Instrumentation products: why do we need so many?
Instrumentation products as a notion is rather extensive, covering a wide line of various products and even wider range of their application.
«The objects of the invention are to provide an improved coupling of simple form and capable of quantity production at low cost; to provide a very tight joint between the tube and coupling members, which will withstand practically any pressure without leaking and which eliminates or greatly reduces the undesirable effects of vibrational strains transmitted from tube to coupling. …»,
Arthur Parker wrote in February 1925 when filing the patent application for a two-piece flared tube fitting.
This wording for the fitting, as an example, is a practical reflection of the basic requirements for instrumentation products: advanced design, a possibility for precision serial production, efficiency under stringent operational conditions, reliability and safety.
Implementation of requirements, to some extent has laid the foundation for a certain standard for fittings which are being used in millions of applications.
Applications are many. There is one exact solution.
Instrumentation products market is highly competitive, which is interesting in itself, as in fact it represents all the advanced technologies. Both products by ‘veterans’ of the business line with 100-years history, as well as by ‘newcomers’ to the market are available. Besides, many manufacturers of metering devices integrate departments for instrumentation products into their companies this way or the other. This very fact is a manifestation of instrumentation products being an important element of a measurement unit. And it is common knowledge that there is no automation without measurements.
VSP Company avails of a considerable expertise in the area of industrial automation and measurement systems, and accounts for over 20 years of cooperation with Parker Hannifin — a recognised world leader in the area of instrumentation products too.
It is for some years already that we have been working with a German manufacturer of measurement equipment — WIKA, which incorporates divisions on instrumentation products as well: Micro and Sami companies.
VSP project approach undertaken recently implies solutions by different companies in terms of instrumentation products.
Why do we take such an approach?
A contemporary market is customer focused.
One of the first questions we ask the customer is: what is the task you need to solve?
The answer to this question in the first place implies the correct choice of a product. In order to meet customer expectations, it is necessary to go into details and characteristics of a certain product, and within available diversity to offer the customer the most applicable solution — it is highly important to provide for a 360° view on the matter.
For most of the processes design, choice and correct assembly of any installation related to metering of liquid or gas are critical in terms of energy savings, safe operation and maintenance. Cutting down possible leakage paths, maintaining required pressure and corrosive resistivity make the system safer, and extend its life. Product quality and precision approach when assembling all the components reduce problems related to future maintenance and consequently optimize costs.
Making choice in favour of a certain instrumentation product solution based on a customer task, VSP specialists take into account both general characteristics of a company-manufacturer, and its speciality, its profile too. Both factors are interconnected and allow for optimized decision making.
Compliance with Standards.
The concept of a scope of a project, in oil & gas sector in particular has changed in the modern environment: what was considered to be a mega project, today is treated as a medium size project. As a result, the task is often broken into stages, and different companies may act as general contractors. In such a case if not noted especially, various channels — manufacturers of a similar type of products — could be used as well. Often even compliance with the same standard does not provide an absolute guarantee to the end user.
For example, fugitive emissions are a challenge for many companies. According to specialists’ estimates, most of the losses are related to instrumentation valves and small bore equipment for liquid control. Valve leakage is accounting for 50% of leakages at chemical and petrochemical enterprises.
International ISO 15848 standard sets requirements of zero emissions for processes including hazardous liquids and pollutant emissions into the atmosphere.
NACE MR 0175/ISO 15156 standard defines requirements and recommendations on the choice of materials for the most stringent applications covering oil & gas and petrochemical sectors with a high level of H2S presence. The range of materials — from traditional steel of various grades to alloys with high content of nickel and titanium for the most stringent applications — complies with NACE standard requirements and allows VSP specialists to make optimum choice to solve the task.
For example, to provide for a higher level of quality control Parker specialists issued their own specification for materials and technology, and together with their suppliers of materials developed testing methods and quality control system as per NORSOK standards. All the small bore instrumentation valves, manifolds, tubes and fittings are manufactured from 6Mo — a standard material with the life of products of 22 years in the North Sea.
