Vibration-induced fatigue is a serious problem in the pipework that forms the backbone of oil, gas and petrochemical facilities both onshore and offshore. In the UK’s North Sea oil and gas sector, for example, it is the third most common cause of pipework failure, responsible for around 20 percent of all hydrocarbon releases. Even the most rugged equipment can be vulnerable to vibration damage, and in a tough and unforgiving environment it can be challenging to keep on top of the risks associated with the kilometres of pipework that make up an installation.
The PVM 330 helps operators improve safety, reduce production downtime and manage costs by providing easy assessment of vibration-induced pipework fatigue. Combining an accelerometer, data cable, and analyser, the unit is simple to use and easy to read. The PVM’s accelerometer is simply placed onto one of a number of pre-determined pipework positions, where it measures the vibration amplitude and frequency. Readings are then fed into the rugged handheld analyser, which uses Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs) and industry standard acceptance criteria to identify whether there is an operational risk. To eliminate any confusion, the output is configured as a simple ‘traffic light’ message: either the PVM will say that the reading is ‘OK’ and no action needs to be taken, or it will identify a ‘Concern’ or a ‘Problem’ result, prompting the operators to take remedial action.
If specialist consultancy is required or technical questions arise, the PVM comes with swift back-up from Doosan Babcock’s specialist engineers. The unit is also supported by PVM-Manager, a software solution that can be installed on a desktop PC to upload data from the handheld unit and display detailed results, generate reports, or email data to specialist engineers for analysis.
Doosan Babcock introduced the original PVM concept in 2006 as a pioneering approach to assessing pipework vibration on offshore platforms, oil refineries, gas processing plants, petrochemical plants, and floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. Before its introduction, the conventional industry approach was to involve a team of specialist engineers to carry out rigorous surveys at locations known to be at high risk of damage or leakage. Soon after its introduction, the PVM won the Offshore Contractors Association’s Challenge Award for Technology and Innovation.
The new PVM 330 boasts the latest technology providing high reliability and accuracy as well as significant cost savings over previous models. The unit has been designed to be light weight, small enough to fit comfortably in the pocket, and with a simple and easy-to-use keypad and display for fast and efficient use. The unit’s ergonomic design coupled with the intuitive PVM Manager software, make the PVM 330 the perfect solution for managing the reduction of hydrocarbon release.