Networking solutions for Ormen Lange and Snøhvit

March 1, 2006
Offshore operators and contractors are taking note of Westermo’s connectivity solutions.

Offshore operators and contractors are taking note of Westermo’s connectivity solutions. The company recently signed a multi-year agreement with a leading ship systems designer and builder to supply local network solutions for installation on vessels, including offshore ships.

Westermo will supply industrial ethernet switches and associated equipment to enable the different operating systems on a ship - propulsion, dynamic positioning, alarms, and so on - to be linked through one operating platform. This will provide more flexible control and a more cost-effective operation.

The company has also supplied networking solutions to ABB for the control system installed at Norsk Hydro’s Ormen Lange onshore terminal, where gas will be landed and processed prior to being exported, and Statoil’s Snøhvit LNG plant.

The L418F2-MM industrial ethernet switch supplied as part of Westermo’s connectivity solutions for the offshore sector.
Click here to enlarge image

The industrial ethernet switches are basic products for networking which are available from various suppliers, says marketing manager Kenneth Isacsson. The added value from Westermo’s products is that they are developed for operation in a harsh environment, with features such as a robust power supply and extended temperature range. They also incorporate full redundancy, so that in the event of a fault in a critical application, the switch will find an alternative path for transferring the data through the network.

Time sync function

The switch can also include a time synchronization function - Westermo claims to be the only vendor supplying this as an integral part of the switch. Accurate to within 20 nano-seconds, the time synchronization function makes the switch the clock master, thus ensuring that all controllers in the system are working on the same time. It takes true time from the GPS system, but in the event of a GPS communication failure, it continues to provide the time reference. It is vitally important that all controllers have the same time, not necessarily the right time. For the same reason the time codes transmitted by the switch take priority over other data traffic.

If a disruption occurs to operations, the switch helps ensure the accurate timing of all entries in the event log. Knowing the correct sequence of events is essential to identifying where the first departure from normal operation occurred within the system.

In addition to industrial ethernet applications, Westermo has products for both local and remote access. These are also relevant to offshore operations, whether local access solutions for linking up different operating systems on an offshore installation, or remote access solutions providing components for the remote control of an unmanned platform.

For more information, contact Kenneth Isacsson, Westermo Teleindustri. Tel +46 1642 8017, fax +46 1642 8001, [email protected],