This is why one of the questions we ask ourselves is compliance of a manufacturer with standards requirements.
To be confident in the solution recommended to a customer, VSP, besides a detailed study of products, practices testing and expert examination of samples by independent specialised organisations. Based on the results of an expert report, we can more accurately present to company customers technical advantages of our solutions.
Variety of applications.
Instrumentation products have the most wide range of applications, and VSP company diversifying its activities, goes into a lot of detail to study a concrete demand depending on the application.
In 2016 we initiated relationship with our new partner-manufacturer WIKA. The company comprises manufacturers of instrumentation products — SAMI and Micro Precision, organically adding to and extending WIKA’s product portfolio.
A wide range of instrumentation products makes it possible to apply WIKA solutions at industrial sites of Gasprom, Rosneft in Russia, as well as in integrated projects of E+H, Schneider Electric and Yokogawa around the world. WIKA Micro Precision in its turn is a long term OEM-partner for Emerson.
Let us take another example, Panam Engineers.
PANAM means Professionalism, Automation, Network, Authenticity, Motivation.
Panam solutions are used particularly by DCS companies, instrumentation manufacturers covering projects not only in oil & gas and petrochemical sectors, but in projects for Hindustan Shipyard (Indian state shipbuilding company), for power generation machine building, and heavy transport machine building.
The company is focused on export of instrumentation products, which makes it attractive for VSP, bearing in mind some geopolitical limitations when working on projects for Russian heavy machine building enterprises.
Our company is looking toward extending its presence in various regions of Russia, but operating in a certain eco system form the point of partners-suppliers we must take into account realities of the modern world.
A developed infrastructure of Russian state enterprises in the sector of heavy machine building in the Black Sea basin provides for an opportunity to extend the market for products applications, and VSP availing a possibility to choose the supplier, enables us to meet customer requirements.
Specialised Solutions and Special Materials.
A capability to adapt or develop a product or a system as per special application requirements is also essential when choosing a supplier of instrumentation products. Availability of such solutions and a possibility to suggest them to the customer allows for the most efficient offer. Sometimes it may concern ‘a simple’ element of a measurement installation. Such an element though a simple one may solve the problem, and as it happens might not be available in the major scope of supply for a project. In our practice we came across such a situation working on the offer for one of the SIBUR sites.
Special materials for manufacturing instrumentation products, for example, engineering ceramics in Fujikin ball valves makes it possible to extend applications range, opening new possibilities for implementing VSP project approach.
Fujikin, Japan, pays special attention to compliance with up-to-date ecological standards, keeping in line with the policy of a ‘clean’ manufacturing. About 40 years ago Fujikin presented the first Clean Room in industry to be used for production of valves used in space apparatus. Later on special valves for semiconductor manufacturing were developed.
Fujikin check valve is part of the air conditioning system of a Japanese experimental module ‘Kibo’
at the International Space Station.
Another confirmation and an example of Fujikin dedication to ecological standards of production is its special solution — the company is yearly investing into sturgeon cultivation.
In artificial conditions the complete cycle of sturgeon cultivation is carried out using water flow control in a tank.
Fujikin's ultra-precision flow control technology is not just about creating a "flow" that supports the sturgeon. It also purifies the water from the cultivation tank in a biological filtration tank in order to be reused. By utilizing a fully-closed circulation filtration system, emissions are prevented and the burden on the environment is reduced.
The conclusion is as follows: a VSP project approach based on a possibility of choice, allows to offer to the customer the optimum solution relevant to special requirements with account of quality and standards’ compliance.
Instrumentation products by VSP partners-manufacturers are used at such industrial enterprises in Russia, as Komsomolsky OR, RNPK, and other sites of Rosneft; Volgogradneftemash, Lukoil, Sibur, Eurokhim, Taneko, …;
as well as used in solutions by ABB, Honeywell, Yokogawa, Basf, Air Liquide, BP, Cinopec, Statoil, Shell, and other international projects.