Automation & Instrumentation

 

In 1745, Edmund Lee patented the earliest feedback control mechanism for tenting the sails of windmills. Later in that same century, 1788 to be precise, James Watt invented the Centrifugal Governor to control his steam engine where it regulated the admission of steam into the cylinders. This was the beginning of the automation era which witnessed a lot of research & development in the field. By mid-twentieth century, in 1947, GE established its first Automation department.

 

We are now living in times when every factory wants to move to lights-out production. This is only possible thru automation. The biggest benefit of automation is that it saves labor, however, it is also used to save energy and materials and to improve quality, accuracy and precision. Automation now encompasses almost all walks of life from Document automation & Business process automation to mining automation & building automation.

 

The human race is benefitted from one or the other type of automation on a regular basis without even realizing the number of automated processes used in dispensing of a single service/commodity/product. Main types of Automation processes are;

 

  • Discrete control (On/Off)

  • Continuous control

  • Open & closed loop

  • System state control (Sequential control & logical sequence)

  • Computer Control

 

PACE Arabia is dedicated to carry ahead the baton of the relatively short but dynamic history of automation systems. The Automation & Instrumentation division of PACE comprises of industry veterans with 20+ years of experience in their area of expertise. We provide complete power and control system designs, construction assistance, field integration, and start-up services. With a complete array of ICS product offering including basic PLC application RTUs, fully integrated ICSS system, advanced process solutions, third party startup & commissioning services and long term health care solutions, we are in a true sense, a “One-Stop Solution” for all your automation needs. Our ICS offerings are field proven solutions for reducing your operating costs by improving plant safety, reliability and efficiency.

 

Major systems engineered and provided by PACE includes;

 

 

RTUs & PLCs

 

The holy grail of automation. A remote terminal unit (RTU) is a microprocessor-controlled electronic device that interfaces objects in the physical world to a distributed control system or SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system by transmitting telemetry data to a master system, and by using messages from the master supervisory system to control connected objects. Another term that may be used for RTU is remote telecontrol unit.

 

A programmable logic controller, PLC, or programmable controller is a digital computer used for automation of typically industrial electromechanical processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or light fixtures. PLCs are used in many machines, in many industries. PLCs are designed for multiple arrangements of digital and analog inputs and outputs, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Programs to control machine operation are typically stored in battery-backed-up or non-volatile memory. A PLC is an example of a "hard" real-time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a limited time, otherwise unintended operation will result.

 

RTUs differ from programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in that RTUs are more suitable for wide geographical telemetry, often using wireless communications, while PLCs are more suitable for local area control (plants, production lines, etc.) where the system utilizes physical media for control. The IEC 61131 programming tool is

 

SCADA Systems

 

SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) is a system that operates with coded signals over communication channels so as to provide control of remote equipment (using typically one communication channel per remote station). The control system may be combined with a data acquisition system by adding the use of coded signals over communication channels to acquire information about the status of the remote equipment for display or for recording functions. It is a type of industrial control system (ICS). Industrial control systems are computer-based systems that monitor and control industrial processes that exist in the physical world. SCADA systems historically distinguish themselves from other ICS systems by being large-scale processes that can include multiple sites, and large distances.

 

Process Control Systems (PCS)

 

Process control systems are the backbone of any modern oil & gas plant. At PACE we offer the best PCS systems available in the global market. Our vendor neutral system design approach allows plant operators to achieve highest levels of efficiency while ensuring a safe and compliant plant operation. Our range of PCS systems is extremely flexible; from PLC based control systems for compressor stations to complex DCS based systems managing complex onshore and offshore production plants PACE offers the complete spectrum.

With over 2000 engineering man-years’ experience under our belt we understand the problems faced by oil & gas end users. We know that how a system failure can lead to un-planned downtime or a catastrophic incident all impacting your ROI. Our systems are there to ensure maximum return on your assets by being unfailing and trustworthy. With our seamless engineering and integration capabilities we ensure enhanced plant uptimes, hence leading to better plant utilization and reduced cost/ BOE

Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS)

 

A Safety Instrumented System (SIS) performs a safeguarding function using instrumentation, rather than basic physical hardware, to execute this function. Instrumentation in this context includes sensors (such as transmitters), logics and actuators (such as valves). Under IEC 61508, these systems are referred to as E/E/PES “Electrical/ Electronic/ Programmable Electronic” systems that perform a functional safety objective.

