FlexiDrive Provides Safe, Remote Valve Operation in Oil, Gas and Chemical Processing Industries

Smith Flow Control’s FlexiDrive valve actuator can be applied to any conventional wheel-operated device in oil, gas or chemical processing plants to make them constantly accessible and safe. The FlexiDrive is a dependable, versatile and cost effective remote valve operator.

Smith Flow Control’s FlexiDrive remote valve actuator.

Smith Flow Control’s FlexiDrive remote valve actuator.

The FlexiDrive system allows a user to locate a point of operation in a place of safety or convenience.  It is adaptable to any conventional valve with no modifications needed.  A patented flexible linear drive cable effectively delivers rotary torque for distances up to 30 metres, depending on the output torque required. The system can be passed through and around walls, bulkheads and floors, and is completely sealed and permanently lubricated for maintenance-free, continuous loop operation.

Suitable for underwater use, the FlexiDrive is constructed from corrosion-resistant 316 stainless steel. It is designed to withstand temperatures from -30 to 175 degrees Celsius and is delivered as a complete unit.

For more information please contact:
Mr Lakshmanan Venkateswaran
Smith Flow Control Sales Manager for India
Halma Trading and Services India Pvt. Ltd.
B1-401 Boomerang, Chandivali
Andheri (East), Mumbai 400072
Tel: +91 22 67080400, Fax: +91 22 67080405
E-mail : V.Lakshmanan@smithflowcontrol.com
Website : www.smithflowcontrol.com

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Tritech Launches Renewables Mammal Detection System

Tritech has expanded its industry-standard sonar range with a key renewables device by launching its Gemini SeaTec Mammal Detection System, providing a valuable tool in the detection of marine life around subsea turbines.

SeaGen tidal turbine, installed in Strangford Lough, County Down, Northern Ireland, (image courtesy of Marine Current Turbines (MCT)

SeaGen tidal turbine, installed in Strangford Lough, County Down, Northern Ireland, (image courtesy of Marine Current Turbines (MCT)

Tritech’s subsea sonars have been deployed on marine current structures since 2008 when the company made its first step into the offshore renewables sector. Tritech has now developed its real-time multibeam imaging sonar technology for this market.

The Gemini SeaTec system uses Tritech’s industry standard Gemini 720id multibeam sonar and its bespoke image detection software. This innovative software subsequently provides an early warning of the presence of sea mammals in the vicinity of marine current turbine structures. The Gemini SeaTec provides real-time monitoring of marine wildlife, allowing the operator to take corrective action as required. The logged data can be stored for analysis and used for environmental assessment as part of the current turbine development process.

Gemini sonar image of a Sea Lion

Gemini sonar image of a Sea Lion

The Gemini SeaTech is currently installed on SeaGen, a tidal turbine, in Strangford Lough, County Down, Northern Ireland. Tritech has worked closely with the commercial arm of the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU Ltd) at St. Andrews University and tidal energy company Marine Current Turbines (MCT) to help develop the Gemini SeaTec system.

Dr Gordon Hastie, at SMRU Ltd, comments: “As part of our continuing role providing research and advice to the tidal stream energy industry, we have been monitoring data produced using Tritech’s sonar systems and in the last 3 years they have played a very important role in protecting marine mammals from any potential threats. We are currently investigating the next generation of marine mammal detection sonar technology using Tritech’s advanced multibeam techniques and we hope that these will allow operators to monitor and mitigate potential threats to marine mammals far more efficiently than was possible in the past. These automated sonar tools are likely be essential for the continued protection of marine life during current turbine developments.”

Further applications for Gemini SeaTec include; survey of pre/ post cable lay survey operations, subsea monitoring and inspection and scour monitoring.

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Tritech Launches real-time Anchor and Riser Monitoring System (RAMS) for FPSOs

Tritech, leader in acoustic technologies, has developed a system for the real-time integrity monitoring of mooring lines, umbilicals and risers on Floating Production Storage and Offloading Units (FPSOs). RAMS (Riser and Anchor Monitoring System) is a 360° riser and anchor chain monitoring system for FPSOs that is deployed beneath the vessel and monitors the presence, integrity and position of mooring lines and risers 24/7 from a single sonar head.

