ABB automation increases capacity 10x for Tate & Lyle food additive plant

When Tate & Lyle acquired Biovelop, a Swedish manufacturer of oat based food ingredients in 2013, the factory in Kimstad, Sweden was modernized and expanded by installing automation systems, variable speed drives, motors, motor control cabinets  and valve positioners from ABB Automation. In 2016 the remodeled plant celebrated the first anniversary of operations with the new systems and significantly increased production capacity.

The global market for specialty food ingredients, including health and wellness products, is growing, with annual sales of $51 billion and annual growth rate of 4-5%. Oat ingredients have been actively involved with this trend as they offer some key nutritional and functional benefits. In particular, oat contains beta glucan, a soluble fiber that has been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce post prandial glycaemic response – claims that have been approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In fact, it was these properties of the grain that made the sector an attractive one to Tate & Lyle, and triggered the decision to diversify its portfolio into this sector.

“We have seen a more than tenfold increase in capacity with the same number of shift operators compared to four years ago,” said Annika Werneman, Tate & Lyle plant manager. “It’s a huge change in such a short time, and it means that we’ve gone from a low-level facility to one that can deliver high quality product to our customers globally.”

Advanced automation technologies in the plant run critical food processing equipment -including pumps and decanters: material handling machinery is also used to transport the dry food products. ABB delivered automation equipment that included 85 variable speed drives (VSDs), with power ratings ranging from 0.37 kW to 55 kW, as well as ABB MNS 3.0 motor control cabinets and low voltage motors. ABB also delivered 44 Digital Electro pneumatic positioners (TZID-C) , which use the Hart protocol to communicate with the control valves.

“We needed a process that was highly automated and could run 24 hours, seven days a week, all year long,” Werneman continued. This meant building a system that enabled Tate & Lyle engineers to digitally interact with the system, commission (start) devices, and diagnose performance deviations or failures from anywhere in the world. This not only helps ensure operational consistency, but also reduce the total cost of ownership by enabling staff to manage the processes without being physically present at each site.

Such interactivity was enabled by the ABB fieldbus automation for the drive controls, providing flexibility as well as remote monitoring of the plant performance. “I like that ABB designed the system so that the fieldbus responsible for device control is split from the fieldbus used for asset management,” explained Leo Dijkstra, power & controls team leader Europe at Tate & Lyle. “This ensures that I can make any changes to the configuration of the devices without the risk of the whole network going down.”

At Tate & Lyle, they place great importance not just on what they do, but how they do it. “We are working continuously wherever we can to reduce the environmental footprint of our operations,” said Dijkstra. ABB was well placed to help as it has developed a portfolio of products and solutions that improve industrial energy efficiency.

“In our pump applications alone, we are using up to 50 percent less energy thanks to the variable speed drives, and these have been running non-stop for the last two years without a single failure,” Dijkstra continued. “What’s more, ABB was so quick to deliver products that we even had the first VSD delivered in just a few days.”

Although the nearest ABB support is only a ten-minute drive away from the Kimstad factory, the fieldbus flexibilities in the drives enable Tate & Lyle to rely on its own staff to handle the ABB equipment remotely. “Our work with Tate & Lyle illustrates the benefits of digitization, which can yield immense productivity and output gains from existing facilities,” said Petter Hollertz, area sales manager at ABB. “The improvements at this plant also show what great teamwork between the equipment supplier and the user can accomplish, as we worked together as true partners on this project.”

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Yokogawa acquires FluidCom chemical injection valve technology

Yokogawa has announced the acquisition of TechInvent2 AS, a Norwegian enterprise
that holds the rights to FluidCom, a chemical injection metering valve (CIMV). The FluidCom CIMV prevents blockages and corrosion in oil wells, pipelines, and other facilities and employs a patented technology for thermal control. It incorporates the functions of a mass flowmeter, control valve, and valve controller and has very few moving parts. FluidCom systems have already been delivered to several international oil and gas majors. With TechInvent2 joining the Yokogawa Group, Yokogawa will now target delivery of this solution to the oil and gas upstream and midstream sectors, thereby helping to improve operational efficiency, reduce operational costs, and enhance health, safety and the environment (HSE).

