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Top 10 instruments providers

Petrochemicals ME identifies the major instrumentation providers

Petrochemical and refining operators spend about 2% of the total cost of a project on instrumentation and measurement gadgets.
Petrochemical and refining operators spend about 2% of the total cost of a project on instrumentation and measurement gadgets.

Refining and Petrochemicals Middle East identifies the major instrumentation providers for the regional downstream community

Measuring, recording and controlling are core functions in the downstream process. Companies want to measure how much money they are spending, and how much material is travelling through the system. Companies prize instruments which can help them achieve high levels of precision and absolute reliability.

Downstream plant operators have to keep an accurate handle on pressure, level, temperature, flow, analysers and interface measurements. For measurement, there
are a number of techniques used.

The right instrument set-up allows plant operators to know how they can run their plant, how much they are using in terms of inventories and utilities, and how much feedstock gas they are consuming in the process.

Our Top Ten Instrumentation Provider’s special report gives an insight to the activities and product lines available from the biggest companies servicing the exciting local downstream plant environment.

Some of the major providers listed here players offer dozens of technologies with downstream applications, while others are specialised in offering one type of instrumentation. We have opted for the most influential providers here.

The diverse strength of these companies would have made a numerical ranking meaningless. Instead the R&PME Top Instrument Provider’s are presented here in alphabetical order.

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1 ABB

ABB provides the measurement technology needed to operate downstream refining and petrochemical plants safely, productively and profitably.

ABB provides an extensive portfolio of measurement products for use throughout the downstream chain, including the petrochemicals, chemicals, fertilisers and refining sectors.

The company’s instruments are certified from major international quality agencies including TÜV, NACE, ATEX and SAA, giving customers predictable and safe operation.

ABB’s portfolio includes sensors, transmitters and related equipment for process liquid and gas, analyzers, emission analysis, pressure measurement, temperature and level and flow measurement, in addition to liquid analysis.

ABB has invented many measurement devices to better serve its downstream clients including the first commercial on-line gas chromatograph, the first SIL2 certified guided-wave radar level transmitter and SIL2 pressure transmitter.

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2 Endress+Hauser

Endress+Hauser has broad portfolio of instrumentation products offered to downstream clients, available from various hub locations around the world. Endress+Hauser can offer 5 flow technologies and 10 level technologies, making it a complete supplier for many consumers.

Endress+Hauser focuses its Research and Development teams expertise in process measurement solutions for pressure, level, flow, temperature and liquid analytics. The company’s experience in these fields of specialisation is shown by the wide variety of technologies it can provide.

The company believes that to have a sustainable business, it must be innovative. In 2010, Endress+Hauser owned 4 457 patents with protection rights and in that year alone it filed 219 patent applications.

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3 Emerson

Emerson offers its clients with a broad range of process measurement technologies and categories. Emerson Process Management offers a full range of instrumentation solutions suitable for pressure, flow, temperature, level, analyzers and sensors.

For each type of measurement, the company offers different proprietory technologies. For flow measurement technologies, Emerson offers various technologies including coriolis, Vortex, Differential Pressure, and Magnetic flow measurement.

Emerson also manufactures Rosemount Pressure transmitters, which are considered as the world’s leading devices in terms of market share, installed base, and measurement performance. It also offers Rosemount manifolds, available in 2, 3, and 5 valve patterns and in Coplanar, Inline, and conventional styles.

The biggest innovation in measurement technologies in the last few years that Emerson has brought its clientshas been the incorporation of a single Wireless communications standard into the HART Communications Foundation’s specification.

WirelessHART has been the key to making wireless mainstream, with many customers now choosing wireless over wired for all of their less dynamic inputs, and using the self-optimising mesh to bring back valuable device diagnostics that allow them to run their plants better, more cost-effectively, and for longer.

This has changed the economics of building greenfield plants and of implementing predictive maintenance strategies, and adding measurement points, on brownfield sites. Project cost, risk, schedule and quality are all improved with WirelessHART, the global, interoperable wireless standard for process measurement and control.

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4 GE

Through its GE Measurement & Control division, GE offers sensor-based measurement, inspection, asset condition monitoring, controls and radiation measurement solutions to its downstream clients. The business is part of GE Oil & Gas and has more than 40 facilities in 25 countries worldwide.

GE develops technologies and solutions using thermal validation, ultrasonic and gas flow measurement, control circuit protection, liquid level detection and process control instrumentation.

The company offers a complete portfolio of solutions for process control instrumentation and systems, including wetted and clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters for liquid, gas and steam applications.

It also manufactures temperature sensors, NTC & PTC thermistors, infrared thermopiles, qualification testing and calibration with custom design capabilities.

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5 Honeywell

Instrumentation can be split into two core types, and Honeywell offers its clients a comprehensive range of gadgets in both areas. Some technology is used to measure process where the signal is used for control, and another branch of kit is deployed to measure where the data is used for billing.

This last group is usually referred to as fiscal metering instrumentation. “We also provide the control systems (Distributed Control System- DCS and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition- SCADA) that use signals from various devices to control the plant and we build complete skids for fiscal metering,” says Anand Krishna, engineered field solutions (EFS) marketing director, Honeywell Process Solutions.

“We provide everything from instrumentation to Advanced Process Control. The width and depth of our portfolio is unmatched,” he adds.

“Our comprehensive range of offerings includes wired and wireless temperature and pressure transmitters, flow meters, inventory level measurement, radar (wireless as well as wired) and servo level gauges for custody transfer, and liquid analytical measuring devices for pH, Conductivity, and ORP,” Krishna says.