Graphic showing a representation of Tritech's RAMS head deployment; real-time 360° riser and anchor chain monitoring for FPSOs

Graphic showing a representation of Tritech's RAMS head deployment; real-time 360° riser and anchor chain monitoring for FPSOs

RAMS has been extensively tested and the accuracy of the system has shown to be 100% effective in its current deployment on Teekay’s Petrojarl Foinaven FPSO, operating on a BP deepwater oil field, within the UKCS (UK Continental Shelf), located approximately 190km (118mi) off the West Coast of Shetland.

RAMS has been developed in conjunction with BP who had a requirement for an automated system able to monitor the series of bend stiffeners, umbilicals and risers on an FPSO. The RAMS technology builds on the leading proprietary multibeam sonar technology developed by SRD prior to its acquisition by Tritech (a Halma company).

RAMS is deployed beneath an FPSO’s turret in the centre of the risers and mooring chains. Through its multibeam sonar array, RAMS can provide simultaneous real-time updates on the status of all lines, with continuous recording and data export. Tritech’s unique RAMS technology has the option to provide the end user with an alarm-based system notifying the operator of any out-of-specification movement without delay, in addition to trend data that allows for more accurate [material] fatigue analysis.

Angus Lugsdin, Tritech’s Business Development Manager, comments: “With an increased focus on mooring and riser integrity to meet defined and implied safety regulations and stricter corporate governance, Tritech has developed a field-proven, real-time monitoring system that provides the FPSO operator with an easy to understand alarm-based system that detects the presence and measures the movement of mooring lines and risers. Unlike other technologies RAMS immediately notifies the operator of any movement that is out of specification and records all the data for export which allows long term trend data to be studied; this has the potential to revolutionise mooring and riser integrity studies.”

A BP Representative comments: “RAMS has been installed on the Foinaven FPSO since 2009 and shown to be 100% effective. We are confident of the system and its ability to monitor the integrity of risers  and umbilicals and its capability for data export in order to analyse riser/ bend stiffener movement which is very important, not only to maintain the asset but to identify the need for corrective action.”

Tritech is working with partners NCS Survey, an Acteon Company, who will deliver the installation, commissioning and after-sales support of RAMS. NCS Survey provides global survey and positioning services to the offshore markets, including the upstream oil, gas and renewable sectors, and marine and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) contractors. NCS Survey is experienced with RAMS having acquired the service business line of SRD, a Halma company, in January 2010. By combining resources, Tritech and NCS are able to offer a complete solution to the FPSO industry.

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Tritech’s StarFish Range Proves a Sales Success

StarFish Seabed Imaging Systems, the shallow water sidescan sonar system from Tritech International, has proved a market success since its launch in 2007. Sales of the range have continued to rise since the launch of the original StarFish 450F. StarFish applications have included search and rescue (SAR) operations as well as recognised applications for port and harbour surveys and wreck diving expeditions.

Tritech’s range of StarFish Seabed Imaging Systems, clockwise from left: StarFish 990F, 450F and 452F

Tritech’s range of StarFish Seabed Imaging Systems, clockwise from left: StarFish 990F, 450F and 452F

In 2010 Tritech introduced the higher frequency (452F) and higher resolution (990F) systems to the range, offering users variety from the same high specification, portable, side scan sonars on the market.

For 2011, Tritech introduced new features, enhancements and accessories to the range, including a re-engineered top box electronics module with improved noise immunity, thermal and operational reliability and improvements to the sonar connector.

Mike Broadbent, Tritech Business Development Manager comments: “The market response to our latest releases has been positive and this is evident in increased sales and enquiries. The new high-resolution models bring StarFish technology to many new applications including SAR operations, where rescuers have a need to quickly carry out large-area, high-resolution underwater searches.”

