PROBLEM DESCRIPTION AND SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
Previously, pipeline employees used two-way radio communication and visual inspection to gather information concerning valve position and equipment status. When the operations personnel eventually received the information that a pump was malfunctioning or a value position was incorrect, they had to react immediately to the situation. This often led to a full or partial shutdown of the pipeline. Naturally, this is a very expensive and time consuming method of operation.
System requirements included the ability to:
Continue operations if control site lost communications.
Measure and control customer shipments through the pipeline.
Remotely operate various valves and meter skids along the pipeline.
Monitor and control two separate booster stations along the pipeline.
Produce reports for the status of the entire pipeline in a central location.
RealFlex is operational at four locations along the pipeline, all connected via RFLink. RFLink provides master to master RealFlex system communication. If one system goes down, operations are handled by the other location. In addition, FlexView is used as a local Human Machine Interface (HMI) at each of two booster pump locations. RealFlex provides alarms when there is a potential problem, and gives the operations personnel a choice of how to handle the situation. The software measures how much product is delivered, and the corresponding quality level of all customer shipments. Pressure, temperature and flow variable measurements allow for pipeline monitoring. The report generator provides reports on the status of all remote sites as well as all of the points along the pipeline.
RealFlex saves the client money by providing timely product measurement data during delivery, avoiding over or short deliveries to customers. Operations personnel maintain the system and build all of the screens, thereby avoiding custom production costs. The centralized report builder reduces the field personnel needed to collect remote information. Centralized monitoring of pipeline operation variables provide early problem detection, prevents problem escalation and provides timely problem resolution.
REALFLEX SYSTEMS SOFTWARE:
RTUs, PLCs, Flow Computers Manufacturers: Allen Bradley, Modicon, Daniels, Valmet Tejas Data communications are linked via a combination of 14 channel 2 Ghz analog microwave backbone with 900 Mhz and spread spectrum radio communication to the pipeline RTUs.