Through its One Stop Shop, Honeywell offers its clients with a wide portfolio of solutions and offerings right from field instrumentation to the business optimization applications. “For example, OneWireless stand outs as primary technology enabler apart from the integrated approach of Honeywell towards a Safety and Control system,” he notes.

One of Honeywell’s recent innovations is the Enraf FlexLine radar gauge. By combining new software algorithms with Enraf’s planar antenna technology, FlexLine ensures the levels of precision demanded for custody transfer. Even in challenging circumstances, like dome roofs, the Flexline Wireless maintains its ultra­high performance level.

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6 Magnetrol

Magnetrol International manufactures flow and level instruments to monitor and control the flow rates of fluid chemicals, water, slurries, gas, and bulk solids.

A point of high interest is its Eclipse 705 transmitter. This is a loop-powered, 24 V DC liquid-level transmitter based on Guided Wave Radar (GWR) technology.

“Encompassing a number of significant engineering accomplishments, this leading edge level transmitter is designed to provide measurement performance well beyond that of many traditional technologies, as well as “through-air” radars,” says Yvan Druez, export manager at Magnetrol.

“The enclosure is a first in the industry, orienting dual compartments (wiring and electronics) in the same plane, and angled to maximize ease of wiring, configuration, set-up and data display,” Druez says.

This single transmitter can be used with all probe types and offers enhanced reliability, for use in SIL 2 loops as 1oo1. More recently, the company has obtained the exida – certificate of being a SIL3 capable device.

Magnetrol’s latest development and enhancement has been on its Thermatel Enhanced Model TA2. “Here, we have added a feature so one can measure mass flow of two different gasses or two different flow rates with one single device,” Druez claims.

In addition, the company says that these devices are calibrated in-house and do not need further tuning in the field. “It is a truly plug and play device. The device is also used in measuring mass flow of gasses going to flare towers,” Druez notes.

Magnetrol’s flow switches are frequently used in oil and gas field processing to sense
the presence or absence of flow in horizontal pipelines.

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7 Okazaki

Okazaki Manufacturing Company (OMC) was founded in 1954 in Kobe, Japan. Today, OMC designs and manufactures a range of reliable, highly accurate, standard and custom bespoke temperature sensors, heater and assemblies.

“With an annual turnover of more than US$130 million, OMC has the resources required to respond to any enquiry whatever the scale and complexity,” says Chris Chant, Chris Chant, business development manager at Okazaki.

OMC has manufacturing sites in Japan, USA and Taiwan, which provide a flexible, comprehensive supply chain solution.

In 1963, for example, OMC developed RESIOPAK, the first metal sheathed MgO insulated resistance thermometer, which is used in temperature measurement applications within petrochemicals processes. This design has since been replicated by many other manufacturers.

Recently Okazaki has successfully developed a Mineral Insulated Thermocouple with a sheath outer diameter of 0.1mm. It features an incredible response time of 1 ms, and is suitable for measuring the temperature of any small object.

The company also manufactures thermowells which are used widely in temperature measurement applications. Thermowells are used to provide isolation between a temperature sensor and the environment, in this case oil or gas.

A thermowell enables the temperature sensor to be removed and replaced without compromising either the ambient region or the process.

The mechanical design needs to ensure that the unit can operate under ever increasing flow rates within process pipelines.

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8 Siemens

German-headquartered Siemens offers a comprehensive process instrumentation portfolio, including pressure, temperature, flow and level, in addition to electropneumatic positioners, process controllers and process recorders.

For each type of measurement, the company offers several technologies. For pressure measurement, Siemens offers several pressure transmitter products in its SITRANS P series which offer maximum precision, robustness and ease-of-use.

It also complies with industry standards and international certifications. Some versions additionally offer numerous diagnostics functions which help end-users to better control their plants.

In addition, the company offers innovative products related to positioners such as Siemens’ SITRANS VP300 and SIPART PS2, which are intelligent electropneumatic positioners for linear and rotary actuators.

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9 VEGA Controls

Vega develops and manufactures sensors for the measurement of level, point level and pressure as well as equipment and software for integration into process control systems.

Vega controls manufacture specialist level measurement instruments and controls, mainly for tank gauging, level indication for the quantity or level detection for many products and processes in manufacturing, storage and service industries.

Vega measurement technology covers a wide range of applications, including storage tanks of all sizes, reaction vessels and distillation columns. It measures all kinds of products, from gases to coarse solids.

Vega is considered a leading providers of process radar level measurement and radar transmitters technologies. VEGA have SIL 2 conformance on VEGAPULS radar gauges, a special evaluation for high integrity applications. With VEGAPULS the same transmitter can be used for high or low level switching and tank gauging or continuous level measurement.

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10 Yokogawa

Yokogawa provides state-of-the-art field instrumentation solutions for most downstream petrochemical applications, ranging from simple primary elements to transmitters, and from open loops to critical fast response tight control loops.

The company portfolio includes EJX/EJA series of high performance pressure transmitters, high reliable temperature transmitters, wireless transmitters, gas and liquid analysers in addition to other instrumentations.

“EJX/EJA Series pressure transmitter features single crystal silicon resonant sensor and is suitable to measure liquid, gas, or steam flow as well as liquid level, density and pressure,” says Udai Jayaraman, senior systems specialist at Yokogawa.

Yokogawa’s new solution CombustionONE, which is targeted to provide safety, optimisation and combustion control system for fired heaters, dryers and heat exchangers, using new state of the art combustion measurement detectors (CMD).

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