Equipment Roundup

ABB gas analyser replaces ancestor at underground substation

ABB’s long and distinguished heritage came into play recently when the Dinorwig hydroelectric substation in Snowdonia chose an ABB AK100 gas analyser to replace a 30-year-old gas detection system originally supplied by Kent.

The technology at the heart of the new ABB katharometer is the same as that of the instrument it replaces, because the essential approach has never been bettered.

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The system is designed to check for leaks of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) from high-voltage contactors, where the gas is used as an insulator. Leaks could lead to both suffocation and dangerous arcing in the switchgear.

A katharometer detects the presence of a gas by comparing the thermal conductivity of a sample with that of a reference gas à‚— in this case air. The katharometer comprises a Wheatstone bridge, each arm of which contains a fine, glass-coated, platinum wire.

One pair of parallel arms is sealed in a reference gas of known thermal conductivity and the other pair is exposed to the sample gas. A constant current is passed through the bridge network.

Any difference between the thermal conductivities of the reference and sample gases causes an imbalance of the bridge. This imbalance is a function of the difference in thermal conductivities of the two gases, with the resulting difference being used to calculate the percentage of one gas to another.

“The AK100 uses established technology which has been refined over a number of years,” says ABB Product Systems Manager, Andy Jones. “The peripheral things around it may have changed quite a bit but the basic technology is so simple and robust that no-one has ever come up with a better alternative.”

The à‚£17k Dinorwig system monitors six sample points using a common katharometer and a stream switching unit comprising a timer and valves. Construction was completed at Stonehouse in May and the system is now on site in Wales awaiting installation.

Dinorwig substation is also known locally as Electric Mountain. Operational since 1984, it is a 1728 MW pumped storage hydroelectric scheme in the Pass of Llanberis on the edge of the Snowdonia national park in Gwynedd, North Wales.

More commonly used to monitor hydrogen purity in hydrogen cooled generators, the AK100 is a complete gas analysis system comprised of five products. A display and control monitor indicates all measurement results with fail-safe reliability. Two thermal conductivity analyzers and two power supply units complete the system.

New high output accelerometer for high speed and low frequency vibration monitoring

Wilcoxon Research, a Meggitt group company and a leading supplier of quality vibration sensors and sensor networks, has released a new high output accelerometer for machinery health monitoring.

The model 786-500 accelerometer has a high output and broadband frequency response for multi-use applications. The 786-500 accelerometer is suited to condition monitoring and predictive maintenance of a variety of rotating equipment.

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Slow speed applications benefit from the strong 500 mV/g output of the 786-500 because it overcomes data collector noise that can mask indicators at low frequencies. In high-speed applications, the 786-500 provides five times the sensitivity of general-purpose accelerometers for better detection of low level vibrations.

The 786-500 is suitable for high speed and low frequency applications because of its superior broadband frequency response. The + 3dB frequency response of the accelerometer is from 0.2 Hz to 14 kHz.

The sensitivity is 500 mV/g with a tight 5 per cent sensitivity tolerance. The acceleration range is 10 g. The 786-500 accelerometer has a broadband noise floor at 250 mV/g.

The 786-500 high output accelerometer has a 500 mV/g sensitivity to minimize electronic noise and maximize voltage output to the monitoring instrument. The ability to provide a stronger, cleaner signal is important to high speed monitoring applications, such as turbocompressors and precision balanced high speed machinery, in which detecting low amplitude vibrations is critical.

The low frequency response makes it ideal for slow speed condition monitoring applications such as cooling tower fans, slow speed gearboxes, wind turbines, food processing equipment, slow speed agitators, paper machine rollers and large fans.

Seatronics expand client support solutions

Equipment rental specialist, Seatronics Inc, an Acteon company, has opened a new calibration and cable moulding facility in Houston, USA.

The $200 000 state-of-the-art, calibration laboratory, which will provide sound velocity, conductivity, depth and temperature calibrations traceable to national standards, is the only independent suite in the USA providing calibration for brands such as Valeport, Paroscientific, Sonardyne International, Ixsea, Tritech International and Aandera.

