ABB wins new framework with Thames Water

December 7, 2015

_DSC8215

ABB Measurement & Analytics in the UK has won a new multi-million pound framework agreement with Thames Water to supply its biggest ever offering of instrumentation equipment.

The framework will see ABB offering an expanded range of products to its previous supply of pressure instrumentation and electromagnetic flowmeters, with the addition of clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters and borehole level transmitters sourced through its established partnerships with Katronic and Impress Sensors.

As well as the equipment from Katronic and Impress, ABB will also be supplying thermal mass and swirl flowmeters for use in applications including gas and biogas lines at Thames Water’s sewage treatment and thermal hydrolysis plants (THP) process digesters.

ABB has been a supplier to Thames Water for over 20 years, supplying battery and mains electromagnetic and coriolis flowmeters and gauge, absolute and differential pressure transmitters for use across the company’s distribution network and treatment works. The decision to keep us on board for these products and to award us the extended framework demonstrates Thames Water’s confidence in our ability to offer first class levels of service and product performance.

As the largest water and wastewater service provider in England, with over 13 million customers in London and the surrounding counties, Thames Water has set itself key targets in line with the outcomes focused approach set by Ofwat for AMP6. These include ensuring the continued performance of its water distribution network, minimising interruptions to supply caused by factors such as pressure problems and leakage, and ensuring the continued quality of the potable water supply.

By providing accurate data on conditions from around Thames Water’s distribution network, ABB’s equipment will play a key role in meeting these targets.

Advertisements

Profibus health check now available from ABB Measurement & Analytics Service

October 5, 2015

Pbus hcheck

A Profibus health check carried out by ABB is now available to industrial plants keen to operate their plants efficiently and maximise their up time.

The evolution from the days of 4 to 20 mA output communications to intelligent Fieldbus analysers may mean more diagnostic data is transmitted, but in order to ensure the data is reliable a new type of engineer with Profibus certification is required. Not only is this training expensive, but the engineer must have capabilities across all slave devices such as instruments, motors and drives to effectively analyse the performance of the Profibus network and the speed of its communications between the instruments and the master, the Gateway operating system.

Furthermore, purchasing test equipment is costly where many plants may have a limited budget.

ABB’s current knowledge and experience of instrumentation is well placed to bridge the gap between plant instrument engineers and system engineers, so that all plant or process measurement data is available. As part of the service, a comprehensive report including a list of devices on the network, signal waveforms, recommendations and findings, will be generated to confirm the Profibus network’s current performance. Testing equipment is provided by ABB too, so that plants need not purchase it to be used once and left in storage.

One example of the benefits of this service can be found at Imperial College London’s carbon capture plant where ABB Service Engineer Paul Bick connected a Profibus analyser to the plant’s communication system. The results revealed that the optimum speed for performance was 1500kb/second rather than its previous speed of 500kb/second, and increasing the speed to the new limit immediately produced a significant increase in response time from the instruments.

The Profibus health check also includes a review of the installation method. The Profibus Installation Guideline document refers to maximum cable lengths and cable segregation. During his service at Imperial College Paul Bick established that the cables were too short. The university quickly removed the risk of issues with reflections, data corruptions and interferences, by following his advice to extend them.

As standard, service highlights also include rectifying faulty instruments so that both the network and instruments perform to specification.

It is recommended that a plant carries out a Profibus health check whenever issues have been experienced as the reliability and health of the communications network is fundamental to any plant’s performance.

Dave Head, Service Product Manager for ABB Measurement & Analytics explains, “This service provides peace of mind by ensuring customers’ Profibus networks are optimised for best performance. ABB’s Profibus certified engineers fill the gap between the instrument engineers and system engineers which are currently lacking in most operations. This provides value to customers as ABB can offer support across the measurement network.”

For more information about ABB’s Profibus health check, call 0870 600 6122 or email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com ref. “Profibus”.

ABB continues its fight against water leakage by hosting key industry workshop

July 21, 2015

ABB UK’s Daresbury HQ was the venue for a dedicated workshop held by the Sensors for Water Industry Group (SWIG) looking at the latest technologies and techniques for tackling the ongoing problem of water leakage.

Despite the considerable work that has been undertaken in recent years to tackle the issue of leakage from the UK’s water distribution networks, substantial volumes of water are continuing to be lost every day. Although many water companies have hit their original leakage targets, a significant number are keen to find ways to achieve further reductions, prompted in part by the new focus on TOTEX.

Shifting the emphasis from ‘outputs’ to ‘outcomes’, TOTEX effectively rewards companies that take steps to increase customer satisfaction by improving their performance.