 

Examples of Safety Instrumented Systems are:

 

  • Emergency Shutdown and Depressurization Systems (ESD/EDP)

  • Unit Safeguarding Systems (SGS)

  • High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems (HIPPS)

  • Burner Management Systems (BMS)

  • Boiler Protection Systems (BPS)

  • Fire & Gas systems (F&G)

 

A Safety Instrumented System reduces risk by reducing the likelihood that a hazardous event occurs. A Safety Instrumented System does not reduce the impact of that event, if it occurs. To clarify this, we need to visualize things:

 

Consider the case where a HAZOP has found that there is an unacceptable risk of explosion as a result of pressure build-up in a vessel. The installation of pressure relief valves, that act as a “last line of defence” and release inventory to the flare or vent, reduces the likelihood of such an explosion, but not the impact if it does occur. This impact can however be limited by siting the plant in a remote area and by locating the Control Room away from the vessel. Lastly, a Safety Instrumented System can prevent pressure build-up in the vessel by halting a chemical reaction, by preventing flow into the vessel or by speeding up flow from the vessel. The SIS therefore reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring. The combined effect of these three safety measures may reduce the risk of this particular scenario to a “tolerable” or even “acceptable” level.

 

A Safety Instrumented System must be considered in the context of a particular site, with particular hazards and particular precautions. The desired SIL level of a safety function can therefore only be determined effectively by the process owner, rather than by a provider of Safety Instrumented Systems. At PACE we are aware of the practical implications of this and are happy to participate in HAZOPs and similar events to discuss risk in order to determine required SIL levels for safeguarding loops.

 
 

 

Distributed Control Systems (DCS)

 

A distributed control system (DCS) is a control system for a process or plant, wherein control elements are distributed throughout the system. This is in contrast to non-distributed systems, which use a single controller at a central location. In a DCS, a hierarchy of controllers is connected by communications networks for command and monitoring.

The latest developments in DCS include the following new technologies:

 

  • Wireless systems and protocols

  • Remote transmission, logging and data historian

  • Mobile interfaces and controls

  • Embedded web-servers

 

Increasingly, and ironically, DCS are becoming centralized at plant level, with the ability to log in to remote equipment. This enables the provision of a superior human-machine interface (HMI) especially from the point of view of remote access and portability.

 

As wireless protocols are developed and refined, DCS increasingly includes wireless communication. DCS controllers are now often equipped with embedded servers and provide on-the-go web access.

 

Many vendors provide the option of a mobile HMI, ready for both Android and iOS. With these interfaces, the threat of security breaches and possible damage to plant and process are now very real.

 

 

Fire & Gas Systems (F&G)

 

A fire incident is the worst nightmare for any oil & gas operating company; F&G detection systems are deployed to continuously monitor plant activity and in case of hazardous conditions initiate appropriate actions. These systems need to work from the detection of hazardous gases up to a proper plant shutdown. These systems are critical to plant safety and their efficiency and reliability is of utmost concern not only to plant operators but also to environmental & business insurance authorities. These systems require a high level of expertise and detailed design and integration to perform effectively.

PACE with over 2000 man-years of engineering experience in the field of automation is the partner to bank on. PACE offers quality SIL3 compliant F&G systems that are reliable, effective and cost efficient solution customized as per your requirements. Our oil & gas industry focus enables us to deliver F&G solutions that are industry standard compliant, give you and your insurer peace of mind, makes your assets and people safe, safe guard against worst case scenario but do not interfere in normal operations by generating false alarms; in short they are best suited for your needs.

 

 

 

Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS)

 

Improving downtime is the best way to enhance plant productivity. High system availability requires plant manager to identify potential errors early and schedule maintenance accordingly. PACE offers condition monitoring systems ideal for monitoring plants and related mechanical equipment. Our CMS equipment allows you to monitor all your plant equipment, predict and perform maintenance against foreseeable plant outages. This improves uninterrupted plant usage thus directly affecting CAPEX & OPEX budgets.

 

With a Global chain of offices, strong automation capabilities and over 2000 engineering man-years PACE is geared up to help its customers in improving plant life. Our CMS help to identify and predict possible equipment wear out, while our process control systems help to keep the equipment running. This along with our maintenance support team makes PACE the ideal partner for clients and their – “One-Stop Shop Solution” to plant automation problems.

Instrument Asset Management Systems (IAMS)

 

The importance of Instrument Asset Management Systems has been on the rise in recent years. Companies have realized that efficient management of instrumentation will not only help in improving plant life but also lead to increased equipment reliability. Instrument Asset Management Systems not only help in gathering instrument data but also convert them to meaningful reports and alarms.

PACE leveraging its 2000 engineering man-years of oil & gas automation experience provides Instrument Asset Management Solutions customized to the needs of our clients. Our solutions can help in significantly reducing operating costs and downtime, thus contributing towards reducing maintenance costs. PACE has delivered instrumentation projects around the globe; these projects have helped us to develop a knowledgebase enabling us to better understand local customer needs. Combined with our expertise in plant management and automation systems; PACE is the top choice for customers as their – “Global Automation Partner”.