediate steps to correct them, and so maximize the production potential of each well. WPM will also help personnel to manage the costs of surveillance, identify abnormal situations quickly and react faster to disturbances.
“Ithaca Energy is a rapidly expanding North Sea operator, and the Athena field is an important asset in its growing portfolio,” said Joel Chacon, Solution Consultant with the HPS Advanced Solutions business. “Production processes at the site must be top-notch while the safety, reliability and efficiency of people and assets are paramount. As we have done for other WPM users, we can help Ithaca Energy spend less time gathering data and more time ensuring they meet their operational objectives.”
Ithaca Energy will be served by the Aberdeen-based Advanced Solutions support team of HPS, which is closely involved in the development of WPM.
Independent tests carried out in the Middle East have consistently demonstrated that Rheonik Coriolis large size flowmeters from GE’s Measurement & Control Solutions, can now be calibrated on compact provers without the need for intermediate turbine meters to validate use for custody transfer.
Pipe provers have been used in the oil and gas industry for many years to prove meters to custody transfer and fiscal standards. Over the past twenty years, small volume or compact provers have proved a viable alternative but experience has shown that certain types of meter do not calibrate well because of the small volumes used in compact provers. Coriolis meters have been particularly difficult to prove using this equipment because Coriolis meters, which measure mass flow, use a sampling and calculation system which integrates data over a short period and produces an output that lags behind the actual flow at any point in time. If this integration period is not compatible with the time taken for the piston of a small volume prover to complete its pass between detectors, then errors will occur. Historically, one way around this problem has been to first prove a turbine meter over the required flow range and then use this proven meter as the transfer standard for the Coriolis meter.
The latest tests have been carried out using only a compact prover, an OMNI flow computer and a density meter. The configuration involved setting up the flow computer to accept the density measurement at the flow meter outlet connection. The verified results show an average stable meter factor and a repeatability of less than +/- 0.1% and the flowmeters proven ranged go up to 12”.
As Uwe Hettrich, product manager for GE’s Rheonik product line, explains, “The Rheonik Omega tube Coriolis meter is one of the most versatile meters on the market. It offers very high accuracy and fast response. It is unaffected by viscosity, density or pressure changes, it can be used in extremely wide range of line sizes, pressures and temperatures and has hazardous area approvals covering most of the world. Its ability to be calibrated by a compact prover, without the need for an intermediate turbine meter, further extends its versatility.”
The Sensors Show in Rosemont, near Chicago USA, is a regular annual event in June, but Walt Boyes of ControlGlobal.com reports that the show seems to be shrinking, year on year. However, one of the suppliers to the sensor industry that attracted Boyes’ attention again this year was Perpetuum, the UK-based supplier of electromagnetic vibration energy harvesting devices that can power wireless sensors. Last year at the same show, Perpetuum won a “Best of Sensors Expo 2010” award in the technologies category, for their PMG FSH free-standing Harvester, optimised for industrial machinery asset condition-based monitoring.
The award was based on a joint demonstration between Perpetuum and Dust Networks, using energy harvesting-powered wireless sensors in a GE Bently Nevada Insight.Mesh network for vibration monitoring. “The proven performance of Perpetuum Vibration Energy Harvesters makes them an excellent choice for powering WSNs,” said Steve Turley, ceo of Perpetuum. “With their robust construction and high efficiencies, Perpetuum Harvesters are ideally suited to industrial condition monitoring applications and allow end users to achieve economic and flexible WSN deployments without concern for battery life. Their ability to power the Dust Networks WSNs from even very smooth running machinery is critical to successful deployment.”
“The combination of our low power SmartMesh products and Perpetuum’s energy harvesting technology creates a system that can run indefinitely without maintenance, which further enhances the ROI of WSN solutions”, added Joy Weiss, president and ceo of Dust Networks.
Bently Nevada is first to market
April this year saw a full press announcement by GE Measurement and Control Solutions, who are the suppliers of Bently Nevada systems. In this, GE claims that Essential Insight.mesh 1.1, the latest version of the Bently Nevada wireless condition monitoring solution, offers the world’s first electromagnetic vibration energy harvester powered sensor mesh network, which eliminates the need for batteries and associated maintenance. This external power source is also quoted to allow the selection of more frequent data collection, therefore meeting a broader range of applications.
“The addition of Essential Insight.mesh 1.1 is another example of how GE continues to invest in wireless technology and enhance our current solutions,” said Sean Coyle, Bently Nevada Product Line Manager. “The addition of these features provides our customers with flexible options and alternatives to the traditional battery powered device.” Significantly, the release also advises that Essential Insight.mesh platform has Zone 0 hazardous area certification, allowing deployment anywhere in the plant.
Each device supports four measurement channels with up to six types of displacement/vibration measurement per channel, including acceleration enveloping, overall value, waveform, and spectrum.
National Instruments wireless networks
For the Sensors Show 2011, Perpetuum were able to announce a further commercial offering of their energy harvester power source, from National Instruments, with their WSN-3226 Wireless Measurement Node, which is suitable for voltage or resistance measurement sensors, such as RTDs and potentiometers.
“As a leader in the wireless sensing and industrial automation market, NI is excited to offer Perpetuum’s vibration energy harvesters as a solution to battery replacement for our WSN nodes,” said Nick Butler, Product Marketing Manager for Wireless Sensor Networks at National Instruments. “This solution can significantly reduce maintenance logistics and costs for customers.” NI also offer a solar powered WSN node for outdoor batteryless wireless monitoring systems.
Keith Abate, director of business development at Perpetuum, commented, “We are pleased to add National Instruments to a growing list of global automation leaders selecting Perpetuum’s energy harvesting solutions to power their wireless sensor node product lines.”
Who will be next?
From the Perpetuum product display at the Sensors Show, it would appear that there are a few more suppliers of wireless sensors and systems testing the Perpetuum vibration energy harvester as a power source. The picture indicates potential further use with pressure transmitters from various sources, and what would appear to be a wireless gateway! For Perpetuum, the next big event will be the ISA Automation Week in October, so maybe further applications of energy harvesters will be revealed then!