Innovations in Rig-Floor Computingadmin
Today, computers are almost ubiquitous on drilling rigs. They are used for a variety of operations like Measurement While Drilling (MWD), Logging While Drilling (LWD), Electronic Drilling Recorder (EDR), Mud logging, Mud pumping, Cementing, Fracturing, monitoring Top-Drives, Blow Out Preventers (BOP), Mud-Pits and many other functions. Computers placed on the rig-floor must be certified for deployment in Hazardous Locations or Explosive Atmospheres as defined by international safety standards. All Laversab Computers, Driller’s Displays and Smart Terminals are certified for use in Class 1, Division 1/Zone 1 or Division 2/Zone 2 areas.
Rig-floor computers must also have certain features that enable them to operate reliably in the tough environment typical of the oilpatch. A few of these features include wide operating temperature range (-40°C to +50°C), sealing to IP-65 standards, ability to withstand severe shock and vibration, immunity to salt-fog, a viewable display under bright sunlight conditions and auto-dimming of the display for night operation.
To provide convenience of operation to the user, computers must have many of the typical features found on computers, including networking capability – either wired, wireless or both, one or more USB interfaces to enable connection of an approved keyboard or memory stick, and serial interfaces like RS232 or RS485. Providing a means of connecting to these interfaces using standard cabling and connectors enhances user-convenience. If the computer can operate on 90 to 260 volts AC power, and if the power connection can be made easily using an approved connector and cable, usability is greatly improved. A touch-screen interface is virtually a must for most applications.
The size and weight of certified hazardous-location computers has been a sore issue for quite some time, especially for Zone-1 computers. In the past, most Zone-1 computers were either explosion-proof – making them extremely heavy and large, or purged – making them inconvenient to use and quite unreliable. Recent innovations in design have enabled Zone-1 computers to be made Intrinsically Safe, resulting in a drastic reduction in their size and weight.
No matter how well a computer is designed, the rigors of the rig-floor environment will inevitably result in failures. Given that drilling is a 24/7 operation that is heavily dependent on rig-floor computers, where even 15 minutes of down-time is considered unacceptable, it is important to be able to effectively overcome computer failures. Having a spare unit on hand allows for a quick swap-out in less than 5 minutes. This is feasible only if connections to the computer can be made conveniently, without having to open the unit. But in addition to having a spare unit on hand, it is critical that the computer supplier be willing to provide additional spare units at a moment’s notice. The computer supplier must also be capable of a quick turn-around on the repairs of the failed unit. Without this support from the supplier, it is simply not possible to minimize down-time without keeping a large (and expensive) inventory of computers on hand.
Recently introduced products from Laversab include certified Class 1, Division-1/Zone-1 and Class 1, Division- 2/Zone-2 computers that overcome all of the challenges mentioned above.
The Model 2850 computer is designed for Class 1, Division-2/Zone-2 applications. The 2850 weighs in at 10 kg (22 lbs) and has a small footprint of 38 x 32 x 10 cm (15 x 12.5 x 4 inches). It features a dual-core Intel Atom processor and uses a solid-state drive for storage, enabling it to withstand severe vibration. The 15-inch sunlight-readable display with auto-dimming, coupled with a touch-screen, provides an exceptionally clear, crisp and easy to use human interface. Interfaces include Ethernet, 900MHz wireless with 1 watt transmission power for reliable use over longer distances, dual USB ports, an RS232 or 485 connection. In addition, all connections are made using standard sealed circular connectors. An Intrinsically Safe (IS) keyboard is also available for applications where required. The 2850 runs on 90-260 VAC power and connection is made through an approved connector. Environmentally, it operates from -40oC to +50oC, is impervious to salt-fog, is sealed to IP-65 standards and can withstand vibration of 3G RMS Its small footprint and light weight make it ideal for use in Zone-2 areas on the rig floor.
The Model 3200 Driller’s Display unit is designed to be Intrinsically Safe (IS) for Zone-1 applications. Because of its IS design, the 3200 weighs in at 5 kg (11 lbs) and has an extremely small footprint of 28 x 23 x 5 cm (11 x 9 x 2 inches). This unit is specifically designed to display critical parameters for the driller. It features a 10.4 inch (640×480) sunlight-readable display and consumes less than 5 watts of power. It has a single connection using a circular sealed connector. DC power and data (via RS232 or RS485) are supplied from a host that is located in a “safe” area. The 3200’s internal computing capability provides the user the flexibility to present this data to the driller in any graphical format desired. Environmentally, it operates from -20oC to +50oC, is impervious to salt-fog, is sealed to IP-65 standards and can withstand vibration of 3G RMS.
Elegant MWD solution
The Model 4100 is a complete Directional MWD Surface System designed for C1D2/Zone-2 applications. This compact unit is located on the rig floor, close to the driller. It functions as the mud-pulse decoder for the directional tool, and acts as the Driller’s Display as well. The pressure transmitter on the mud-pump connects directly to the 4100 and allows the built-in XXT Receiver to decode the mud-pulses generated by the down-hole tool. The 4100 displays (for the driller) all the relevant MWD information decoded from these pulses. It then sends this information through a wireless interface to a safe-area laptop PC for viewing, logging and further analysis. This solution eliminates all cables that typically need to be run between the rig-floor and the safe area in a conventional MWD Surface System. The 4100 is compatible with virtually all directional tools that feature the QDT system and includes a complete MWD software suite.
Laversab has successfully executed a number of custom-design projects of certified computers for specific customer requirements. Some of these projects include a Zone 1 Driller’s Display that operates on only 3.5 watts power consumption and resides on the rig floor. An additional project required a 15” display that would be truck mounted and incorporated specific communication protocols in order to monitor fleet vehicles, performance, location, maintenance history among other parameters. Laversab can design customer defined systems for all oilfield applications that integrate various types of Input/Output (I/O) signals and can perform reliably in the harshest conditions.
Service & Support
No matter how innovative the products may be, the most important aspect from the user’s standpoint is always about having a responsive supplier. To this end, Laversab’s exceptional service and support stands unparalleled in the industry. With short delivery times, a spare-unit guarantee and quick turn-around on repairs, Laversab is always poised to satisfy the customer immediately. This combination of innovative, reliable products and responsive customer support makes Laversab the supplier of choice for your Rig-floor computing needs.