The new laboratory means Seatronics’ USA customers no longer need to send equipment back to the manufacturer in the UK or far east. A fast-track service option will reduce the turnaround time to only five days.

Erik McGuire, vice president, Seatronics Inc, explains: “Sending a single instrument from the USA to the UK and back again is a significant cost, even without customs charges, plus it is out of use for perhaps six weeks.

“Not only is the equipment back in a quarter of the time, but we are also saving our customers airfreight, customs charges and paperwork.”

The laboratory, complemented by the $50 000 cable moulding facility, has nearly doubled the size of Seatronics’ USA operations. Customers were given tours of the new facilities on 17à‚—18 July 2008, following the grand opening.

Seatronics has been operating successful local calibration services in the UK and Singapore for several years, and hopes, in the future, to expand the list of equipment for which calibration services are offered. Valeport, for whom Seatronics are the USA agent, has approved the laboratory.

“The new facility has created three new jobs and shows our dedication to the USA offshore industry,” said McGuire. “This is about us improving our service for our clients. By expanding its range of services, Seatronics has become more than just a rental company à‚— we are a solutions provider.”

High torque AUMA gearbox aids supply systems

AUMA, the manufacturer of modular electric actuators for power industry applications, reports that growth in demand, and an increase in regional populations, is placing increasing pressure on energy and water supply systems.

At the same time, managers of treatment works and energy plants are faced with a requirement to reduce operational costs and optimise resource.

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To satisfy these demands, supply plants and pipelines are operating at ever higher pressures with larger pipe diameters. This, in turn, means increasingly high torques are required to operate the butterfly and ball valves used in these applications.

In response, AUMA has designed the GS 630.3 part turn gearbox, which provides 675,000Nm à‚— this provides virtually double the capability of AUMA’s existing high torque gearbox solution, the GS 500. AUMA reports that the product is the highest production unit on the market.

The new AUMA gearbox incorporates all the benefits of the company’s existing gearbox range, namely high end-stop strength and adjustable swing angle of 80 à‚º-100 à‚º or multi-turn operation without end stops.

The current EN ISO 5211 interface standard does not include flanges for transmitting such large torques. However, AUMA has pre-empted this requirement by developing a new flange size (F90/AUMA) with a design based on the existing standard.

Used in combination with an AUMA SA multi-turn actuator, the GS 630.3 provides a part-turn actuator solution. Alternatively, high reduction ratio primary gearing can be adopted for manual valve operation.

The versatile GS 630.3, which opens up new possibilities in high torque valve operation, is the latest initiative from AUMA – a company which has over 40 years expertise in electric actuation and has seen its solutions adopted around the world.

Tognum and Hug found joint venture for exhaust aftertreatment

The Tognum Group and the Swiss company Hug Engineering AG have agreed on a joint venture for cooperation in exhaust aftertreatment.

The new company will be established on 01 October, with its headquarters in Switzerland. Specialists from both companies will co-operate to ensure that MTU diesel engines in the 2000, 4000 and 8000 series can be fitted with exhaust aftertreatment systems as a standard feature in the future. The CEO of the new operation will be Friedrich Kàƒ¶skemeier from MTU Friedrichshafen.

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“This joint venture will see the coming together of two technological leaders with the twin aims of developing exhaust aftertreatment systems and of setting new standards for pollution removal levels and cost efficiency” said Volker Heuer, CEO of Tognum AG, emphasizing the significance of the strategic investment.

For MTU as a premium provider of engines and drive systems, turbocharging, fuel injection and electronics have always been three key technologies for a clean and economic combustion process. To fulfil the substantially lower limits of future emission requirements, additional technologies will be necessary for engine development. These include, for example, so-called SCR (selective catalytic reduction) systems in which nitrogen oxides are reduced by means of ammonia.

MTU Friedrichshafen was among the first to conduct research on diesel particle filters and SCR systems and to run tests on prototypes. Hug has been gathering experience in this specialist field over many years and has developed and supplied around 1000 SCR systems for retrofitting on diesel engines in locomotives, ships and industrial plants.

