Measurement and Final Control Technology Announcements from OTC

The news was flowing fast and furiously from the recent Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas. I wanted to highlight some of the news from Emerson in case you missed it.

To help protect subsea well and pipeline integrity and support metering/allocation strategies, the Roxar subsea Wetgas Meter allows:

…the earliest possible detection of water from gas wells… The meter detects changes in water content of the flowing well at as little as 0.2 ppm (parts per million) – sensitivity that has never been reached before and that represents less than a droplet of water finely distributed in a volume equal to that of four car fuel tanks.

Emerson's Svein Erik Gregersen

Emerson’s Svein Erik Gregerson explained that more and more operators are making wet gas metering an integral part of their future flow assurance, production optimization and hydrocarbon allocation strategies.

The meter provides real-time, accurate hydrocarbon measurement for operators’ fiscal allocation obligations and accurate salinity and formation water measurement. Continue Reading

Gain a Competitive Advantage–While Wearing Pajamas

Emerson's Jocelyn Sexton

Author: Jocelyn Sexton

Across a variety of industries, manufacturing plants must meet rigorous production goals in order for companies to remain competitive. Especially in today’s economic climate, everyone is looking for the best cost options to make improvements without sacrificing quality. However, endless technology changes and complex processes make it challenging to keep up.

Do your engineers know how to maintain, configure, troubleshoot and pull data from your system? Does your staff understand how to use all the features in the technology you’ve invested in? And are you following best practices? The right training can help ensure a facility’s peak performance levels and profits.

Virtual-ClassroomAlso, a gap may exist between your soon-to-be-retiring workforce and young engineers or technicians who lack experience. Taking courses via Virtual Classroom may be the best use of your time and money to deliver the much-needed education that will help your staff make critical decisions about your system when something goes wrong.

When it comes to training, I have three tidbits of information to share:

Fact: Projects that dedicate 6–10% of their budget to training were twice as successful as projects that invested 4% or less to training.

Fact: More than 62% of petroleum engineers polled in a 2012 survey said they were waiting to receive technical training that they feel they should have already received.

Fact: Companies can reduce their training budget by up to 40% when eliminating travel… and having students attend classes in their pajamas.

OK, I made the last part of the third fact up — the type of clothes you wear while attending a class does not impact how much money you can save. But if you can receive important training without walking into a formal classroom, wearing pajama pants and a comfy t-shirt while sitting at home may be another big plus! Manage your training budget — and get the training you need, when you need it — by eliminating the need for travel expenses. Continue Reading

Move toward Zero Unplanned Downtime on a Primary Crusher

Emerson's Douglas Morris

Author: Douglas Morris

Primary crushers are the start of the comminution process at mine sites. Before ore is delivered to the mineral processing plant, it is typically processed through a cone crusher where it is reduced in size to about 10 inches in diameter or less.

A key component used in this process is oil which is used as a lubricant to move the cone in the crusher up and down in order to accommodate varying loads. Since this a dirty process that heats up and contaminates the oil, it must be continuously circulated, filtered and cooled.

Any unplanned downtime slows operations and requires a crane and work crew for lengthy crusher repairs. At some mines, a failed crusher can drive repair and lost production costs to well over $10M since it can often take a week for major repairs.

The most common method for monitoring this process is to measure both the temperature of the oil as well as the level in the oil reservoir. Unfortunately, this approach cannot always detect a loss of flow and crusher damage may occur before operators can react. Continue Reading

Advancing Process Intelligence and Analytics in Life Sciences

In a recent post, Collaborating for End-to-End Supply Chain Improvements, we highlighted a Life Sciences symposium where challenges to business improvements were discussed as inputs for technology and solution innovation to address these challenges.

Emerson's Jonathan Lustri

One of the sessions focused on the needs for process intelligence and analytics for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturers. The topic team included leaders from the Life Sciences industry, Emerson local business partners, and Emerson. Emerson’s Jonathan Lustri coordinated this session with an IT Director of one of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers at the symposium.

The focus for these discussions were the application of manufacturing IT within Clinical and Commercial manufacturing and how to realize value from manufacturing IT investments. The team sought to identify common challenges and best practices for system architectures, project implementation and IT systems management.

A common challenge is the performance of the end-to-end supply chain and how can data and information improve its efficiency. The scope of the supply chain includes receiving raw materials to the delivery of medicines to the patient with focus on increasing capacity utilization and reducing cost, product release times and time to market. Also, this data and information needs to be used to improve quality, assure compliance, and increase process understanding.

For manufacturers, cross functional teams including manufacturing, IT and automation professionals need to understand how to use date to impact supply chain operational improvements.

From a manufacturing IT perspective, the scope includes:

Continue Reading

Integrated Oil and Gas Flow Metering

Custody transfer flow measurement is one of the most exacting and difficult applications in the hydrocarbon supply chain. Pipeline operators typically rely on custom control solutions that require extensive ongoing support and maintenance.

Emerson's Gary Collister

I caught up with Emerson’s Gary Collister about ways to perform fiscal and non-fiscal oil and gas metering from upstream production through the supply chain using a standardized approach to operator graphics, reporting, alarm management, historical trending, and system-wide security.

Gary noted that historically many software platforms have been used including PLC software, operator interface (human-machine interface-HMI) software, drivers to interface with other software and various data management software for configuration, calibration, audit trail and other function.

He described a recently announced DanPac Express system. It consists of a flow metering panel that includes Daniel S600+ flow computers, Ethernet switches and a Microsoft Windows-based engineering workstation along with optional operator workstations. This hardware configuration with no logic control panel helps to reduce complexity and cost. The user interface puts alarms and events in clear view and provides customization of reports, trends and more.

Modbus drives are available for communications with flow computers, gas chromatographs and other devices. Also, Modbus TCP connections are available for stream and station data. A HART interface supports multiple smart instruments, volume provers and analytical devices.

Gary noted that some fiscal and non-fiscal applications where the DanPac Express system fits well include pipelines, batch/truck loading, blending and onshore wellhead measurement. Continue Reading