In the case of leakage, there is a desire to meet customer demands for reduce leakage as well as to minimise the need to abstract extra water by taking steps to better manage existing supplies.

The workshop represented a broad range of interests, with speakers from Yorkshire Water, Artesia Consulting, the WRc and Sheffield University. The supply chain was also represented, with various speakers from different companies, including ourselves, outlining our latest technologies for detecting and managing water leakage.

In his presentation entitled ‘Leakage asset management for the 21st century’, Alan Hunt, Electromagnetic Flow Product Specialist for ABB Measurement & Analytics, described the benefits of ABB’s new AquaMaster 3 with WITS (Water Industry Telemetry Standard) DNP 3.

The flowmeter is the first to use open platform communications, enabling operators to obtain near real-time flowrate and pressure data with advanced device-level intelligence without the obstacles associated with integration into their existing control systems. The inclusion of quad band GPRS radio technology also ensures reliable, low cost connectivity in virtually all remote locations.

By helping to disseminate information about the latest best practices and technologies for water leakage, the workshop forms a key part of ABB’s strategy to help our water industry customers find ways to manage their operations more effectively.

SWIG events provide the opportunity for water industry end users, consultants and supply chain providers like ourselves to share knowledge and experiences and to build strong partnerships to help our UK & Ireland Water Utilities achieve their business outcomes.

Originally formed in 1993, SWIG (www.swig.org.uk) aims to provide a forum for manufacturers, end users and researchers in the sensor community to test new ideas, exchange views and network.

As such, it promotes the dissemination of information on sensor developments and fosters collaboration through targeted workshops, as well as representing the interests of the water and wastewater quality sensor community to the Government, European organisations and other interested bodies.

Copies of the various presentations from the event, including Alan Hunt’s, can be downloaded at SWIG’s web site at http://www.swig.org.uk/event/leakage-workshop/.

For more information about the AquaMaster 3 with WITS DNP 3, visit tinyurl.com/ABBAquaMaster, call 0870 600 6122 or email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com ref. ‘AquaMaster 3’.

ABB introduces express analytical panel hire service for power and water industry applications

July 1, 2015

As part of our drive to make measurement as easy as possible, we are delighted to reveal that we have introduced a new analytical panel hire service. Launched at IWEX 2015, the hire panels provide a flexible solution for the measurement of selected key parameters in potable water treatment and power generation applications, with unlimited lending periods and full technical support.

Every day, companies hire equipment to carry out their business, such as cars, PCs, laptops and even their premises. With that in mind, there’s no reason why this same approach can’t be applied to analytical panel hire, where companies often need the flexibility provided by a temporary solution with the same level of functionality that would normally be associated with a purchased system.

The analytical hire panels are ideal for situations where it may be either impractical or not worthwhile to purchase a permanent system. Typical situations where a hire panel might be used include replacing faulty analysers out for repair, validating the accuracy of a currently installed system, or as an additional measurement when evaluating the efficiency of a treatment process.

They can also be useful where companies may want to assign expenditure to operational costs where a capital budget may not be immediately available.

There are currently three options each for use in power and water industry applications. For power, the panels can be used for cation conductivity measurement, silica measurement and sodium measurement.

For water, there is the option of panels for measurement of aluminium, turbidity or ammonia. All of the panels are supplied with a comprehensive array of equipment providing accurate and reliable measurement. Each one also includes data loggers to record and store measurement data which can be relayed to control systems via Ethernet and Modbus.

Companies have the freedom to keep the equipment for as long as it’s needed – the hire works on a weekly rate with no limit on the duration and no pressure to return items by a specific deadline.

Hiring also provides the added security of having someone else to manage the equipment. The express hire service comes with full technical support, including everything needed to install and commission the panels. To help ensure trouble-free operation, the hire agreement also covers consumables and the supply of original equipment with manufacturer approved parts.

With ABB, plants can expect next day delivery, plug-and-play setup and an expert service engineer to help set the panel up and get it running quickly. There’s also the reassurance of having telephone support during office hours, so in the unlikely event of any problems with the panel there will be help available.

To find out more about the analytical panel hire service, email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘Analytical panels’.

Profibus health check delivers faster communications for Imperial College London’s carbon capture plant

June 1, 2015

A Profibus health check carried out by ABB has enabled Imperial College London to improve the performance of its instrumentation and control system used as part of its carbon capture pilot plant teaching facility. Carried out by ABB’s Measurement and Analytics Service team, the health check highlighted various potential improvements that could be made to the plant’s Profibus network, which have resulted in the data transfer rate being trebled.

Opened in 2012, the carbon capture pilot plant is part of Imperial College’s £8.9 million ChemEngSpace Project and is used for undergraduate teaching, with over 300 chemical engineering students having access each year.

