150 Ethernet Switches for the Decade's Most Challenging Gas Field Exploitation

Westermo's Ethernet switches feature 1µs time synchronisation and 30ms reconfiguration time. They have been chosen by ABB to equip the fibre optics network of the Safety and Automation System of Nyhamna's on-shore plant. This unit will prepare the gas from the Ormen Lange field before it is exported to England.

Ormen Lange, is one of the world's largest gas fields, and the second largest in Norway. This off-shore field is located in the west of the country. The reservoir is approximately 40 kilometers long and eight kilometers wide. Starting production in October 2007, it will contribute to an increase of Norwegian gas exports of 25% and will make Norway the world's third largest gas exporter.

Gaz production and transportation are done in a very harsh environment. All the information of that process, managing 70 millions Sm3 of gas per day (more than 800 Sm3/s), will be handled by an Ethernet network including 150 time synchronisation and redundancy ring switches from Westermo.

Stig ANDHEIM, ABB project manager says "For this kind of application, high availability and reliability of the data management system is necessary. Westermo was the first industrial switch vendor that was 800xA certified for external clock synchronisation. In order to avoid conflict risk, and due to a competitive price, harsh environment strong capabilities and multi redundant functionalities, we choose Westermo's switches also for other switches".

The safety and automation system from ABB

ABB is in charge of the SAS (Safety and Automation System) and PIMS (Process Information and Management System) of Nyhamna. They both operate on Westermo's Ethernet network.

This includes all the software and hardware that will monitor the plant:

o 2000 equipment asset monitors, applications for daily operation, maintenance, planning (shift report, long time trending, production plan, safety overview, environmental reports...)

o OPC (OLE for Process Control) interface to third party systems (SAP, metering, vibration monitoring, valve monitoring system...)

ABB also deliveries three Pipeline Protection Systems (Nyhamna, Sleipner off-shore platform, and Easington gas reception centre in the UK). Their purpose is to protect the pipeline against too much pressure.

Time synchronisation switches to ensure real time monitoring and full traceability:
ABB delivery relies on the 800xA open Control System, which consists of both software and hardware. The software is loaded in the controllers AC800M (which are a part of the 800xA system) and the operator part of the system is loaded into servers and stations (clients).

The controllers, the servers and clients are then connected together on several network levels, e.g. controller network and server/client network, via Westermo's switches. About 150 T208 and R208 switches are implemented.

The T-208 switch incorporates NTP/SNTP (Network Time Protocol / Simple Network Time Protocol). This allows SNTP packets to be time stamped. A pioneer in this technology, Westermo provides outstanding accuracy of 1µs or better. In industrial automation, Ethernet networks have always been limited by the latency jitter of data packet transmission inside the switches. Depending on the network load, data packet size and the number of switches between the server and the client, data transmission inside an Ethernet switch introduces time latency jitter of up to several milliseconds. A packet that enters the switch first can even go out after one that arrives later due to switch QoS techniques. Furthermore, a network with several off-the-shelf switches will accumulate time synchronization errors for each switch on the network path between the time server and time client. Precise data analysis needed for process automation then becomes impossible (multi-axle synchronization in assembly machines, for instance). With the Nyhamna plant 150 switches, this feature is critical. Westermo's T208 switch allows events to be time stamped with high accuracy precision providing a full and exact history of data events. Sophisticated or critical industrial processes, be they in real time or not, can now be managed with the off-the-shelf SNTP Ethernet protocol.

The R-208 is designed to enable industrial Ethernet networks to be installed in a multiple redundant ring configuration. Those rings also have the possibility to be redundant themselves. This eliminates network failure caused by either fibre or copper backbone failure.

Stig ANDHEIM, ABB project manager says "We selected Westermo's switches first of all for the clock synchronisation functionality. Specifically, with external time synchronisation with the GPS receiver. In that kind of application, a very high reliability of all network-transmitted information is needed. Full time traceability of data that is transmitted via the switch is then provided. With the universal GPS time, we ensure that all equipment works with the same time reference."

The gas production is set to start in October 2007, delivering 70 million Sm3 of gas each day!

Operators of Ormen Lange gaz field:

o Hydro (operator for development phase)

o Shell (future operator for operational phase)

o Gassco (operator for the export pipeline Langeled)

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ORMEN LANGE GAZ FIELD: http://hydro.com/ormenlange/en/

WESTERMO TELEINDUSTRI AB, a Swedish company created in 1975, is a European leader in industrial data communication.
Key numbers:

o four subsidiaries: France, Germany, UK and Norway

o distributors in more than 30 countries

o 120 employees

LAST MILE COMMUNICATION, distributor of Westermo in Norway is a distribution company with expertise in communications in industrial Applications. LMC staff have lengthy experience from developing products to consulting for the largest communications user in Scandinavia.

ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 105,000 people.

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