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In the Oil and Gas industry, the process of spooling, unspooling and straightening coiled tubing (CT strings) is fraught with uncertainty and risk. For the team at Baker Hughes GE, the risk of equipment failure and costly tubing damage due to high-pressure, deep wells pushing operational limits, and especially human error was simply too high. Unsatisfied by the high probability of failure, they sought to create a smart way of reducing human interaction. The result was the Intelligent Injector Control (IIC) system.

“We had lots of issues with operation mistake in the field,” Senior Project Engineer at Baker Hughes GE Bo Wu explained. “We spent a lot of time on the troubleshooting and completion of this coiling job. Based on this situation, we thought about research and development and focused on new technology and protecting the equipment by cutting and limiting human operation mistake. That was our main purpose starting out to develop this advanced system.”

The IIC system that Wu and Baker Hughes GE came up with used their CIRCATM REAL-TIME (RT) modeling software to provide live updates on CT string limits. The IIC system could also visually display coiled tubing position and reel rotation. To achieve this, Wu used many products from the WAGO terminal block, PLC and I/O system portfolio. He explained that while Baker Hughes GE had previously used WAGO products in other areas, the IIC system is the first time they used them in their coil product lab.

“Technically speaking, I’ve been a WAGO user for a long time,” Wu said. “I have been using WAGO products since 2005 and I have spoken to the guys here about using the WAGO PLC for this [project]. There are a lot of places throughout where we use WAGO products in our design including using 750-880, 750-881 and 750-8208.”

WAGO’s hazardous area certifications helped make the decision easier for Baker Hughes GE to use in this project according to Wu. This is due to the fact that in the oil and gas industry all of their factory parts can be installed in hazardous locations.

“When WAGO came up in the discussions, we said, ‘We need to know that your product will meet these certifications and if it does, send it to us,’” Wu explained. “The process was really that simple.”

“The PFC200 fit the bill nicely for Bo’s team and Baker Hughes GE for many reasons, such as hazardous area and marine approvals, a wide temperature range, high shock and vibration, specialty I/O modules like the 750-632 and most importantly multiple protocol capability,” WAGO Regional Sales Manager John Hagar said.

The success of Baker Hughes GE with the IIC system was recognized as the Best Well Intervention Technology at the 2018 World Oil Award for the oil and gas industry.

“It was very awesome to be honored with that,” Wu said. “It is a meeting of all the major oil and gas companies, and our technology was recognized as being efficient. It is a really special thing.”

For Wu and the Baker Hughes GE team, WAGO was able to empower their project by keeping the products and the work relationship simple. “They can use one PFC for all applications across the board,” Hagar explained. “This speeds development, and decreases time to market for Baker Hughes GE and their customers.”

“WAGO helped us simplify our integration and the program from planning to manufacturing,” Wu agreed. “It made everything simple and easy. The WAGO service and technical support is very good. The production lead time – even the customer requirement response – is impressive and all these things are why we continue to use WAGO products.”

TEXT: Laura Dickinson, WAGO; PHOTO: Baker Hughes GE, WAGO