The plant uses an extensive selection of the same ABB proven products and systems that are used in a broad range of industrial applications worldwide. It’s designed so that students acquire hands-on experience of ABB’s integrated systems and products in an operational cutting-edge industrial application. ABB equipment used on the plant includes flow, pressure, temperature and level instruments, pH analysers, positioners, a gas analyser, low voltage drives and motors, low voltage products and a System 800xA distributed control system.

All of the data from the plant is relayed to the control system through several different communication protocols including Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus and Wireless.

Together, this equipment enables students to gain valuable practical experience of plant operation that will help prepare them for a career in chemical or process engineering.

As part of its 10 year support agreement with Imperial College London, ABB was keen to carry out a health check on the Profibus communications system to help assess its performance. A Profibus analyser was connected to the network to capture a variety of performance-related information, including the data transfer rate, signal strength and any interference or noise. The analyser scans for approximately 30 minutes to an hour and records the communications data to give an indication of efficiency.

The results were revealing. Originally under the impression that the optimum speed for performance was 500kb/second, ABB Service Engineer Paul Bick actually found that in the case of the carbon capture plant, the best speed was 1500kb/second. Increasing the speed to this new limit immediately produced a significant improvement in response time from the instruments. Imperial College were using the slower speed out of caution, but the Profibus health check helped to establish that a higher data transfer rate was achievable.

Paul Bick also took the time to check the network installation, “On a Profibus network, a minimum of one metre of cable length should be used between each instrument. It was discovered that the drives had less than one metre. This didn’t conform to the Profibus guidelines. We therefore recommended that it was extended. Now it works better – without the length there can be issues with reflections, data corruptions and interferences.”

Overall, the Profibus communications network performed well before the health check. But through this procedure a few improvements were made which helped optimise performance, and enabled the students at Imperial to understand what kind of maintenance is required in a real world plant setting, and the significant difference it can make.

Dr Colin Hale, Senior Teaching Fellow at the college says, “A great thing about the plant is that it can be used not only to teach our students about carbon capture, but also about wider issues connected with plant control and instrumentation, including best practice. The improvements produced by the health check are a great example of the valuable contribution that maintenance can make to a system’s performance.”

The Profibus health check is part of a broader range of health check and life cycle services offered by ABB to help users to get the most from their installed instruments and analysers. For more information, email abb.service@gb.abb.com or call 03339 997 996, ref. ‘Health checks’.

Who says there’s no innovation in water?

May 20, 2015

Untitled

Whole Government reports have been devoted to the subject of innovation in the UK water industry. The general gist is that, despite all of the money and effort that has gone into upgrading the UK’s water infrastructure since the industry was privatised 25 years ago, much more needs to be done to encourage the uptake of new technologies that could help to improve overall operational efficiency.

This situation looks to change with the introduction of TOTEX (TOTal EXpenditure). With its focus on total life expenditure and holistic network performance, TOTEX looks set to provide a fertile environment for innovation, as companies evolve to develop their understanding of their existing asset base. In particular, TOTEX replaces the previous CAPEX/OPEX focus on ‘outputs’ with an ‘outcome’-led approach, which places a much greater emphasis on achieving and demonstrating asset and network effectiveness.

Whilst embracing innovation may well have been lacking amongst water operators, the supply chain at least appears to be ahead of the game. This was particularly apparent at the recent IWEX exhibition at the Birmingham NEC, where suppliers of technology, expertise and water-related services presented their latest offerings.

Taking ABB’s exhibition stand as a starting point, visitors were shown the latest examples of the latest instruments, analysers, drives and motors for potable and wastewater applications. Several of these represent cutting edge developments. Our AquaMaster 3 flowmeter for example, is the first in the world to combine integrated flow and pressure measurement in a single device. It is also the first to feature WITS DNP3 technology, which allows operators to gain, via GPRS communications, unprecedented access to a range of performance data, including diagnostic data on the status of the meter itself.

We also had the first in our range of digital optical sensors, which use the latest advances in optical measurement technology to deliver stable and accurate measurement whilst maintaining calibration without drift.

Both of these instruments are good examples of the type of equipment that can be used to deliver the big data from a network that can be turned into information and used as the basis for operational decision-making in a TOTEX environment.

Energy and maintenance form another crucial part of the TOTEX equation, with savings in either area making an obvious contribution to reducing overall lifetime costs. Again, ABB’s stand provided examples of some of the latest thinking in this area, including our SynRM (synchronous reluctance motor) and drive package for the water industry. Offering good partial load efficiency performance for all pumping applications, the package combines the benefits of a premium motor control with the highest levels of motor performance, giving ultimate efficiency and reliability to optimise pump system cost of ownership.