StarFish systems offer three key features: advanced design, high-performance and simple operation. All systems* built with the signature three-fin hydro-dynamic design offer high-performance shallow water surveys through the application of Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse (CHIRP) and digital-signal processing (DSP) techniques, able to identify small, closely spaced targets at far greater distances than conventional style frequency monotonic systems. StarFish systems are also operated with ease, offering true plug-and-play technology, powered by user-friendly StarFish Scanline software. A Software Development Kit (SDK) is also available from the StarFish website to allow ease of integration into your own software package.

*With the exception of the StarFish 450H: a compact slim-line sonar design combined with our flexible mounting bracket ensures the system can be positioned correctly on any vessel helping you capture the best images possible.

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Crowcon’s Gasman Diving portable gas detector protecting divers from H2S gas in diving bells

Crowcon’s Gasman Diving H2S personal gas detector is protecting divers in the North Sea by monitoring hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas in diving bells.

Crowcon’s Gasman Diving portable gas detector protecting divers from H2S gas in diving bells

Crowcon’s Gasman Diving portable gas detector protecting divers from H2S gas in diving bells

The diving industry has long been aware of the danger of H2S on subsea worksites and the danger of it getting into the diving bell. The severity of the problem varies worldwide and is particularly bad in waters which have effectively been used as ‘chemical dumps’.

When approached  by a major North Sea oil producer, concerned about  divers working on sites with elevated H2¬S levels, Unimed Scientific Limited (USL) considered Crowcon’s Gasman portable gas detector as a possible solution. USL is a leading provider of scientific back-up and guidance to the North Sea diving industry. The company is also a leading auditor of dive systems.

Dr. Valerie Flook, together with Crowcon, put the Gasman Diving through a range of tests to prove its suitability for use in diving bells. Initial tests subjected the device to high pressures of up to 20 bar, while exposing it to known concentrations of H2S to test its accuracy. USL also evaluated the hysteresis (the response to a rising signal differs from that to a falling signal) of the response at these gas levels and pressures. In addition, tests were carried out to ensure there was no risk of the detector being damaged by rapid pressure changes.

Following this testing, a few minor changes were made to ensure the Gasman Diving was fully fit for purpose. These included a small hole being placed in the back of the instrument to allow for rapid equilibration of pressure changes, with the addition of a small Gore-Tex membrane to protect the internal components of the detector from water ingress.

The Gasman Diving is now in use with several of the leading diving companies in the North Sea and is available worldwide.

It is a reliable and robust detector that provides accurate gas readings, even under high pressures, which can be easily downloaded and stored. Its small size and easy to read display makes it especially suitable for the confined spaces of the diving bells. Initial feedback from divers has also been positive.

For more information please contact Crowcon’s distributor in India:
Kishore Degwekar, Managing Director
Detection Instruments Pvt. Ltd.
Plot No. El-36, Electronics Zone
TTC Industrial Area, MIDCl – Mahape
Navi Mumbai 400 710
India
Tel: 022 2761 7663 / 64 / 65 / 66, Fax: 022 2761 2103
E-mail: general@detection-india.com / sales@detection-india.com
Website: www.detection-india.com

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Swedish Coastguard Chooses Crowcon Gas Detector for Hovercraft

The Swedish Coastguard service has selected a Crowcon gas detector for one of its newly constructed hovercraft. The flameproof (Exd) infra-red Nimbus fixed gas detector and Gasmaster control panel were installed on the craft by Griffon Hoverwork of Southampton on the UK’s south coast.

Hovercraft under construction for the Swedish Coastguard at Griffon Hoverwork’s facility in Southampton

Hovercraft under construction for the Swedish Coastguard at Griffon Hoverwork’s facility in Southampton

Photo 1: http://www.halmapr.com/crowcon/Hovercraft_2.jpg (740 KB)
(Caption: Hovercraft under construction for the Swedish Coastguard at Griffon Hoverwork’s facility in Southampton)

Crowcon Nimbus gas detector installed in the cargo bay of the hovercraft

Crowcon Nimbus gas detector installed in the cargo bay of the hovercraft

Photo 2: http://www.halmapr.com/crowcon/Nimbus_Hovercraft_1.jpg (550 KB)
(Caption: Crowcon Nimbus gas detector installed in the cargo bay of the hovercraft)

The hovercraft will carry two Ski-Doo snowmobiles in the cargo bay, which will be used for emergency rescue services during the winter months. Because of the danger of petrol vapour leaking from the snowmobiles, it was necessary for the cargo bay to be fitted with a reliable hydrocarbon gas detector and control panel. As the cargo bay is usually closed, these vapours could reach concentrations hazardous to human health.

