150 Ethernet Switches for the Decade’s Most Challenging Gas Field Exploitation
Feb 15 2008
Gas production and transportation are done in a very harsh environment. All the information of that process, managing 70millions Sm3 of gas per day (more than 800 Sm3/s), will be handled by an Ethernet network including 150 time synchronisation and redundancy ring switches from Westermo.
The safety and automation system from ABB ABB is in charge of the SAS (Safety and Automation System) and PIMS (Process Information and Management System) of Nyhamna. They both operate on Westermoâs Ethernet network. This includes all the software and hardware that will monitor the plant:
â¢ 2000 equipment asset monitors,
â¢ applications for daily operation, maintenance, planning (shift report, long time trending, production plan, safety overview,
â¢ OPC (OLE for Process Control) interface to third party systems (SAP, metering, vibration monitoring, valve monitoring systemâ¦)
ABB also deliveries three Pipeline Protection Systems (Nyhamna, Sleipner off-shore platform, and Easington gas reception centre in
the UK). Their purpose is to protect the pipeline against too much pressure. Time synchronisation switches to ensure real time monitoring and full traceability:
ABB delivery relies on the 800xA open Control System, which consists of both software and hardware. The software is loaded in the controllers AC800M (which are a part of the 800xA system) and the operator part of the system is loaded into servers and stations (clients). The controllers, the servers and clients are then connected together on several network levels, e.g. controller network and server/client network, via Westermoâs switches. About 150 T208 and R208 switches are implemented.
The T-208 switch incorporates NTP/SNTP (Network Time Protocol / Simple Network Time Protocol). This allows SNTP packets to be time stamped. A pioneer in this technology, Westermo provides outstanding accuracy of 1ms or better. In industrial automation, Ethernet networks have always been limited by the latency jitter of data packet transmission inside the switches. Depending on the network load, data packet size and the number of switches between the server and the client, data transmission inside an Ethernet switch introduces time latency jitter of up to several milliseconds. A packet that enters the switch first can even go out after one that arrives later due to switch QoS techniques.
Furthermore, a network with several off-the-shelf switches will accumulate time synchronisation errors for each switch on the
network path between the time server and time client. Precise data analysis needed for process automation then becomes impossible (multi-axle synchronisation in assembly machines, for instance). With the
Nyhamna plant 150 switches, this feature is critical. Westermoâs T208 switch allows events to be time stamped with high accuracy precision providing a full and exact history of data events. Sophisticated
or critical industrial processes, be they in real time or not, can now be managed with the off-the-shelf SNTP Ethernet protocol.
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