ABB’s stand was just one of dozens representing the latest developments in technology, spanning all aspects of the potable and wastewater treatment cycles.

In short, the innovation to help water companies transform their network performance is definitely out there. The challenge now is to move beyond a short term cost focus, which has too often led to the selection of the cheapest cost rather than the best value solutions, and work with suppliers to see what they can really offer.

If you’d like to find out more about how measurement instrumentation can be used to help you meet your TOTEX targets, why not request a copy of our new white paper ‘The role of performance data in optimising assets under TOTEX’. For a copy, email: moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com or call 0870 600 6122 ref. ‘TOTEX’.

ABB launch new process flowmeter selection pack

May 14, 2015

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new information pack to help simplify the selection of flowmeters for process applications.

Featuring a White Paper, application guide, webinar presentation and video, the pack explains the key differences between volumetric and mass flow methods and how to choose the right method for industrial process applications. Understanding how to correctly select the right flow variable can lead to significant improvements in process performance and cost effectiveness.

Though both technologies will deliver almost identical results under certain conditions, the deviations that can occur where a process is subject to pressure and temperature changes makes it crucial to make the right choice from the outset.

Originally produced for the launch of our latest generation of Coriolis Master flowmeters, the information pack explains the fundamentals of mass and volume flow and which technique is best suited for particular types of applications.

Titled ‘Mass or volume? A weight off the bottom –line’, the White Paper covers coriolis, thermal and multivariable DP mass flowmeter technologies, explaining how each one works and their respective advantages and drawbacks. The paper highlights why it can be better to measure mass or volume flow directly, rather than expressing mass flow measurements in volumetric units, in order to eliminate possible errors caused when factoring in standard or normalised conditions for temperature and pressure.

These differences are further explained in the ‘Understanding mass flow’ video. The video shows why volume flow is not enough if you want to know the exact amount of a substance moving through a pipeline and how measuring mass flow can provide qualitative and quantitative data which volume simply cannot.

The application guide, ‘A new generation of mass flowmeters’, explains the importance of capacity, accuracy and physical size when choosing a flowmeter and how each criteria can be met by opting for a coriolis flowmeter.

The guide also looks specifically at key applications in the oil, gas and petrochem industries where coriolis flowmeters can be used to enable accurate control and measurement of gas and liquid flows.

Information on other potential applications where Coriolis flowmeters can be used is contained in the webinar presentation by David Bowers, Mass Flow Specialist at ABB. The presentation covers various topics such as the unique way Coriolis flowmeters work through to why mass flow is the most useful and accurate form of flow measurement. David also covers a range of case studies demonstrating how Coriolis flowmeters can be applied to a range of applications, from truck filling and blending whiskey through to use in the lubrication of aluminium rolls.

To get hold of a copy of the new information pack, please call 0870 600 6122 or email moreinstrumentation@gb.abb.com ref. ‘Coriolis information pack’.

ABB launches new flow calibration and valve testing guides

April 26, 2015

ABB’s Measurement and Analytics business has launched two new guides covering its services for flow calibration and valve testing. Available on request from abb.service@gb.abb.com, the guides explain how ABB’s flow calibration facilities at its Stone house and Workington factories can be used to help check the accuracy of flowmeters and control valves.

For flow calibration, the facilities enable a wide variety of flowmeter types to be calibrated to the leading international standards. All calibrations are carried out to ISO9000, with the option of a UKAS accredited calibration where the certificate carries the ILAC and UKAS Calibration Laboratory 0255 logo.

The flow calibration guide explains how the facilities can be used to calibrate meter sizes from 1mm to 2.4 metres at accuracies down to ±0.1%. It also covers the range of calibration techniques available, including gravimetric, volumetric or comparison methods, describing each technique and explaining how to choose the right method.

The valve testing guide covers ABB’s ability to test control valves from 25mm up to six metres and weighing up to 10 tonnes in accordance with the EN ISO 60534-2-3 standard for control valve testing.

The guide outlines the testing process and discusses the benefits of ABB’s service, which enables valve users to ensure that their valves have been tested for their specific requirements. Both services are offered via ABB’s Measurement & Analytics Products Service team and are part of a wider service capability spanning ABB’s entire portfolio of instruments and analysers.

The vital role performed by flowmeters, control valves or any form of instrument or analyser means that it is worth investing the money, time and effort in ensuring that devices are properly serviced throughout their lifetime, from installation and commissioning through to upgrade or replacement.

Our flowmeter calibration and valve testing services are just two examples of our wider service offering, which can help our customers to enjoy continued accuracy and high performance from their equipment throughout its operational life.