The Swedish Transport Authority has other Crowcon gas detectors in its coastguard fleet, including ships, so when it came to commissioning a new hovercraft from Griffon Hoverwork, it expressly requested that Crowcon detectors should be installed.

“We are delighted that the Swedish Coastguard has decided to install one of our units in their new hovercraft,” commented Crowcon Fixed Systems Product Manager Andy Avenell. They already use many of our gas detection systems in their existing fleet and it is testament to the quality and reliability of our equipment that they keep coming back to us for more units.”

If the Nimbus detector registers dangerous levels of petrol vapour, ventilation and alarm systems are automatically triggered by the Gasmaster control panel. In addition to this, a local external status light which shows, at a glance, if the unit is in normal function or in fault.

The rugged detector is designed to operate in the dirtiest, harshest conditions. The optics will operate up to 90% obscuration, and at 75% obscuration a ‘dirty optics’ warning appears on the Gasmaster control panel, informing operators that the optics need cleaning. The Nimbus is extremely simple to use, even in inaccessible areas. A duct mounting plate is available, incorporating a remote gassing port, which allows calibration checking without requiring entry into the duct.

Indian contact:
Kishore Degwekar, Managing Director
Detection Instruments Pvt. Ltd.
Plot No. El-36, Electronics Zone
TTC Industria Area, MIDCl – Mahape
Navi Mumbai 400 710
India
Tel: 022 2761 7663 / 64 / 65 / 66, Fax: 022 2761 2103
E-mail: general@detection-india.com / sales@detection-india.com
Website: www.detection-india.com

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Tritech Launches 4000m Gemini Imaging Sonar

Following the success of its shallow-water real-time imaging sonar, the Gemini 720i, Tritech has launched a deep-rated version, the Gemini 720id. Now available in 300m and 4000m versions, Gemini is a forward-looking sonar which utilises an array of transducers to provide a 120º field of view, for a real-time sonar image of the underwater scene ahead.

Tritech Launches 4000m Gemini Imaging Sonar

Tritech Launches 4000m Gemini Imaging Sonar

Photo: http://halmapr.com/tritech/Gemini_720id.jpg (530 KB)

With its high-resolution specification, Gemini has near-field focus capability ideal for very short-range manipulator work as well as very long range target detection. Gemini sonars can be easily integrated with a variety of ROV and AUV platforms.

Gemini is the technology for subsea sonar vision. As the next generation in real-time multibeam imaging sonars, Gemini has quickly captured the global subsea market; most recently achieving a nomination for the Subsea UK Innovation and Technology Award.

Gemini’s rapid and dynamic visualisation of the underwater scene makes it perfect for deep-water applications where successful navigation and obstacle avoidance is required. Gemini provides instant feedback on changes happening in the underwater scene, which reduces overall operation time and increases ROV effectiveness.

Chris Echols, VP of North America, Ashtead Technology Offshore (US), comments: “Ashtead Technology Offshore is extremely excited to be the first to present, to the rental market, the latest generation of 2D multibeam sonar technology in the Americas region. We believe this will revolutionise the way ROV service contractors navigate in low visibility situations because of the Gemini’s wide field of view and real time imaging capabilities.”

Dave McKay, Specialist Subsea Services (UK) also comments: “As an ROV contractor, we have been delighted with the performance of Tritech’s Gemini sonars. The Gemini was fitted to one of our Triton XLS 150hp work-class vehicles for a well-abandonment project and most recently in power cable lay and cable pull-in operations. In both these operations, the Gemini’s real-time field of vision allowed us to have a clear view of the underwater scene, which assisted our client field operations to run smoothly and more efficiently.”