Setting out the future course, Dr. Gerd-Michael Wolters, board member with Tognum and responsible for Technology & Operations explained: “In the next few years, we will be working with Hug to develop MTU-specific filter and SCR technologies through to standard-production maturity.”

The optimization of costs, installation space and weight will play a significant role in this process. “From 2011, we will be ready for standard production.”

The joint venture will invest up to six million euros over the next few years. Despite this exclusive strategic arrangement, both companies are free to continue cooperation with other partners. Hug is planning to develop the capacity needed for standard production by 2011.

Gate valves available for high-pressure, high-temperature applications

Conval, a leader in high-temperature, high-pressure valves for the world’s most demanding applications, offers Clampseal Swivldisc Gate Valves in standard sizes from 1/2″ to 4″ through ASME Class 3500.

The unique wedge gate design employs a flexible disc, which permits the seating surfaces to achieve perfect alignment, establishing a tight seal not possible with standard wedge gates. The valve is designed for convenient and efficient in-line servicing.

Standard materials include carbon steel 216 GR WCB and high-performance graphite packing. Optional materials are available upon request. Standard accessories include bypass and air or motor actuation.

Compact, reliable 1000A overload protection from Abacus Switch

Abacus Switch has introduced a new range of Airpax circuit protectors from Sensata Technologies, offering highly compact resettable overload protection with a break capacity of up to 1000A.

The products use an innovative design to minimize the risk of false trips due to high inrush currents and line transients. The Sensazta Technologies Airpax ATR20 supplementary circuit protector from Abacus Switch features a snap action, cantilevered, thermo-bimetal disk profile with silver alloy contacts, providing reliable ‘trip-free’ operation on short-term overloads and short circuits up to the current rating specified.

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This mechanism is specifically designed to maintain a high contact force until the contacts break due to overload. The ATR20 is available in ratings from 0.5A to 20A at 240Vac / 50Vdc, with a breaking capacity of 1000A. It features UL, CSA, TUV and CE approvals.

Abacus Switch has also added the Sensata Technologies Airpax ATR11, aimed at power strips, single phase motors, transformers, solenoids and UPS.

Available in current ratings from 0.5A to 16A at 250Vac / 50Vdc, the ATR11 is also able to break up to 1000A. The bimetallic strip design of the device is immune to high inrush currents and line transients. Its contacts open and close with a positive snap action, and the tripped state is clearly indicated by the protruding reset button. The ATR11 features UL, CSA and VDE approvals.

Abacus Switch is a pan-European switch design resource with a team of over 30 switch specialists, supported by twenty of the world’s top manufacturers. Its portfolio includes all of the major switch styles, as well as an extensive range of specialist and bespoke solutions. The company offers standard push button, rocker, toggle, slide, tactile, detector and DIP switches, alongside vandal resistant solutions, reed switches, joysticks, membrane switches, circuit protection solutions and trackballs.

In addition to Airpax, lines supporting Abacus Switch in the UK include ALPS, Arcolectric, Bourns, Bulgin, C&K, Cherry, Cursor Controls, EAO, Eledis, Grayhill, Hamlin, Inetec, ITW Erg, Lorlin, Omron, Panasonic, Schurter and Tyco Electronics.

Tentec provides customised bolt tensioning solution to Hansen Transmissions

Thanks to the engineering expertise at Tentec, Hansen Transmissions, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wind turbine gearboxes has substantially improved productivity with the installation of a bespoke Multi-Stud Bolt Tensioning tool.

Designed and manufactured by the UK-based engineering company, the custom-built multi-stud tensioning device has a diameter of 2 m and enables engineers in the production facility to tighten simultaneously all 52 M39 bolts on the gearbox quickly, accurately and safely.

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Hansen Transmissions is part of Suzlon Energy, the fifth largest wind turbine supplier in the world. As well as providing a comprehensive range of standard bolt tightening products, including the recently launched Aero range of bolt tensioning tools for wind power generation, Tentec prides itself on being able to supply customers with products that are exactly suited to their requirements.