To request a copy of the guides, or for more information about ABB’s instrument and analyser service offering, please email abb.service@gb.abb.com or call 03339 997 996, ref. ‘Guides’.

Analytical measurement made even easier with our new hiring option

April 20, 2015

Every day, companies hire equipment to carry out their business, such as cars, PCs, laptops and even their premises. This process includes the hire duration, standard rate and a contract, ensuring the unit is returned as it was originally provided.

Seeing no reason why this couldn’t be applied to industrial analysis, ABB Measurement and Analytics Service is now offering the power and water industries the same ability to hire analytical panels for measurement of selected key parameters.

When it comes to analytical measurement, there may be several reasons why it can sometimes be better to hire than to buy. There could be a faulty monitor that needs replacement while it is repaired, or your company may want to test the efficiency of a particular process or ensure your current measurement system is working correctly.

You may want to compare the efficiency of your existing analysers with an alternative from another supplier, or simply want a back-up option to hand to keep processes running in the event of a breakdown.

Alternatively, you may just want the ability to assign expenditure to operational costs where a capital budget may not be immediately available.

Hiring also gives you the added peace of mind of having someone else to manage your equipment for you. The express hire service comes with everything you’d expect from a hire agreement, including the supply of the panels and the services needed to install and commission them. Every aspect is taken care of to help ensure trouble-free operation, with the hire covering consumables, original equipment with manufacturer approved parts and low operational expenses.

All of the panels also include data loggers to record and store measurement data which can be relayed to your control system via Ethernet and Modbus.

There are currently three options each for use in power and water industry applications.

For power, the panels can be used for cation conductivity measurement, silica measurement and sodium measurement.
For water, there is the option of panels for measurement of aluminium, turbidity or ammonia.

All of the panels are supplied with a comprehensive array of equipment giving you everything you need for accurate and reliable measurement.

Why hire from ABB?

There are many reasons why a power or water company may wish to use the ABB express hire service. With ABB, you can rely on next day delivery, plug-and-play setup and an expert service engineer to help you get your panel up and running quickly. There’s also the reassurance of having telephone support during office hours, so in the unlikely event of any problems with the panel, you know there will be help available.

You also have the freedom to have the equipment for as long as you need it – the hire works on a weekly rate with no limit on the duration and no pressure to return items by a specific deadline.

The hire service is part of our drive to make measurement as easy as possible, wherever and however you need to do it, and to ensure that you always get the service and support you need to optimise the efficiency of your process.

To find out more about the analytical panel hire service, email abb.service@gb.abb.com or call 03339 997 996 ref. ‘Analytical panels’.

ABB takes lead role in helping to address global water wastage

April 1, 2015

Since its inception, the Global Water Leakage Summit has grown to become a leading event on the international water calendar and a great place to discuss and exchange the latest thinking on leakage and water management technologies and techniques. And with our extensive background in water applications, we are proud to have taken the lead role at last month’s Global Water Leakage Summit, which was held in London (17th and 18th March).

Attended by key influencers and decision – makers in water from around the world, this year’s event included a key focus on the role of smart technology in achieving zero leakage which is now being seen as an increasingly realistic prospect, as advances in technology offer new possibilities for measuring, controlling and conveying water.

The two-day event covered a broad range of topics, with speakers representing a broad spectrum of interests, including the UK All-Parliamentary Water Group, UK, Irish and international water utilities, plus manufacturers and industry bodies such as Ofwat and the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.

Our own Tim Door, UK and Ireland General Manager, chaired the sessions on the second day of the event. Presentations were given by speakers from countries including the UK, Spain, Israel, Portugal and India on the innovative approaches and technologies being applied to tackle leakage and encourage responsible water management.

Amongst the presenters was ABB’s Dr Ray Keech, who discussed the AquaMaster 3 electromagnetic flowmeter with WITS (Water Industry Telemetry Standard) technology. The device combines the benefits of a high accuracy integrated flow and pressure metering solution with high speed data communications, giving users access to near real time data on pipeline conditions. With extensive self-diagnostic capabilities, the AquaMaster 3 with WITS also provides operators with improved information on meter performance, enabling them to reduce maintenance to an on demand basis.

We also led the Gala Dinner at the end of the first day of the event, which has become an established tradition and a great opportunity for networking. As always, the dinner included a charity auction on behalf of WaterAid. Led by Tim Door and Jeremy Heath of Sutton and East Surrey Water, the auction surpassed the previous event’s record, raising a remarkable £2,430, with prizes auctioned off including a Golf Day experience with a Pro AM, an Iphone 6 and £250 red letter day.