Triconex brand allegiance ‘strong’
Manama, October 9, 2013
By Salvador Almeida
Global technology company Invensys’ Triconex, a comprehensive suite of software solutions that help manage and maintain safety systems, has contributed greatly to the safe running of large industrial plants across the globe and today has a solid brand allegience in the Middle East.
“We have 13,000 systems running in the world and over 600 million hours where our systems are running without a dangerous failure on demand,” said Steve Elliott, Triconex product director.
He was speaking to Gulf Industry, our sister magazine, on the sidelines of the Foxboro & Triconex Global Client Conference in San Antonio Texas.
Approximately 40 per cent of the systems are installed in the Middle East including in large petrochemical and refining companies.
“One of the last projects I did was for a Sabic chemical plant and there were 70 Tricons on that one. It gives you an idea of how big the assets are,” Elliott said.
Over the past three decades Triconex has succeeded in creating “a strong brand allegiance” primarily for three reasons which he lists as safety, availability and security. “The Tricon systems can run even under fault conditions. They have functions where you can do online replacements without stopping the system,” said Elliott recounting Triconex’s enduring appeal.
Triconex’s security support has ramped up customer loyalty. “Security is becoming more of a challenge everywhere. If you go back 10 years ago when the engineering companies did the risk assessment, they looked at the risk in terms of temperature or pressure or the chemical process. If you did the risk assessment today you’ll see the risk is not just inside the plant, it’s exterior as well. Now North America seems to be the big target for hostile attack, when you look at the reported ratio. But attacks on the Middle East and Europe have started to rise because there’s such a high downstream consequence; if you take the chemical plants and refineries, the spot rates can go high.”
Triconex proved its mettle following an attack on Saudi Aramco. Damage was at the corporate network level and some 30,000 work stations had to be isolated and brought back one by one. “The good news is that it did not affect the Foxboro control system and it did not affect the Triconex safety system. They did everything they were supposed to do,” recalled Elliott.
Invensys has a Fast Response Team based in its Dubai office which was mobilised to go to Saudi Arabia to make sure "everything was as it should be.”
The way that Triconex implements its systems also helped. “There’s a protocol that talks to Triconex systems that’s different from the protocols that talk to other systems … So it’s not just what you build into the system but how the system has been architected as well.”
Triconex has introduced to the market a software application called Safety View which basically has to do with Alert and Bypass management. “It was released a couple of months ago and we’ve already got about half a dozen systems that we are currently engineering. We expect them to be implemented within the next six months,” said Elliott.
Two of the companies where Safety View is being engineered are in Chile, and while the principal focus has been North America and Latin America, Invensys is starting to talk to parties in the Gulf.
According to Invensys, Safety View provides the highest levels of safety integrity for critical alarm applications. It is the world’s first software solution for effective Alarm and Bypass management that is certified by TÜV Rhineland to IEC61508 Systematic Capability 3 (SC3) for use in applications up to Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL3).
Triconex will have a new release of Safety View scheduled for the middle of next year. “We’ve already got feedback from customers…People want to add more and more functionality. This will be Safety View 1.1. So we will have a major-minor release,” said Elliott.
Triconex has made a product enhancement for the Main Processor module which will be due in the middle of 2014. “We have the Unified Communication Module and that is how we will unify the Triconex piece with the Foxboro Evo piece. This will have main applications in the refining and petrochemical industries,” Elliott said.
The company has also just received marine certification for the Tricon Trident Triconex General Purpose System. The Tricon Tri GP system and the Foxboro system are now effectively marine certified.
Elliott also discussed the Triconex General Purpose System that enables businesses to fulfill requirements for critical control applications needing high availability – for example, turbomachinery control – as well as SIL 2 safety applications such as emergency shutdown, fire and gas protection and burner management.
The official says there has been a shift in the way businesses view safety systems. “What we’re now seeing is people using information from the safety system to help operations and maintenance but more importantly at the corporate level.” This new emphasis has led to universities offering process safety degree courses to serve a key side of business operations.
Companies are reporting at the corporate level not just their personnel occupation safety but their process safety as well. “They are taking information from the safety system and using it at the business layer,” said Elliott. “The perception used to be that safety cost them money. Now more mature operational companies realise that if there is effective safety management you can get improvements top line and bottom line. Companies are using good safety management to get a reduction in their operating costs with cuts in maintenance, insurance and capital costs.”
Higher transparency levels bode well for industries, Elliott indicated. “The first company that I’ve seen globally providing that level of transparency in their performance is the Adnoc Group which has provided an overall sustainability report aggregating data from different group companies They show in their report not just their personnel safety but process safety also. They are leading the way.” - TradeArabia News Service