Background Information

Based on its Transformation 2017 mid-term business plan, Yokogawa will continue to focus on the oil and gas industries, and will strive to strengthen its solutions targeting the upstream and midstream sectors, in addition to its forte downstream sector businesses.

Following its April 2016 acquisition of KBC Advanced Technologies, a provider of consulting services that are based on its own advanced oil and gas simulation technologies, the company has been striving to work with its customers to create
value through the provision of solutions that address every aspect of their business activities. At oil wells and pipelines, efforts to ensure a secure oil flow path (flow assurance) play an important role in maintaining production efficiency. The adherence of various chemical substances to the inside walls of a pipe can reduces its internal diameter and causes corrosion. To prevent the accumulation of substances and corrosion, certain chemicals must be injected in the pipes. Improving the efficiency of this process is a major challenge in the upstream and midstream sectors.

The FluidCom CIMV

FluidCom

Chemical injection valves have traditionally been manually operated in the upstream sector, although there are cases where chemical injection has been automated using an actuated solution. In the former case, the valves must be frequently opened, closed, and adjusted by plant personnel. This is costly as it necessitates the hiring of additional staff, and it is work that must be done under very harsh environmental conditions in the field.

It is also a well-known problem that inaccurate and unstable dosing of chemicals leads to additional operational costs and challenges with specific processes. To address and resolve such problems, there is an increasing demand for integrated automatic injection solutions that perform stably and offer a high level of precision in the dosing. The FluidCom CIMV has a unique design which is based on a patented technology, providing integrated flow control and metering using a unique combination of material and thermal effects.

FluidCom is a fully automated and reliable device with a simple design that performs autonomous valve control and continuous flow metering. The device is able to stably inject chemicals in the required small amounts. It has few moving parts and has proven to be an accurate, reliable solution for the control of chemical injection applications. No regular maintenance is required and remote control features are provided.

The device features a self-cleaning mechanism that reduces maintenance workload, and the automatic injection of chemicals in the correct amounts eliminates the need for manual interventions by plant operators and maintenance workers, thereby enabling personnel to lessen their exposure to harsh environmental conditions in the field.

Chemical injection valves have traditionally been operated as manual systems in the upstream sector under harsh conditions. The FluidCom can automate chemical injection operation and reduce times that plant operators and maintenance workers go to field and operate in harsh environments. So using FuidCom improves healthy and safety.

FluidCom is also a valuable solution for downstream operations, where corrosion prevention is always a pressing concern. An ISA100 Wireless version is planned. The ISA100 Wireless technology is based on the ISA100.11a standard. It includes ISA100.11a-2011 communications, an application layer with process control industry standard objects, device descriptions and capabilities, a gateway interface, infrared provisioning, and a backbone router.

Commenting on the acquisition of this company, Shigeyoshi Uehara, head of the Yokogawa IA Products and Service Business Headquarters, said: “FluidCom will improve flow assurance, which is a key concern of our customers in the oil and gas industry, and it will make a major contribution to their operations by helping them not only improve production efficiency and reduce operational costs, but also enhance HSE. The combination of FluidCom, KBC simulation technology, and Yokogawa field devices will allow us to expand the range of our upstream and midstream solutions and enable the delivery of value in new ways to our customers.”

About TechInvent2

TechInvent2 is a fully owned subsidiary of TechInvent AS, a Stavanger, Norway-based company founded in 2008. TechInvent is owned by the founder and CEO Alf Egil Stensen, the venture capital firm Statoil Technology Invest AS, Aarbakke Innovation AS, and Ipark AS. The company has been supplying its FluidCom chemical injection technology to major oil companies since 2016. Alf Egil Stensen will continue as CEO of the company now that it is part of Yokogawa.

Metso investment in South Korea

In the December INSIDER, page 2, Metso reported a breakthrough, with new orders in the South Korean energy market for boiler control systems. They now are following this up with investment into a new green-field global valve technology centre in Chungju, South Korea, to open in September. It is anticipated that this will strengthen the Metso control valve and service capabilities for customers in the oil and gas and power industries. The new centre will also house research and development, engineering, and service support units for South Korean EPC companies, which play a major rôle in many projects worldwide. 

