A crude vision
Vision-based Ethernet system gives real-time
sight in oil, gas applications
By Thomas M. Canty
L Ethernet technology brings vision analysis
in real time for users.
L Vision system gives clearer turbidity reading
for processing water.
L Improved engineer sight means better
30 INTECH MARCH 2009 WWW.ISA.ORG
SPECIAL SECTION: NETWORKING/ETHERNET
ision analysis can provide a dimen- These windows must Inline particle size system
sion into process and product control also be adjustable to
that has not been previously avail- allow proper control of
able. The technology affords the pro- the measurement zone
cess engineer a view into the live process and for accurate results.
enables direct calibration of the control param- The best option is the
eters based on what is actually occurring and fused, glass-to-metal
not indirectly based on previous data. With cur- seal that meets the
rent Ethernet technology, the information can criteria and allows the
be broadcast to key decision-makers as process formation of an adjust-
events occur, enabling a concentration of exper- able viewing cell inside the process that can with-
tise to more quickly realize new discoveries and stand thermal and physical shock, as well as sever-
resolve process aberrations as they occur. al thousand pounds of pressure. A typical system
Vision systems are now developed to the will be comprised of an inline body with camera,
point where they can provide analysis and con- light, and light pipe attached. The high polish of
trol in the oil and gas industry where other in- the glass surface helps to maintain the windows
strument types cannot. Improvement in design free of process buildup.
of hardware and software, and advancements Illumination is critical to the success of vision-
in Ethernet communication technology have based technology, and a consistent, high intensity
allowed vision-based systems to see into pro- source is the building block that allows software
cess environments, such as crude oil, to detect to deﬁne particles consistently and accurately.
and analyze particle constituents. Vision can Another important feature of a complete system
also effectively handle applications involving is the ability to control the measurement zone
the monitoring and control or produced water where the particles are illuminated