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Tritech’s Latest Version of Seanet Pro is Released

Tritech International has released its latest version of its Seanet survey data acquisition, display and logging software package. The Seanet Pro, version 2 offers users remote networkability, allowing subsea data to be streamed between several PCs connected to the same Local Area Network on the surface.

Building on existing capability to network multiple subsea sensors, the package has been updated in line with Tritech’s existing and imminent new product ranges, including SeaKing Hammerhead DST sonar and the Gemini multibeam range. The system also provides users with the ability to display a multitude of Tritech sensors and third party data through Seanet Pro at any one time.

Seanet Pro windowed layout showing Gemini 720i sonar image of a sunken barrel

Seanet Pro windowed layout showing Gemini 720i sonar image of a sunken barrel

Photo 1: http://halmapr.com/tritech/seanet_pro_barrel.jpg (700 KB)
(Photo caption: Seanet Pro windowed layout showing Gemini 720i sonar image of a sunken barrel)

Seanet Pro windowed layout showing Gemini 720i sonar image of a sunken supermarket trolley

Seanet Pro windowed layout showing Gemini 720i sonar image of a sunken supermarket trolley

Photo 2: http://halmapr.com/tritech/seanet_pro_trolley.jpg (560 KB)
(Photo caption: Seanet Pro windowed layout showing Gemini 720i sonar image of a sunken supermarket trolley)

With the new release, users of Seanet Pro can now create their own windowed layout by selecting their Tritech products and adjusting how they are displayed on screen, highlighting Seanet Pro’s straightforward ‘plug & play’ functionality.

Seanet Pro is accurate and user-friendly, allowing subsea data to be captured, processed and translated with ease. The advancement of Seanet Pro is driven by the skills of Tritech’s software development team.

Jesse Rodocker from SeaBotix Inc. comments on his experience of the latest version of Seanet Pro: “Tritech has always provided an impressive integrated solution to sensor data that our clients find great value in. With so many of our clients using sonar, tracking and video the ability to work in one software package means reduced training, synchronized data and a common interface. Seanet Pro version 2 takes everything to a new level with the movable windows, wizards and output functions; it is a true compliment to Tritech’s impressive line of sensors.”

In addition, all new product ranges can be connected and operated with existing Tritech products all from a single Surface Control Unit, with simultaneous control and display of all data through the Seanet Pro graphical user interface.

To download the latest release of Seanet Pro, visit Tritech’s website: http://www.tritech.co.uk/support/support-software-seanet.htm .

About Tritech:
Tritech International (www.tritech.co.uk) is an industry leader in the production of high performance acoustic sensors, video cameras and mechanical tooling equipment for professional underwater markets. The company is based in Aberdeen in the UK and has a worldwide network of distributors. Tritech is a subsidiary company of Halma p.l.c.

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Crowcon’s Xgard IR gas detector now approved to latest amendment of Marine Equipment Directive

Crowcon’s Xgard IR infrared (IR) gas detector is now approved to the latest amendment of the Marine Equipment Directive (MED, 96/98/EC). This means the low cost detector can be used to detect flammable gases and vapour hazards on tankers, drilling ships, FPSOs, dive vessels, coastguard vessels, ferries and other marine vessels.

Crowcon’s Xgard IR infrared (IR) gas detector is now approved to the latest amendment of the Marine Equipment Directive (MED, 96/98/EC).

Crowcon’s Xgard IR infrared (IR) gas detector is now approved to the latest amendment of the Marine Equipment Directive (MED, 96/98/EC).

Photo: http://www.halmapr.com/crowcon/Xgard_LNG tanker.jpg (835 KB)

Applications for the Xgard IR include pump rooms and monitoring leaks in storage tanks, pipes and valves. It provides fast early warning of gas accumulations before concentrations reach flammable levels. Detection is in the range 0 – 100% LEL.

