Control System Reliability

Control System Reliability


Customer: Oil Refinery

Project Type: Electrical and Controls replacement of existing instrumentation with Fieldbus networked equipment

Technical Specs: Over 3000 instruments were surveyed and replacements were specified.

Project Scope: Matrix Technologies worked with refinery staff to perform a definition phase study for the project. A detailed field inventory of the existing control devices was used to prepare instrument location plans and replacement scope per device. This information was then used to prepare a preliminary Fieldbus infrastructure design and an installation cost estimate suitable for project funding.

As part of the implementation, each device was revisited and documented. A custom tool for field documentation was developed by Matrix using hardened iPad tablet devices. The devices communicated directly to the project design team via existing cellular networks. This allowed real time communication between the teams in the field doing documentation and the design teams in Matrix’s offices. Field data was entered directly from the field into the project design data base utilizing this tool. Pictures of each device were taken using the iPad, and the field team had access to the client’s drawing vault in real-time. This increased the rate of device field documentation by 50 to 80% compared to traditional paper and pencil techniques. An SQL database was developed, which ultimately contained 160,000 pieces of instrument data.

Segment design took into consideration plant reliability concerns and device geographic proximity. The SQL database was used to prepare electronic specification sheets for all of the new control devices in the INtools Smart Plant Instrumentation (SPI) software package. Matrix prepared the control system infrastructure design, the installation design contractor packages, and provided field engineers to address questions from the onsite installation contractors. The entire re-instrumentation was executed using hot cutovers.

Over the implementation phase of the project, 3,500 new Fieldbus devices were specified and installed. The detailed design was broken down into 450 Fieldbus segments (75 miles of FFB cable). Installation packages containing a total of 3,000 drawings were prepared and issued. As-Recorded drawings were prepared based on contractor markups and, when necessary, field confirmation by Matrix team members.

Engineering Challenges: The sheer size of the installation and the need for hot cutover of the new equipment required extensive field work, planning, testing and coordination among several parties.

Products and Technologies Used: Extremely successful project was one of the best the refinery had ever executed