Festo Utilizes Industry 4.0 Technology to Eliminate Unlatched Tubulars on Drill-Rig Fingerboards

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This next generation pneumatic solution indicates for derrickhands on a color touchscreen display the exact open or closed position of every Fingerboard latch. This reliable, rugged pneumatic system eliminates the need for wire harnesses and electronics on Fingerboards (Festo Exhibit in the German Pavilion OTC 2018).

Festo introduces at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), NRG Park, Houston, April 30 - May 3, a pneumatically based Fingerboard-latching system for drill-rig tubulars that safely indicates the exact locked or open position of each latch. This system operates reliably in harsh water- or land-based drilling environments and eliminates hard to maintain wire harnesses and electronic sensors on Fingerboards.

  • Festo presents live demonstrations and shows video of this new system at its exhibit in the German Pavilion at OTC 2018. A white paper will be available for show attendees.

A Festo application team developed this drilling industry solution utilizing the Industry 4.0-based VTEM Motion Terminal. The VTEM Motion Terminal is the world’s first digital pneumatic system. Downloadable apps create an almost unlimited number of functions for the motion terminal. A single motion terminal can replace 50 different hardware components based on its combination of apps.

The VTEM Motion Terminal with Fingerboard-latch app measures the position of each latch from closed to 100 percent open by analyzing cylinder air pressure and flow. The system can display measurements graphically via human machine interface (HMI) or communicate to a supervisory controller. Each VTEM smart valve in this application replaces two ordinary pneumatic valves for a 50 percent savings in the number of values utilized.

The Fingerboard solution also features cylinder seals enhanced for extended life in the specific environment where the rig will be located and a long-wearing corrosion-resistant coating that covers the exterior of each cylinder. Festo helps to lower time to market for OEMs by pre-assembling control cabinets. Festo offers the new globally based Stars of Automation program that guarantees 24-hour shipment of core products to help maintain high uptime on the rig.

“We’ve had considerable feedback from companies in the drilling industry that unlatched tubulars such as drill pipes and casings are an ongoing safety challenge,” said Craig Correia, Director, Process Industries, North America, for Festo. “When you try to solve this safety challenge by installing electronic sensors and associated wiring 75 feet or more above the deck, they must be robust enough to handle extreme temperature swings, impervious to highly corrosive environments, and explosion-proof. All are difficult requirements for a reliable and serviceable electronic-based system. The Festo pneumatic solution eliminates electronics on the Fingerboard by moving the intelligence to a decentralized cabinet and provides for superior position monitoring. It’s a new solution that I hope OTC attendees will stop by to see in action.”

For more information, call Festo at 800-993-3786 and visit the Festo website http://www.festo.us. Be sure to stop by the Festo Booth in the German Pavilion at OTC.

About Festo    
Festo is a leading manufacturer of pneumatic and electromechanical systems, components, and controls for process and industrial automation. For more than 40 years, Festo Corporation has continuously elevated the state of manufacturing with innovations and optimized motion control solutions that deliver higher performing, more profitable automated manufacturing and processing equipment.
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Media: Peter Azzarone

Product: Customer Service
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