New ultra-miniature downhole transducer

Over the years you might have read about strain gauge based pressure transducers, and wondered why the major pressure transmitter firms never really went down that simple line for submersible gauge or absolute pressure transmitters. In the UK, Druck created a major business from this technology, and were eventually absorbed into GE, which basically ensured they remained a niche supplier. Another specialist, and niche supplier of such transducers, was Paine Electronics in the US. Originally established in 1951, they moved into strain gauge transducers in around 1968. In 2001 the company was acquired from the original owner, Bill Paine, and moved to Washington: but in 2013 it became employee owned, and proud of that fact.

On the original Paine website it still says “We believe our employees should share in the success of our company in a tangible way”, and this is signed off as “Paine Electronics – an employee owned company”. But with 100+ employees the business was still relatively small, even though it supplied pressure transducers to subsea and satellite/space vehicle applications, as well as to the aerospace industry. So the tangible benefit to employees came fairly quickly, with another change of ownership.

At the end of 2014, in November, Emerson acquired “substantially all of the assets of Paine Electronics”. Reporting into the Emerson Rosemount operation, Paine was seen as “Extending their leadership in providing measurement technologies for the oil and gas industry with expanded upstream capabilities in subsea and downhole drilling operations”. This would also complement the business of a previous Emerson acquisition, Roxar, who supply products used on subsea oil & gas operations. But maybe because it is a small operation, only now do we have some follow-up news, in the shape of a new product release from Emerson, describing a new Paine transducer for downhole pressure and temperature measurement. Size is critical in downhole operations, so this transducer, described as ultra-miniature, has an OD of 0.93cms (or 0.37 inches in US units). It is the Paine 310-38-0050, still labelled like that, and was actually launched on the Paine website back in February 2016.

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The Paine 310-38-0050 transducer provides both temperature and pressure measurements in the smallest and most rugged form factor possible. It provides pressure measurements up to 25kpsi (1723 Bar) and withstands and monitors temperatures up to 425F (218C) to cover the wide range of conditions experienced in downhole operating environments, just behind the drill bit. The unit is also built to withstand the corrosive drilling fluids and high vibration levels normal in these applications.

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