“Some projects merely require a modification to existing standard equipment,” explained Roy Sheldon, Sales Manager for Wind Turbine Products at Tentec “whereas others, such as this bespoke Multi-Stud Tensioner, are more complex and make full use of our in-house design engineers, their knowledge and expertise.”

This customised product is just one of a large number of bolt tightening solutions that have been designed and installed by Tentec throughout the world.

DCS console system upgrade for Connah’s Quay power station

ABB has won a major contract from E.ON UK to replace the existing VAX based operator stations at its 1420 MW Connah’s Quay Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Station at Deeside, North Wales with new MS Windows based power generation portal consoles.

The contract includes the installation and commissioning of the full system includes ancillary services, staff training and a system for converting graphics from the existing installation to the Windows operating interface.

The existing installation consists of four generating systems plus common services. Each generating unit has four operator screens and there are two server plus two client consoles on the system. Common services has two servers and one client console.

The existing SODG graphics used on the existing OIS-40 series consoles will be converted to PGP (power generation portal) graphics. The upgrade project will replace existing OIS-40 series consoles with state-of-the-art technology suitable for meeting the power station’s needs for the foreseeable future.

Key considerations in the new system have been achieving backward compatibility for existing graphics and retaining the existing ‘look and feel’ of this part of the system. The existing graphics and databases were created in ABB Composer software. The new installation will convert the graphics to run on the new systems’ Windows operating system. The present control system has more than 1000 graphics screens on each unit plus a further 150 on common services.

The contract includes the supply and installation of a wide range of necessary network interfaces, switches and peripherals as well as cabling, desk and alarms. In addition, ABB will provide installation & commissioning, inspection & testing, training and spares.

The work began in May 2008 and is due for completion in early 2009.

Megger brings cable fault location to your door

To give users an opportunity to see innovative cable fault location (CFL) techniques at work in a live field environment, Megger is touring with five fully equipped CFL trailers throughout the eastern, western, central and south-western regions of the USA.

The trailers will be visiting potential customers in market sectors that include IOUs, co-operatives, municipalities, industrial and service companies.

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Commenting on the tours, Megger application specialist Scott Saniti said: “We can demonstrate the equipment on the trailer or, if the customer prefers, we can use the equipment to find a real fault on a cable in the field. Either way, the customer gets to see the full potential of the latest CFL equipment.”

The Megger CFL trailers used in the tours feature the very latest in cable fault location technology.

The new PFL20M1500 surge tester is capable of delivering energy surges of 1,500 joules at 16 kV, allowing the user to test a wide range of cables, including long cables and those with high intrinsic capacity. It can operate from 120 V or 240 V AC supplies, or from 12 V DC supplies, and it also features rugged IP54 weatherproof construction.

The powerful MTDR cable fault analyzer is built into the lid of the PFL20M1500, and supports all standard pre-location techniques, including time domain reflectometry, arc reflection, differential arc reflection and current impulse. The MTDR has a large bright screen that is easy to read, even in direct sunlight.

The MPP1000 pinpointer fitted to the trailers is designed to locate faults in shielded primary direct-buried cables. It combines all of the latest technologies in a single compact weather-resistant test set that provides users with fast, accurate fault detection.

The trailers also feature a portable 70 kV DC test set which is not only useful for checking the quality of power cables, but also of motors, switchgear, insulators, transformers and capacitors.

By using the voltage gradient technique, the trailer’s L1070 portable fault locator with ground return probe facilitates the detection of ground faults on unshielded electrical services, and also of sheath faults on telephone services.

The final major test set fitted to the trailers is an electromagnetic impulse detector designed to localize faults on buried cables. It is typically used on network systems to isolate faults between access chambers.

In the field, Megger’s CFL trailers have already proved their worth not only as demonstration tools, but also under real working conditions. Recently, AEP Texas had an emergency situation in Corpus Christi. To minimize the risk of 900,000 consumers losing their electricity supply, Megger technical salesman Brad Perry immediately drove to the site with a CFL trailer to help with locating a fault on a lead cable.

