See how to cut instrumentation risk and lifecycle costs

23 July 2007

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See how to cut instrumentation risk and lifecycle costsParker Instrumentation is presenting its perspective on the future of process instrumentation at Offshore Europe 2007, with a novel exhibit running throughout a 16-metre long truck. One long process pipeline has been equipped with the spectrum of common plant instrumentation, but interfaced using components based on next-generation principles. The company's far-sighted focus on innovating instrumentation tube fitting, valve and manifold products offers implementation approaches with radical reductions in emissions, risk and lifecycle costs.

More than five years of sustained innovation is allowing Parker to offer process instrumentation engineers radical alternatives to instrument connection techniques that in some cases have been used for decades. Eliminating leak paths and providing threadless connections are techniques that are common to many of the company's advances.

The products on display range from breakthrough advances to high-integrity component building blocks. For instance, CCIMS (Close Coupled Instrument Mounting Solution)is ready-to-use, allowing differential process transmitters to be attached directly onto a pipeline's orifice plate assembly in less than 30 minutes. This innovative module typically replaces hand-crafted assemblies of discrete tubing, joint and valve components that can take anywhere from one to three man-days to fabricate. Such traditional connections, or 'hook ups', can involve 20-30 joints, every one of which is a potential leak path. CCIMS reduces this to just five - a massive leap in integrity. CCIMS eliminates the need for 'impulse lines', helping to avoid the common problem of blockages caused by many factors including viscous media, hydrate formation, freezing, and so on. CCIMS also incorporates an innovative interface that allows the instrument to be clipped onto and off the manifold in seconds, instead of undoing threaded connections, tubing joints, or even welds - thereby greatly speeding calibration and repairs.

Reduce installation costs by 90 per cent

In the building block category is a 'push-fit' tube connector called Phastite that operates up to 20,000psi (1379bar). Compared with cone-and-thread and welded fittings often used for connections at these pressures, Phastite connectors can reduce installation costs by 90 per cent or more. This breakthrough product complements Parker's well-known A-LOK twin-ferrule tube fitting that has set the standard for corrosion resistance in the low- to medium-pressure arena for many years.

Among a number of new products on display for the first time is a manifold range that meets the A rating of the ISO 15848 standard for fugitive emissions. ISO 15848 effectively sets a 'zero emission' level, and Parker Instrumentation is launching double-block-and-bleed manifold configurations, in either monoflange or low-profile flange-ended forms. Such advances will be critical in satisfying increasing emissions regulation such as the EU's IPPC directive 96/61/EC, which comes into force from October 2007.

Sheldon Banks, Parker Instrumentation's Marketing Manager, comments: "Technological advances are proving critical in combating the risk, cost and emissions challenges facing today's instrumentation system designers. Too many suppliers believe that progress is simply the continual reduction in the production cost of 'industry standard' fittings, valves and manifolds. These suppliers are missing the point. Our display targets a radical change in the thinking of instrumentation system designers, one that says that innovation can extend beyond the high-tech areas of sensors and electronics, and right through the mechanical interface to the process as well."

Parker Instrumentation is a division of Parker Hannifin. The division is one of the largest suppliers of tube fittings, valves, double-block-and-bleed valves, manifolds and enclosures for process and plant instrumentation in the world.

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