ABB takes heat out of tricky Tata Steel upgrade challenge12 March 2015

Tata Steel is reporting a neat solution to an awkward temperature transmitter upgrade challenge at its Port Talbot plant, which meant no need for extensive retrofitting work.

ABB developed the solution for this project, which involved replacing 30 Hartmann and Braun field-mounted units installed in 1981 with new ABB TTH300 temperature transmitters.

With Hartmann and Braun now part of ABB, the latter was originally called to the site to quote for directly replacing the ageing TEU702 transmitters with modern equivalents.

Despite still being operational, the TEU702 transmitters needed to be replaced as they could no longer be supported, says Steve Gorvett, temperature product specialist for ABB's UK Measurement Products business.

"The TEU702s relied on old technology that had been discontinued some time ago, such that no direct replacement was available," he adds.

However, developments in the design of ABB's technology over the past 30 years initially posed a problem.

"Fitting the nearest ABB equivalent product into the existing cabinets would have required a lot of work to change the fixing holes and mounting arrangements, which are completely different to those of the TEU702," explains Gorvett.

So ABB took an alternative approach, which saw the existing field mount enclosures being reused to house its latest generation of head-mounted TTH300 smart temperature transmitters.

"Part of the fun of engineering is to find new ways of solving problems, and this project was a perfect example," says Gorvett.

"Even though a head-mounted transmitter is not the immediately obvious solution to a field- mount installation, it fitted the bill perfectly, saving a lot of time and disruption."

A mounting bracket was also developed, which allowed the site to use its existing fixtures and fittings, he says.

Further savings on time and disruption were also achieved by ABB supplying every transmitter pre-configured and tagged, enabling the old units to be removed and new ones quickly fitted.

Brian Tinham

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