Working with engineers from AEP Texas and Megger sales manager Tom Sandri, Brad successfully located the fault with the PFL20M1500 surge tester. “We worked until 2 am,” said Brad, “and the customer was very pleased with the results we obtained and with the service we provided.”

British Energy sizes up Lobo for its work at height

The UK’s largest producer of electricity is making considerable savings on scaffolding costs when maintaining its nuclear power stations from an innovative British designed and made access system.

British Energy purchased the Lobo for maintenance of its turbines during periods of outage at its nuclear power plant at Sizewell B in Suffolk. Bob Bryson, Project Manager at Sizewell said: “We chose the Lobo after we viewed the computer generated drawing showing the proposed access system.”

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The Lobo system’s work platform can be configured to meet any access application. “It can be erected in a couple of days, which is considerably shorter than the scaffolding we were previously using” explained Bryson.

It is put together without any tools and its unique, patented clamp provides a safe and secure working facility up to a maximum height of 10 m. “We have seen considerable cost savings since purchasing the Lobo and this is particularly in relation to scaffolding versus the Lobo,” he added.

Since purchasing Lobo, Bryson and his team have found that it has cut time in erecting the Lobo access system in comparison to scaffolding. It has also meant that one contractor can erect the Lobo quickly and safely whilst still working on the turbine, which in turn has cut down time co-ordinating people.

Personnel can reconfigure the system, adapting it from one project to another, with ease.

“We are currently looking at other LOBO proposals for similar access issues on the plant,” Bryson added.

British Energy is just one of many satisfied customers. Evidence from users on both sides of the Atlantic includes significant cuts in scaffolding costs, reduced downtime and less reliance on outside contractors. Lobo can be safely and securely erected with a minimum of training.

New website for gear pumps offers 3D technical content

A new website has been launched that offers users a host of useful technical information on positive displacement and double helical gear pumps, including ‘3D Tours’ of pump products, downloadable documents, digital brochures, spare parts ordering information, latest news, as well as showcases of pump products and applications (including pumps charts).

Varley Pumps Ltd, a leading manufacturer of positive displacement and double helical gear pumps, believes its new website ( ) will offer customers a faster method of accessing the information they require.

Debbie Reeve, Group Marketing Manager, comments: “The new website will enable Varley Pumps to strengthen its presence internationally, as well as providing further value to the company’s existing and new customers.”

The launch of the website follows a strong start to the year for Varley Pumps. In addition to its bespoke range of pumps, the company offers a comprehensive range of spare parts and testing services.

Customers can also place orders on credit cards to speed up processing and delivery times. Varley Pumps is part of the Hayward Tyler Group and is based in Luton, England.

Variable area flowmeters offer custom calibration

Swagelok variable area flowmeters (VAFs) are the latest addition to the company’s broad line of fluid system components. Used to measure liquid and gas flow rates by means of a tapered tube and float, Swagelok flowmeters provide highly accurate measurement with individually calibrated scales and a 10:1 turndown ratio.

All Swagelok VAFs are factory calibrated and marked to indicate the specific media, flow range, and accuracy class. In addition, the product can be calibrated and marked to customer-specific applications.

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“Our customers have asked us to provide more of the products they need, and VAFs seem to be a natural fit,” said Doug Nordstrom, analytical instrumentation market manager, Swagelok Company. “Today, customers can select from a full line of VAFs that can be calibrated to meet their application needs, and that’s an important benefit,” notes Nordstrom.

In fact, customers can choose from ten variations of Swagelok variable area flowmeters fitted with glass or metal measuring tubes. Swagelok G series models feature glass measuring tubes, which enable direct view of the process reading and flow at the meter.

A miniature glass tube model, as well as a glass tube model with plastic end connections, is also available. For use in difficult operating conditions where pressure or temperature is a factor, Swagelok M series models are equipped with metal measuring tubes and mechanical or electronic displays. All models are easy to install and have no wearing parts, which helps to extend product life.

Swagelok VAFs are available with NPT and flange end connections in sizes from 1/8″ to 1 1/4″. Available options include high/low flow indicators, transistor relays, and 4 to 20mA analog outputs.

