Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) today announced delivery of its latest automation control system to Edinburgh College, boosting the Scottish college’s efforts to educate future engineers and operators to run the world’s advanced oil and gas facilities.
Using the HPS Experion C300 controller, part of the Experion® distributed control system (DCS), students will be able to study and train on the same state-of-the-art control system that is being used in many control rooms around the world. Honeywell’s automation control systems can be found in about 5,000 sites such as refineries, chemical plants, natural gas facilities and offshore platforms in the oil and gas industries, as well as other manufacturing sites such as mines, paper mills, and industrial power plants.
The new DCS forms the foundation of Edinburgh College’s Oil Production Platform Simulator – a purpose-built plant with tanks, pumps, instrumentation and other components that allows apprentices to work on a simulated system as close as possible to an actual plant.
Ross Milligan, curriculum manager for Engineering at Edinburgh College, said, “If we are to address the skills gaps we face in engineering and support the industry to reach its full potential, it’s essential we can provide today’s young engineers with the very best training and experience on modern technology.
“The new simulation system here will help students get the best possible preparation for working life, including the understanding and practical application of modern control systems used by industries in the in the UK and worldwide.”
Honeywell has a long relationship with Edinburgh College, which is a key participant in the UK Upstream Oil and Gas Industry Technician Training Scheme. Run by the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO), the scheme is widely supported by the oil and gas industry and has invested in excess of $100 million to train more than 1,200 apprentices.
Edinburgh College handles all the instrumentation and control apprentices under the scheme. For the last six years, the annual OPITO apprentice of the year has come from Edinburgh College.
Honeywell has been working closely with the college in recent months to update and repair its existing simulator, built in 1995 by the college’s students. Among those students was Honeywell’s Kenneth Westmacott, oil and gas solutions consultant, who attended the college in 1995 and is now liaising with the college for this project.
“The work Edinburgh is doing is vital to the future and health of the oil and gas industry,” said Westmacott. “Honeywell’s partnership with the college helps our investments have a real impact on the development of the next generation of process engineering talent.”
The original control system will now be integrated into the new Experion C300 distributed control system, helping cement the college’s reputation as one of the most advanced technology teaching centres in Scotland.
Installation of the system, which took place in October, included the replacement of the existing Plantscape server with the modern Experion® Process Knowledge System (PKS) DCS, consisting of redundant Experion Servers, dual multi-display Experion Operator Console Stations, associated domain controllers and network hardware utilising Fault Tolerant Ethernet. The existing C200 Controller was kept and upgraded to use FTE to communicate to the new Experion PKS DCS. In addition, an Experion C300 controller cabinet was also provided, consisting of redundant C300 controllers, firewalls, analogue and digital input/output (I/O), universal I/O, fieldbus and serial interfaces.