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CANopen control system increases productivity

Exploration Drill Rig (XDR) uses a control system by Epec (Finland) for its 75-digit flush-by-unit device. It comprises several CAN-connectable modules.

A 25-percent productivity boost in gas-and-oil maintenance due to automatically winching rigs (Photo: Epec)

THE MEDIUM LENGTH OF DRILL RIGS in oil-and-gas wells varies from 1000 m to 1200 m. 6- and 9-mr drill rigs are lifted from the bore-holes in 6- and 9-m batches. The CAN-based control system of a 75-digit flush-by-unit device for gas-and-oil well maintenance by the Australian company Exploration Drill Rig (XDR) enables winching the rigs automatically. The modular control system consists of four 4602 units for hydraulic control purposes, two 5050 units with multiple PWM ports, one size-optimized 2038 unit, and the PC-based EPC-i10 display. All control units implement Codesys and are programmable in IEC 61131-3 languages.

Before, drill rigs were lifted and lowered into the wells manually. The work was very slow and prone to user errors. Now, the control system winches the rig on behalf of the user and communicates in real-time in which the rig height is going up or down. “You don’t have to think it through and reset anymore if the rig is in 6 or 6,1 meters. The automation of the winching speeds up the work considerably,” explained Pekka Kuusimaa from Comet-Tech (Australia), the system integrator.

With the control system the user can also set a height limit to, for example, six meters and activate the lifter, which then stops at the set height automatically. Automatic stopping also prevents errors. You can’t run the wire cable through the attachments of the mast anymore when performing maintenance on the machine. “Previously it was possible if the user was careless and didn’t stop the winching early enough,” commented Kuusimaa.

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