Scottish wind farm contractfor McNicholas

McNicholas has been awarded a contract valued at around à‚£3m to provide 11 km of access roads, a sub station and turbine foundations for a new wind farm at Toddleburn in Scotland.

The à‚£40m ($70m) Scottish and Southern Energy project will eventually comprise twelve turbines, with a tip height of 122 m. They will generate a total of 36 MW of electricity, which is enough to supply 17 000 homes with electricity annually.

McNicholas is due to complete this project early in the New Year. It will then remain on site as principal contractor overseeing other works, notably the installation of cabling.

Project manager Alan Ferguson had to overcome an unusual logistical problem before work got underway à‚— a pair of nesting peregrine falcons. There are now believed to be only 1400 breeding pairs in the UK and are protected because they have suffered from illegal killing and the theft of eggs. For several years a pair has nested in the disused Hazelbank Quarry at Toddleburn. Ferguson was concerned that human activity may disturb them so he and his team decided to access the site from a different route than originally planned in order to protect the pair. His plan succeeded because the birds have now successfully reared this year’s brood.

Teseo airline system can be drilled under pressure

When expanding a Teseo modular aluminium pipeline system, there is no need to turn off the compressor, shutting down all other work stations and losing all the pressure in the network; one simply drills a hole in the pipeline, adds the new connector, and clips on the secondary flexible line or new drop column.

This means no loss of pressure, no down time for the rest of the plant and an instant delivery for a new workstation. How is it done? “It’s part of the Teseo magic formula!” says Sean Connolly, sales manager of Teseo UK.

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“To open a new air point on an established system under full pressure simply fix the outlet plate where you want it on the pipe run, screw in a ball valve to the outlet plate, screw the special Teseo drilling jig to the ball valve, open the ball valve to allow the drill bit through and drill the aluminium extrusion piping.

“Swarf is collected in the drilling jig. Remove the drill bit and shut the ball valve, remove the drilling jig, couple up your additional airline to the ball valve and hey presto, an instant new air point installed in a “live” pipeline under pressure.”

A new larger DT drilling jig has just been introduced by Teseo, which allows use of a 19mm drill bit, the correct bore size for an outlet plate that carries 3/4″ treaded connectors. In addition a new outlet plate with 1 1/4″ thread is now available for use with the HBS 80 and 110 pipeline profiles.

The heart of the Teseo modular aluminium pipeline system is the HBS à‚— Hollow Bar System à‚— extruded aluminium profiles: inside is circular tubing whilst the outside box section has flat faces and grooves. The connections are made of die-cast aluminium with O-ring seals. Connections are fastened to the profiles by means of locking plates that grip into the grooves and clamped together with Allen screws.

Teseo modular aluminium pipeline system is quick and easy to install without special tools and by unskilled labour.

RevCon saves energy and money and helps meet green targets

Independent maintenance consultancy CP Automation has teamed up with German electro-technology specialist Elektrotechnishe Anlagen to provide UK sales for RevCon – a new product for returning to the grid the energy produced when a motor slows down.

CP Automation expects RevCon to find applications in a number of industries including manufacturing, elevation and processing. RevCon will work with any AC drive and is more cost efficient than using two inverters to achieve the same effect. Furthermore, the product features a harmonic filter as part of the package, which ensures that the electricity returned to the network is fit for purpose and G5/4 compliant.

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A CP Automation spokesman explained that there a several prestigious projects in the UK that are already planning to install the product.

RevCon uses a feed-in tariff, similar to those used on domestic and semi-commercial wind turbines, to allow the customer to charge the electricity supplier for the returned power. However, Tony Young, a director of CP Automation explained that, while RevCon isn’t a similar product to a wind turbine, the analogy is useful in outlining its efficiency.

“A wind turbine isn’t particularly effective, normally operating at about 40 per cent efficiency,” explained Young. “In contrast, when a motor slows down and begins to generate electricity, RevCon will operate at around 90 per cent efficiency. However, the bottom line for most businesses is the commercial imperative and this is where the product really comes into its own. The cost savings can be quite extensive in a facility where there are several motors controlling manufacturing equipment, lifts and the like. This is the most compelling argument to present to the board!”

