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ABB has revealed how swapping paper chart recorders for SM3000 videographic recorders will optimise operations and boost efficiency at Uskmouth power station in Newport, south Wales.

The 12 recorders collect and store data on important parameters such as temperature, vibration and expansion in the power station’s three turbines.

The intention is to link the recorders’ output into Uskmouth’s distributed control system.

By passing this information to Scottish and Southern Energy’s (SSE) central storage facility, SSE will be able to use the information to monitor future operating trends.

This will enable the company to spot the telltale signs of potential turbine problems early so that engineers can optimise turbine operations and carry out preventative maintenance.

The installation of the recorders as standalone units is complete and integration work is now underway.

A third-party software conversion tool is being used to translate the information from the SM3000 units, which communicate using Modbus, and the distributed control system server, which uses OPC.

John Phillips, control and instrument team leader at Uskmouth, said: ‘Once the work is complete it should make everything a lot easier.

‘The stored data will be used for diagnostics and will automatically generate historical records.

‘We’ve previously had to download all this information manually into a historian application,’ he added.

All of the SM3000 units have 36 channels, enabling data to be recorded from analogue, digital and Modbus inputs.

This data can be viewed in a variety of formats, with strip and circular chart, bar-graph and process views all included as standard.

The SM3000’s 8MB on-board solid-state Flash memory can store 2.8 million samples of data, which can be archived to solid-state Smartmedia and Compact Flash memory cards (16Mb-128Mb) and easily transferred to a PC.

Protection against failure is guaranteed by the absence of any moving parts, while the use of Flash memory technology means the SM3000 does not rely on batteries to preserve stored data during a power failure.

Paul McLaughlin, engineer at ABB, said: ‘Updating the site from the previously installed paper chart recorders to modern videographic recorders means that SSE now has immediate access to a much wider range of operational data.

‘The SM3000 also has a 12.1in backlit colour display, which allows the data across all the measured parameters to be clearly viewed, either individually or collectively on a single screen,’ he added.

The SM3000 series of videographic recorders is simple to configure and operate.

All commands and information are presented in a familiar Windows-based environment, enabling operators to get up and running quickly.

Configuration can be conducted while the unit is on-line, via the SM3000’s keypad, or off-line using a standard PC.

ABB Automation Tech – Instrumentation and Automation

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