On-line corrosion monitoring and the opportunity it provides to optimise process conditions on the basis of their impact on process vessels and pipework have been repeatedly highlighted by Honeywell ever since its 2005 acquisition of InterCorr International and its SmartCET technology. Now GE is following that lead, albeit by a different technological route, with the introduction of its GE Rightrax online corrosion/erosion monitoring system which uses non-invasive, ultrasonic sensing technology to measure wall thickness from the outside of the asset.
Historically, time-based manual inspection has been the main method of mitigating corrosion and erosion risks, but it is a costly approach, frequently involving excavation, scaffolding, special permits and other resources. By contrast, Rightrax sensors can be polled periodically, not only to assess the asset's remaining useful life, but also to establish historical trends.
Such an approach both allows users to understand the rate at which corrosion/erosion is progressing and, hence, implement better maintenance planning and also enables corrosion data to be correlated with process data, to establish cause-effect relationships that can help operators understand and avoid those conditions that accelerate corrosion/erosion rates and asset degradation.
Bently Nevada software
GE is exploiting its instrumentation portfolio by linking Rightrax to its Bently Nevada System1 software, exploiting Bently Nevada expertise in wear and vibration measurement and in monitoring rotating equipment such as turbines and pumps.
The System1 software is used to display, trend, analyze, plot and correlate wear data and provides powerful import/export functionality for integration with reporting tools and programs such as Crystal Reports and Microsoft Excel. GE claims that System1's decision-support technology and automation capabilities enable the system to send intelligent advisories to appropriate personnel when specific conditions or anomalies of an unknown origin are detected.