Cyber Security for Instruments, Electro-mechanical switches, Manufacturing, Plant Safety

Eroded pipeline, Deadly toxic gas and time running out. An application story.

Industry: Midstream
Products: Vanguard Hydrogen Sulfide Detector
Application: Temporary worksite monitoring of pipeline maintenance
Company: The upstream business of a major oil & gas producer

Customer:
The customer is a major oil & gas producer with upstream business all over the world. They engage in intense exploration campaigns with a 38% success rate. This exploration and production activity is their main growth driver and they have become a world leader in exploration, with 40 finds since 2008, leading to a net increase of production. They use pipelines to move product from the wellhead to processing facilities.

Challenge:
A rare event happened which caused the soil around a transport pipeline to erode, exposing a section of the pipeline. This created several challenges not only to the transport of product, but extending to environmental and societal factors. This is because the pipeline was transporting product containing Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), a deadly toxic gas. The customer immediately took action to fix the issue, but in the meantime, needed to monitor around the exposed section of pipe for leaks of H2S. This was not only to protect the workers, but the nearby residents who were alarmed by the exposed pipe carrying potentially hazardous materials. As a temporary worksite in a remote location, running conduit to fixed monitors at the site would have extended the timeline to getting the situation fixed and burying the pipeline to a safe depth. By the time the detectors were installed, the problem could have been fixed.

Canada_Upstream

Solution:
After learning about the Vanguard WirelessHART gas detector with true wireless operation through white papers, the area’s Maintenance Measurement/Automation Coordinator immediately saw the potential to solve their problem. Given the ability to immensely shorten the time from receipt to operation of the detectors, the project to fix the exposed pipeline and ease the concerns of the nearby residents was able to move forward, and get the producer back to safe operation quickly.

Results:
The Vanguard units in action were working “quite well” performing all necessary operation and living up to the solution potential. Success rarely stays a secret and soon the potential of this unique, new solution quickly spread within the company. This led to another order for additional Vanguard detectors through the Senior Tradesman in their Maintenance Department for a separate installation.

Written by: Andrew Liptak- Gas Detection Product Manger at United Electric Controls

Email: aliptak@ueonline.com

andrew liptak

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Cyber Security for Instruments, Manufacturing, Plant Safety, Transmitters

The One Series UUC Feature: Keeping your Safety Secure

Most great ideas or inventions don’t reach perfection overnight; Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say, and everything from the light bulb to the iPhone has seen improvements and innovations.

Oftentimes, improvements are made through trial and error—other times they come from customer feedback and changing needs. At United Electric Controls, we strive to make the best products of their kind, and often changes and improvements come from those who use them every day: our customers.One Series Safety Transmitter

This was the case for our One Series Safety Transmitter, a unique, groundbreaking product that goes beyond all other safety sensors, solving many of the problems related to the design, operation, maintenance, and modernization of a Safety Instrumented System (SIS).

The One Series Safety Transmitter was carefully designed to meet the requirements outlined in IEC 61508 and simplify SIS design. When first introduced, previous versions of the One Series didn’t include a passcode feature. While it was extremely easy to program and use, the One Series relied on a 2-minute timeout to safeguard critical settings. Many of our customers found the need for additional security in the form of a passcode. When we asked our customers how they managed their passcodes for safekeeping and quick access, a common practice they described was to record the number on the wall next to the instrument, negating the purpose. There certainly must be a better way…

We listened to our customers’ needs and answered accordingly, creating a feature that allows users to get into programming mode after inputting a four-digit passcode. We also designed the One Series Safety Transmitter so that if a user doesn’t know how to save the settings, there is a two minute timeout. Close, but not there yet.

We then found that issues would arise if users lost or forgot their passcode. Thus, the Unique Unlock Code (UUC) feature was created. With the UUC, customers visit a website, which asks specific questions. They must enter their unique Kanban number—similar to a serial number—and the UUC feature performs a mathematical operation delivering a unique four-digit code, which will only unlock their particular instrument; the UUC will always and only work on that one unit. As long as the device is in a secure area, this technology ensures their transmitter is as secure as it is safe.

After all, you can’t have safety without security, and with all of the features of the One Series Safety Transmitter, you have both.