Turbine Remote Monitoring Service Allows for Scalability

Sept. 17, 2012
Turbine manufacturer, Mitsubishi Power Systems, offers asset management services to monitor thousands of real-time data points related to any brand of industrial equipment.

For gas and steam turbines operations, consistent quality of planned and predictive maintenance over time is essential to achieving higher equipment availability, performance and lifetime ownership cost. These operations can include continuous monitoring of up to 1,000 to 3,000 data points at one time—a monumental challenge for any plant or enterprise staff to tackle internally.

That’s why gas and steam turbine maker Mitsubishi Power Systems (www.mpshq.com) provides an additional service to turbine operators via its 24-hour Remote Monitoring Center (RMC) located in Orlando, Fla. The Mitsubishi RMC captures a continuous stream of thousands of data points per second in real time from a wide range of industrial equipment.

RMC operators and engineers have the ability to trend all of this information, or display it in tabular form, for quick comparison during troubleshooting exercises and root-cause evaluation. Also, a set of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, including a web-based journal, service request system, and lessons-learned database, are used to document and track the daily events at each site. Standardized reports are used to give the end-user insight into the performance,

The center monitors parameters, such as ambient conditions, hot gas path conditions, combustor dynamics (CPFM), control system features, vibration indications, valve demand and Feedback Signals, auxiliary system parameters, and alarm indications and set points.

All of these data points come back to the center’s enterprise infrastructure in the Orlando monitoring facility based on the OSISoft PI System (www.osisoft.com). There, technicians use OSISoft’s Exele TopView Alarm Management Software (www.excele.com) to aggregate the alarms from every monitored installation, globally.  Exele TopView provides audible, visual and email alarm message notification to the RMC Staff. 

Alarm Management Demands
"The move to Exele TopView was prompted when RMC's previous alarm management package was no longer supported by the manufacturer, said RMC Manager Daryl Massey.  “In addition, we had outgrown the package as we continued to add to the number of monitoring points, so [we were running] into more and more issues.” 

The center choose OSISoft’s TopView because it is “very flexible, offers several notification options and the support has been great,” Massey said. Exele TopView, which interfaces directly with the OSIsoft PI system, is currently monitoring 30,000 alarm tags and many more data tags.

>> Automation World readers chime in on remote monitoring via apps and on new devices on the factory floor. Visit bit.ly/awslant030

With so many potential alarms, one issue that the RMC Staff had to deal with is redundant or repeating alarms.  These are situations where an alarm condition has been noted and corrective action is in the works, or where there is a defective sensor causing the alarm.  So Massey and his technical staff requested a “snooze” feature to Exele TopView. A snooze feature would allow an operator to disable an alarm for a period of time while corrective action is being implemented. 

“One of the best things about switching to TopView has been the ability to get updates and enhancements,” says Massey.  “We had spoken to OSISoft about the nuisance alarm situation and they explained the snooze approach. We had the feature available to us in a new release shortly after.”

Edited by Grant Gerke, Digital Managing Editor

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