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Valuable centimeters

11th August 2016

Deep drilling needs to be precise and focused. In the control cabins of drilling platforms, every centimeter counts. The enclosures for conventional controls are large and therefore not ideal. By contrast, the explosion-protected remote I/O ANTARES from BARTEC can be fitted into much smaller spaces.

oil drilling
The ANTARES can be fitted into smaller spaces during deep drilling

The company Bauer Deep Drilling specializes in highly automated, high-tech rigs. “We began as a specialist for deep drilling at 100 metres. The drilling is the same, it’s just done a little bit deeper,” smiles Lothar Schirmel, Head of Design and Development Electronics Deep Drilling. “The extracting companies also need to dig deeper into their pockets. A standard drilling tool costs between 2,000 and 3,000 euros, the deep drilling platform around 20 million euros. “Suffice to say, this is not a minor investment. The customer wants to see that the system works. You can’t sell this kind of system just on paper,” explains Schirmel. The Bavarian company therefore constructed their newest model above a 1,000 meter borehole for demonstration purposes. “This allows us to simulate the installation,” explains Franz X. Both, Project Manager at Bauer Deep Drilling. The high degree of automation gives the company more security and allows human resources to be better deployed. Having fewer people in dangerous areas also results in a lower risk of injury. This is an important point, as in the event of an injury, the facility has to be stopped completely. A day’s production is quickly lost. This costs a good 25,000 euros.

Compact, direct, flexible
Until recently, Bauer Deep Drilling bought the finished control cabins for the systems from competitors. “We then decided that we wanted to build them ourselves in the future. We could have done it exactly the same way,” says Schirmel. In the previous models, a standard control unit was installed in a flameproof enclosure. This meant that explosion protection was no longer ensured when the cover had to be opened in the event of a malfunction. The certified ANTARES, by contrast, can be installed directly in the Ex area. Thanks to its large reserve capacities, the system offers efficient and compact I/O configurations. A single rail control unit (RCU) can supply up to 32 multi-channel modules, resulting in a very high number of input/output channels. Furthermore, ANTARES provides the benefit of a flexible system certification. Previously, remote I/O systems had to be clearly planned in advance and installed in certified Ex e enclosures with rigid approval. Now, every electrical planning operation can plan, alter and expand its system freely.

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