Unlike conventional sensors (such as catalytic pellistors) the Xgard IR’s sensor is immune to being poisoned or inhibited by other substances. Infrared sensing has other benefits too: unlike pellistors, IR sensors will fail to safety, detect flammable gas in inert backgrounds and are not damaged by high gas concentrations.

The Xgard IR is available with a 316 stainless steel enclosure for maximum corrosion resistance in the most extreme marine environments. The sensor, which has a life expectancy of over 5 years, is a simple plug-in module that makes replacement quick and easy. ATEX, IECEx and UL approved for use in hazardous areas, the Xgard IR is also Exd flameproof rated.

The standard junction box is designed for both wall and ceiling mounting, and four cable gland options ensure compatibility on any site. The detector takes a range of accessories for harsh or wet conditions and for remote sampling.

Indian contact:
Kishore Degwekar, Managing Director
Detection Instruments Pvt. Ltd.
Plot No. El-36, Electronics Zone
TTC Industria Area, MIDCl – Mahape
Navi Mumbai 400 710
India
Tel: 022 2761 7663 / 64 / 65 / 66, Fax: 022 2761 2103
E-mail: general@detection-india.com / sales@detection-india.com
Website: www.detection-india.com

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Tritech Launches Gemini Multi-Beam Subsea Imaging Sonar

Tritech International Ltd, an industry leader in subsea imaging and measuring systems, has launched its next generation Gemini 720i multi-beam imaging sonar. Gemini combines the benefits of long range detection with high definition imaging techniques to produce outstanding results. Lightweight, with a compact and robust design, the Gemini can be easily deployed on most remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) platforms.

Tritech Launches Gemini Multi-Beam Subsea Imaging Sonar

Tritech Launches Gemini Multi-Beam Subsea Imaging Sonar

Photo 1: http://halmapr.com/tritech/Gemini2.jpg (403 KB)

Weighing only 1.2 kg in the water, Gemini is ideal for ROV or AUV navigation and can be supplied with a Software Developer’s Toolkit for autonomous control applications. Gemini is supplied with integrated Ethernet and VDSL communication modes which offer the option to communicate either through fibre optic cables or long distance twisted pair channels, depending on the configuration of the umbilical. All the sonar processing occurs inside the subsea unit, making it ideal for AUV control operations.

The introduction of a curved transmit transducer array ensures that acoustic energy power is evenly transferred across a wide swath imaging sector, thereby significantly speeding up search and navigation operations. To sharpen up the acoustic range resolution, an innovative sound velocity sensor has been integrated into the design of Gemini to accurately monitor the local velocity of sound conditions.

Tritech Launches Gemini Multi-Beam Subsea Imaging Sonar

Tritech Launches Gemini Multi-Beam Subsea Imaging Sonar

Photo 2: http://halmapr.com/tritech/gemini_sonar_image2.jpg (729 KB)

Building on Tritech’s reputation of customer-focused software interfaces, the Gemini architecture has been integrated into Tritech SeaNet Pro software making it compatible and easy to upgrade with the company’s range of survey and positioning sensors already deployed in the field.

Tritech’s Managing Director, Simon Beswick, commented on the launch: “Gemini is a revolutionary product for subsea imaging, bringing extraordinary performance to our customers at a reasonable cost. The new multi-beam technology will form the basis of a new range of very high performance products tailored to meet our customers’ requirements and complementing Tritech’s reference scanning sonars.”

About Tritech
Tritech is an industry leader in subsea imaging and measuring systems, with both acoustic and video sensors, for ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicles) and AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) markets. All of Tritech’s products can be integrated with every other product on the SeaKing Network. The benefits of this network include fast, reliable communications and complete operational flexibility.

Tritech is based in Aberdeen in Scotland, with its design and manufacturing base located in Cumbria in the United Kingdom. In 2006 Tritech was acquired by Halma p.l.c. (www.halma.com), which also acquired SRD (Sonar Research & Development) in 2007. SRD specialises in multi-beam sonar technology, based in Beverley, East Yorkshire and is now part of the Tritech Group.

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