First “smart” drive train ships to U.S. refinery

TMI Staff & Contributors

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Advanced digitalization with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, built into a drive train made up of two core products made by Siemens LDA US, moved forward last month with the shipment of a 15,250-hp SIMOTICS motor from their Norwood factory near Cincinnati, Ohio, and a companion SINAMICS PERFECT HARMONY GH180 water-cooled, medium-voltage drive of similar size, made in Siemen's New Kensington factory near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

It’s the first Siemens drive train to include the Veros Foresight hardware and software solution from Veros Systems built into the Siemens drive and integrated with onboard SIDRIVE IQ drive-train analytics.

The drive train will be installed at the Deer Park Refinery, a 2,300-acre facility on the Houston shipping channel to the Gulf of Mexico, and co-owned by Shell Oil and PEMEX, Mexico’s state-owned oil company.

The New Kensington factory team stands by the first SINAMICS PERFECT HARMONY GH180 water-cooled drive with the Veros Foresight hardware solution, before shipment in March.[/caption]

Brad Shepherd, a former Norwood engineer now our Account Manager for Shell, and Nick Kitto, Customer Service Manager for Oil & Gas, LDA US, described the Siemens drive-train solution as being engineered from the start as the very best solution for the Deer Park Refinery, not the lowest cost one. “Our customer knows that low-cost solutions don’t ensure the maximum reliability, availability and asset utilization needed by refinery operations,” said Kitto. “Disruptions caused by a failure can cost in the millions.”

The Veros Foresight solution uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor the performance health of the drive train components — without employing any sensors on the rotating assets themselves. Instead, it continuously evaluates the electrical current and voltage waveform signals to provide predictive health monitoring of motors and other driven assets, such as pumps, fans and compressors.

Target applications include electrical submersible pumps (ESPs), both onshore and offshore, mudline pumps, compressors, and centrifugal fans and pumps. Veros Systems, based in Austin, Texas, developed algorithms that learn how motors typically perform and alarm when they see an upcoming electrical or mechanical issue. Advanced technology employing AI builds a model for how each particular motor and load (compressor, pump, fan, etc.) normally function across a range of operating conditions.

Many types of developing mechanical and electrical degradations in the equipment subtly affect the motor’s current and voltage waveforms. Veros Foresight technology can detect these changes and issue alarm messages providing early warning of developing problems.

According to Scott Conner, General Manager, Siemens Medium Voltage Drives, the Siemens partnership with Veros Systems will enable customers to monitor motors and equipment without the need for additional sensors.

He said that this performance and health monitoring of Siemens drive trains will accelerate the adoption of equipment analytics, reduce the cost and risk of unexpected equipment downtime, improve operational productivity, and help reduce global energy consumption.