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Advanced sensor technologies for reliable measurements

10th April 2013

Harsh environments both upstream and downstream of the value chain call for reliable mechanical and electronic sensor technologies to ensure risk-free operations

Advanced sensor technologies for reliable measurements
Within the oil and gas industry, many different measuring instruments are used

Oil and gas production is heavy-duty work for man and machine which takes place under extreme conditions like enormous forces, massive vibrations and explosive gases. Baumer sensors and encoders are perfectly designed for this application, from the offshore or onshore side of the industry up to the refining process. Reliability, traceability as well safety is all highly required within this tough environment.

Oil drilling and refining activities require very reliable and safe measures due to harsh environmental conditions and dangerous substances. Therefore measuring instruments used in such applications have to be extremely robust and often explosion proof. Within the oil and gas industry, many different measuring instruments are used like mechanical devices such as pressure gauges, thermometers, as well as level and electronic pressure transmitters with remote diaphragm seals, andas heavy-duty encoders. The challenges for these devices are very high, not only in upstream production, but also downstream of the value chain, including processing in refineries as well as the transportation of oil and gas. All these phases of production require accurate and reliable measuring instruments which are provided by Baumer.

Reconciling energy generation and environmental protection is one of the greatest challenges in the petroleum industry. In order to reach this goal, an absolutely failure-free operation in production plants is necessary. This in turn requires exact measurements.

With our Original Bourdon, which is the inventing company of the Bourdon tube more than 160 years ago, Baumer supports the major oil and gas companies in raising the safety standards of their plants. As a leading supplier of demanding measuring solutions for process applications Baumer has been engaged to supply Jubail Export Refinery Project for oil company Satorp in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Following a long and intensive cooperation, French giant Total Group also relies on Baumer as a main supplier for diaphragm seals and pressure gauges. Since the Original Bourdon product has been serving the market for many decades, a lot of other companies rely on our global network as well as on our technology and strong knowledge.

The company’s value proposition to its customers is based on solutions consisting of the combination of electronic and mechanical sensor technologies, including application accessories like fittings, manifolds and valves. Customer orientation and customer related processes all provide support to strengthen Baumer as a first class provider to the international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) business and current industry activities.

Together with the D820 chemical seal, Baumer’s Original Bourdon industrial pressure gauge MEX5 is especially designed for use in corrosive atmospheres and fluids. The normal measuring range is -1-0 to 0-1600 bar at gauge working temperatures of -20-70°C, with possible media temperatures as high as 200°C. The MEX5 is mainly designed for process industries such as the chemical, petro-chemical, energy, or gas industries. Compliance with the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) along with ATEX and GOST approvals for explosive atmospheres and technical standards, respectively, allow various operations in different fields worldwide.

The MEX5 has a stainless-steel sensing element and fully welded process connection. The sealed stainless-steel case of the MEX5 can be filled with a dampening fluid (i.e. water-glycerin or silicone) or alternatively proposed dry with a mechanical dampening movement. The flanged diaphragm seal D820 is used when the  monitored process requires an interface protecting the measuring device from the fluid to be measured (e.g. viscosity, corrosion, contamination, temperature, etc.).

The MEX5 gauge is not the only best class technical solution for numerous applications and needs available, but all other various types of gauges from the Baumer Original Bourdon portfolio, the inventor of Bourdon tubes.  The solid front version with blow-out back MEP5 is currently used in oil and gas applications as well. That safety version prevents the operator from risk of injury in case of failure of the sensing element. The MEP5 contains a special compensating diaphragm which maintains accuracy by equalising internal and external atmospheric pressures. The Baumer solution allows operators to optimise gauge positioning and improve tightness on site through double compression fitting. In addition, Baumer proposes its MPG and MPE series with polypropylene or phenolic cases in 4.5” diameter as per ASME B40.1 on locations where pressure measuring devices are exposed to extreme environmental conditions like crude oil infused with seawater or different gases.

All Baumer safety pattern gauges can be screwed-welded with robust diaphragm seals including specific graphite O-rings for high temperature resistance with hastelloy diaphragm gold coating for H2 applications. Integrated flushing rings with drain and vent valves offer a complete state of the art solution.

The Baumer HS35 encoder is designed for use in drilling machines. It combines a rugged heavy-duty design with an unrivalled precision into a high-performance and versatile product family. The design includes our proven dual bearing system, durable shaft seals and IP67 environmental ratings, sealed connector or cable glands, and an ultra-precise optical scanning (i.e. low harmonics) system. The Baumer HS35 is available for shaft diameters from 0.5" to 1" (standard). Insulating inserts prevent undesired shaft currents to maximise bearing lifetime and enables mounting on smaller shafts. Shaft or blind shaft mounting with closed cover allows the encoder to maintain its outstanding environmental ratings.

This article was written by Jérôme Bredon, customer project manager oil and gas, Baumer Bourdon Haenni SAS.