The new technology centre builds on the foundation provided by the globe valve technology and service company that Metso acquired in South Korea in 2012. This investment is a continuation of the ambitious growth strategy to develop the Metso valve business, which saw a globe valve technology centre opened in Shanghai in 2010 and another opened in Finland in 2011. In 2012 there followed in a new valve supply and service centre in India, and the completion of expanded valve production premises in the USA. Cutting-edge industrial valve technology and supply centres are operating in Brazil and Germany, and there are also 55 service hubs and 30 valve service centres around the world.

Emerson acquires Enardo LLC

Emerson announced today it has acquired Enardo LLC, a leader in safety and environmental control equipment for the oil and gas, petrochemical, wastewater, refining and other industries.

Enardo, with approximately $65 million in sales last year, employs 140 people at its headquarters and operations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It manufactures tank and terminal safety equipment, including hatches, vent, pressure and vacuum relief valves and flame arrestors used in the oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical and other industries. Enardo was previously a division of HMT, a leading provider of above ground storage tank products and services based in The Woodlands, Texas, USA.

“Enardo’s expertise in tank vapour controls applications is highly complementary with our industry-leading regulator technologies portfolio, including our Fisher Regulator product line,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “Enardo, which has an excellent reputation for quality and customer satisfaction, extends our expertise and capabilities in the upstream and downstream markets.”

Emerson Process Management makes pressure regulators, relief valves, and related products in McKinney, Texas, and in other locations in the United States and around the world. These technologies help control pressure and flow of industrial gas and liquids, natural gas and propane gas.

“Enardo is a market leader with strong brand presence. Together, we look forward to better serving the needs of our storage tank and terminal customers and markets worldwide,” said Randy Page, president of Emerson Process Management’s Regulator Technologies business.

Emerson buys Virgo Valves in India

Emerson ha  announced it has signed an agreement to purchase Virgo Valves and Controls, Ltd, a leading manufacturer of ball valves and automation systems based in Pune, India.  

A privately held company, Virgo serves diverse markets worldwide, including the oil and gas, power and mining industries. In addition to ball valves, Virgo also manufactures high performance butterfly valves and severe-service valves for critical applications. Virgo will operate within Emerson Process Management’s final controls business, serving customers in the energy and process-related industries.

“Virgo’s leadership in the engineered, on-off valve market is a great strategic fit within our business and strongly complements our Fisher® control valve business,” said Steve Sonnenberg, Emerson’s executive vice president who heads its Emerson Process Management segment. “Their ‘customer first’ focus on meeting or exceeding customer expectations in innovation, quality, performance and on-time delivery, aligns perfectly with the solutions that customers have come to expect from Emerson. We are excited about the synergy between our two companies and the opportunities for global business growth.”

Mahesh Desai, co-founder and chairman of Virgo, citing the advantages of Virgo being part of Emerson, said: “The alliance with Emerson, and in particular the Fisher line of products, is a continuation of our growth as a global brand. We appreciate the support of customers, employees and other stakeholders that have been part of our company.”

Since starting operations in 1986, Virgo has focused on the manufacture and sales of engineered on-off valve products, and today has manufacturing locations in Europe, the United States and India. Its sales in more than 60 countries last year were about $250 million USD, more than 80 per cent outside India. The deal is expected to close early next month.

Emerson $67m contracts on Gorgon LNG

Emerson Process Management has been awarded contracts by Chevron Australia Pty, valued at US $67 million, to provide control valves and valve actuators to help ensure the efficient and safe flow of natural gas at the Gorgon Project, one of the world’s largest natural gas projects. Emerson Process Management is providing the majority of the control and shutdown valves for this natural gas project.

Emerson valve and valve automation technologies provide the ability to accurately manage the production of gas, resulting in tighter and more accurate control that increases overall system efficiency and safety, and helps ensure environmental compliance. Fisher FieldVue digital valve controllers provide automated configuration as well as improved control valve calibration and tuning. Their built-in diagnostics enable technicians to remotely monitor the health of a valve assembly and can alert them to pending issues before they affect operations.

