GE’s OptiComp BN compressor control solution increases reliability at U.S. refinery

A Fortune 100 independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products was striving to increase crude oil production by 7% at one of its US facilities. Challenges around compressor control presented themselves, and the customer turned to GE to help develop a solution.

GE customized a comprehensive measurement and control solution, providing the refinery with the OptiComp BN compressor control and vibration monitoring system. OptiComp BN enables detection of a rotating stall and enhances surge detection in combination with Bently Nevada 3500 systems. Patented algorithms combined traditional anti-surge measurements with mechanical measurements, such as radial and axial vibration and axial displacement.

Read the entire case study here.


GE Oil & Gas partners to meet latest IEC 62443 standard

For many oil & gas operators, the newly published IEC 62443-2-4 standard is becoming the benchmark for how to work with Industrial Automation and Control System service providers when it comes to cyber security. GE Oil & Gas supports IEC 62443-2-4 through a combination of products and services that have been certified to meet the standard, making it easy for operators to partner with us on cyber security implementation.

Our capabilities relevant to IEC 62443-2-4 are detailed in the latest whitepaper to showcase our cyber security solutions here.

GE Provides Critical Cyber Security Protections for Large Middle Eastern Oil & Gas Company

A large oil & gas company was prepared to address cyber security needs at one of its plants, but without an existing process or framework in place, the company was challenged to achieve compliance with organizational cyber security standards while maintaining full system functionality in the plant. The organization needed to find a trusted partner who could meet its needs in a timely manner.

GE provided the support and partnership needed to help the company meet their compliance requirements. With the technology and expertise GE has, the company was able to tailor their solution to minimize their risk from cyber threats. Read the full case study here.


Control Solutions HQ re-certified for OSHA VPP STAR

GE Oil & Gas is proud to announce that their Longmont, CO site was re-certified in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) at the Star level. This site, which is the headquarters for the Control Solutions business, received notice of this exclusive recognition after an on-site audit in October 2015. This is their third VPP star certification.

The partnership with OSHA in the VPP program has many benefits, including the improved focus on safety performance by all employees and strong employee engagement for continuous improvement. Only 0.03% of American workplaces are VPP certified, according to the OSHA auditor.

“The VPP Star certification is a big win for all of our employees,” said Chuck Criste, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Leader in Longmont. “Our teamwork, the support of the management team and involvement of employees made this happen. I know our site has a strong EHS culture, and I’m happy we are able to be recognized for it with this certification.”

The business was first certified in 2007 when it was located in Loveland, CO, and re-certified in 2010. The site’s more than 200 employees were involved in the preparation for the audit by serving on safety teams, completing continuous improvement projects and being interviewed during the audit process.

Through the employee interviews the auditors saw a very high level of esteem for the company and the site leadership team as well as a high level of knowledge and understanding of the EHS process. “Everybody is following the value of safety. It’s very evident here,” said an auditor.  Also mentioned is the strong culture of stop work authority that exists throughout the workplace and the site’s noteworthy commitment to continuous improvement.


GE Upgrades and Automates Vintage Equipment for Improved Performance

A leading U.S. power company’s New York facility was in a reinvestment period, which included upgrading 1950s turbines. The existing mechanical hydraulic turbine control (MHC) and analog automatic voltage regulators (AVRs) were past their intended life cycles. The facility operators were concerned with the increasing maintenance, ongoing reliability and support for unit controls.

GE provided a solution to the challenge by upgrading and automating the vintage equipment for improved performance using a Mark VIe control system with Triple Modular Redundant (TMR) architecture and field instrumentation for trip inputs. Read more about this success here.

GE’s Control Solutions featured in Gas Turbine World

GE Product Line Leader Homero Endara and Product Line Manager Nate Martin recently contributed to the Gas Turbine World article “Path to Advanced Gas Turbine Driven Compressor Control Systems.” The feature focuses on how technological advances in the era of the Industrial Internet are creating opportunities to increase both gas turbine and compressor operational efficiency.

Read the full article here.

Using Mark* VIe as an AGC Supervisory Controller

Recently GE assisted a petrochemical complex in Houston as they prepared to sell surplus power to the power market by providing an automatic generator control (AGC) solution using the Mark VIe control system.

Because minimizing plant downtime and maintaining steady outputs is a priority for power generation operators, implementing automatic generator control (AGC) as a supervisory controller can be invaluable for achieving grid stability. The AGC has the ability to work with an independent system operator (ISO), providing the ISO with continuous control, while preventing external actors to influence the grid and deviate from proper production levels. Additionally, an AGC can sense which turbines are online and calculate how to increase or decrease output to match demands. The AGC also automatically shifts extraction steam loading to and from advantageous operation points, in addition to adjusting digital governor inputs to rebalance steam loads among power units. Not only can the AGC sense errors from power sources, but it can also adjust power set points to eliminate the error – preventing unwanted, costly downtime.

One petrochemical company in Texas has successfully implemented an AGC, and as a result, improved its own bottom line. Read the whitepaper here.