As well as acting as sales agent, CP Automation also offers advice on the overall project as well as repair and maintenance on motors, inverters, resistors and other peripheral products such as encoders. The company also provides replacement equipment when repair is impractical or not possible.

In these instances, CP Automation’s independence comes to the fore – allowing it to stock a range of products from all the major motor and inverter manufacturers. Indeed, replacement inverters, encoders and motors are normally installed in a matter of days.

After the deluge, Schneider Electric delivers!

When last summer’s serious flooding in Central England caused damage to substations that left thousands of consumers without an electricity supply, Schneider Electric’s fast and flexible response to a call for assistance from Central Networks, a part of EON.UK, helped to ensure that the situation was returned to normal in the shortest possible time.

The severe water damage to the existing installations meant that, in many cases, the only option that would enable Central Networks to restore supplies quickly was to install new package substations. In all, six of these were needed.

“As soon as we received the request for help from Central Networks, we looked at our manufacturing schedules and revised them to give the package substations top priority,” said Schneider Electric’s Nick Thompson.

“Fortunately, thanks to the enthusiastic co-operation of our staff, we were able to do this without compromising deliveries to any of our other customers.”

The full scope of equipment supplied to Central Networks included: 6 package substations (Ringmaster ring-main unit, transformer and low voltage distribution cabinet), 20 Ringmaster medium-voltage ring-main units, and 10 low-voltage panels, all customised and configured to Central Networks’ specification.

Delivery of the substations, fully tested and ready for immediate installation, commenced within days of the initial request for assistance being received.

“We pride ourselves on being able to respond quickly to urgent customer requirements,” said Thompson, “but, even for us, a request to supply six package substations in short order is a significant challenge.

“Nevertheless, we were able to meet the customer’s needs, demonstrating once again the benefits of having a UK-based manufacturing facility.”

John Crane technology is set to create a remote revolution

A leading designer and manufacturer of mechanical sealing technology is set to revolutionise seal support system monitoring with the launch of what is believed to be the first purpose-built wireless technology of its type to remotely measure the pressure, temperature and level of the barrier fluid in a system.

John Crane’s new 3in1 Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) is easier, faster and less expensive to install than traditional hardwired alternatives and it offers a rugged, reliable and accurate flow of real-time information on the current state of seals and their support systems. This can significantly improve the levels of plant reliability, availability and environmental compliance by allowing maintenance procedures to be tailored to the individual plant so that seal failures can be better understood, decisions can be made more rapidly and operating costs can be cut.

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Maintaining a barrier fluid within set limits provides a stable operating environment that helps to maximize seal life. By monitoring the pressure, temperature and level in the barrier fluid vessel John Crane’s 3in1 VMS detects early indications of potential seal damage so that preventative measures can be taken before a seal failure occurs or the process fluid becomes contaminated.

It is a robust and cost-effective solution and thanks to its wireless operation it can be used where hardwiring is not economic. This makes the 3in1 VMS well suited for use on seals systems in hazardous and remote locations, as data are transmitted back to a central gateway for analysis.

A traffic light alarming and notification system warns operators of a problem within a plant, enabling them to pinpoint the exact seal system in question, identify the problem and immediately compare this to the record of that system’s previous trended performance which is stored in the 3-in-1 VMS. The system can be fitted to John Crane standard seal system types 100, 200 & 300, and versions to suit other manufacturer’s seal systems are also available.

The 3in1 VMS sensor nodes are battery operated (expected life of 5 years) and are designed for quick and easy installation. It comes complete with its own software, which provides at-a-glance mimic panels, alarming, trending, records of state changes and reporting.

It can be installed at less than 20 per cent of the typical cost of an equivalent cabled system and requires very little maintenance. It allows up to 75 vessels to be monitored on a site located up to 300 m away from the gateway receiver in a plant environment, and 1500 m line of site.

Created by the John Crane’s Asset Management Systems (JCAMS) the 3-in-1 VMS can also be expanded to include other elements of a wider condition based maintenance system.

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