“Our customers are undertaking increasingly larger and more complex projects in challenging on-shore and off-shore sites, where they require sophisticated, reliable gas flow solutions,” said Steve Sonnenberg, president of Emerson Process Management. “Prior to installation, we were able to verify the performance of highly critical valves that will be used at Gorgon, through real-world flow testing at the Emerson Innovation Center at the Fisher plant in Marshalltown, Iowa, USA – the largest flow facility in the world capable of providing this kind of reliability testing.”

The contracts include over 1000 control valves, valve controllers and actuators for applications ranging from inlet gas processing, acid gas removal, liquefaction and fractionation, to anti-surge and cryogenic. The wide scope of applications is matched by various valve materials, to withstand harsh conditions, extreme changes in pressure, and corrosive environments. Severe service conditions within many of the processes are met by a high number of Fisher noise reduction and anti-cavitation trims.

Additionally, Emerson Roxar subsea wet gas meters will be used to provide real-time, accurate measurements of hydrocarbon flow rates and water production.

In addition to support from Emerson Process Management engineering, development and manufacturing facilities in Australia, Emerson is working with its local business partner of 20 years, Perth-based Western Process Controls, to provide training that will help the Gorgon Project instrument and valve technicians, ensure smooth commissioning and maintenance best practices.

GE $1Bn wellhead deal with Petrobras

GE Oil & Gas and Brazilian energy company Petrobras have signed the world’s largest subsea wellhead production contract, worth nearly US$1.1Bn. This includes the delivery of approximately 380 subsea wellhead systems and installation tools needed in oil well exploration, and more than 75 percent of the parts will be made in Brazil.

GE announced the award of the contract at the 2012 Rio Oil & Gas being held September 17-20 in Rio de Janeiro.

“This new agreement between two of the world’s largest companies shows our commitment to collaborate in the development of the oil and gas sector in Brazil,” said João Geraldo Ferreira, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas for Latin America. “In recent years our investments and efforts have been focused on preparing our company to support market growth and to be ready for contracts of this size, developing the entire supply chain. We want to grow with the country.”

“The new contract builds on our existing relationship with Petrobras and follows previous successful projects,” said Rod Christie, vice president of GE Oil & Gas Subsea Systems. In 2009, GE Oil & Gas and Petrobras signed what was then the biggest wellhead contract in history to date (in terms of number of wellheads), worth US$250 million.

“Through the acquisition of VetcoGray in 2007 and Wellstream in 2011 and ongoing investments in technology, GE has become an established player in the offshore industry,” said Christie. “With more than 5,000 subsea employees operating in more than 50 countries we are supporting some of the industry’s largest and most challenging projects.”

Petrobras plans to install the subsea wellhead systems in various oil and gas fields in Brazil, including sub-salt. The equipment will be produced at the GE plant in Jandira (São Paulo), where GE has invested US$30m to expand production capacity.

“The Jandira facility has been crucial in allowing GE Oil & Gas to provide world-class technology and has prioritized Brazilian-based production, which is a critical component in local social and economic growth,” said Fernando Martins, president of Subsea Systems for GE in Latin America. In the last 30 years, more than 1,200 GE wellhead systems and 180 subsea Christmas trees have been produced and installed in Brazil.

Petrobras is an integrated energy company that operates in 27 countries on five continents. It is a world leader in deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil production and operates approximately 100 production platforms, 15 refineries, 30,000 kilometers of pipelines and more than 6,000 service stations.

GE Oil and Gas is committed to business growth in Brazil and continues to invest in new capacity to take on orders and new industry demands. The US$30 million invested in Jandira (SP) was used for capacity expansion and modernization of the operation. In Niterói (Rio de Janeiro), GE is investing US$200m to expand its flexible line plant, to serve the new sub-salt fields.

In June 2012, GE announced the completion of the US$32m expansion of its plant in Macaé (Rio de Janeiro), tripling the size of the facility and making it GE Oil & Gas’s most modern subsea system services provider in the world. This expansion increased the workforce at the site by 150%.