Look who’s talking now – your gas compressor modules

It all started with a question: “What if gas compressor modules could communicate?”

Admittedly, it felt a little silly at first. Gas compressors and gas compressor modules have been around for a long time – and they never needed to send information anywhere before.

Then we started thinking about the possibilities. And about the Industrial Internet of Things.

Suddenly, it didn’t feel so funny anymore.

Embedding intelligence in the traditional gas compressor module

Integrating smart sensors and digital technology in gas compressor modules allow them to monitor and report on temperature, pressure, speed and shaft phase, all in real time.

With embedded intelligence and sensors reporting on all aspects of your gas compressor module – including low and medium voltage switchgear, VSDs and electric motors – you’re able to harvest a very comprehensive set of data about your operation.

The business value of smarter gas compressor modules

Consider the value of all that information, and all the ways it could help you steer decision-making and avoid issues. Calibration and fine-tuning for efficiency suddenly become simpler, and lose a lot of the guesswork. Inefficiency, and its associated higher production costs, become easier to pinpoint and eliminate.

In these volatile times for oil and gas prices, that’s essential to your business.

When deep insight into machine performance is at your decision-maker’s fingertips, good things happen. No matter how you’re employing the embedded-intelligence modules: upstream, midstream, downstream, chemical, onshore, or offshore or in applications from gas gathering and boosting to hydro-cracking.

Consider, for example, a bearing-mounted vibration sensor used to accurately monitor the performance of motor bearings. More than 50 percent of motor breakdowns are due to bearing failures. With each gas compressor module housing up to 10 electric motors powering pumps and fans, the ability to track a motor bearing’s performance and take remedial action before it fails can help significantly increase uptime.

That’s just one example. When gas compressor module information is combined with other machine data, and then presented in a single, centralized view, optimization becomes easier and faster. Operating costs drop rapidly. Reliability increases; you find yourself sleeping easier at night. And maintaining “day one” levels of optimization becomes possible.

The next generation of gas compressor modules

At ABB, we’re making smarter, communications-enabled gas compressor modules a reality. Our new line of gas compressor modules featuring integrated smart sensors will be available soon to help you raise the bar in performance, efficiency and reliability.

Combined with the efficiency of our drives and motors, we think embedded intelligence is going to enable new levels of optimization – up to 30 percent more efficient than a typical gas compressor module. Best of all, the addition of embedded intelligence won’t impact the purchase price of our modules.

Integration with ABB ServicePort™ means that analyzing and acting upon the information captured will be simple and easy, too. Our embedded-intelligence gas compressor modules comply with a host of standards including API 618, and are certified to international standards, such as DIN, GOST, ASME, API and ISO.

It’s won’t be long before new levels of optimization and reliability are at your fingertips. We’ll share more about our embedded intelligence innovations for gas compressor modules soon.

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About the author

Dan Overly

I am Global Head of Product and Business Development for BU Oil, Gas and Chemicals. In this role, I manage the BU portfolio of products and the responsible product managers to ensure alignment with market and customer requirements. I enforce global standardization of products to ensure consistent delivery and performance in all countries. I am also responsible for expanding our offering through strategic partnerships and inorganic growth potential to further enhance ABB’s value to our clients. I joined ABB in 1987 and has held various roles in engineering, sales, marketing, regional management, product management, enterprise software and global services. I obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering and currently live in the US.
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