4 Reasons Cementing Rigs Are Turning To Automated Speed Control

Low-flow applications like cementing present unique challenges. The work demands high levels of speed and reliability, along with rig operators skilled at manually controlling the engine and transmission to achieve and maintain low rates. Today, new technology known as manual-shift Automated Speed Control (ASC) gives well operators another option — one that takes the pressure off the rig operator and ensures precise flow control even at the lowest rates. Here are four reasons to consider ASC for your cementing application:

1. It allows you to maintain flow rates down to 0.25 BPM.

Squeeze jobs require precise flow control, which necessitates very low flow rates. With ASC, you can hit flow rates as low as 0.25 BPM — and just as important, automatically maintain those low rates. How does it work? The system controls transmission output speed (flow) by simultaneously controlling engine speed and the torque converter lock-up clutch, mimicking a deep first-gear ratio.

2. It simplifies operation for less risk of costly errors.

Because rig operators must juggle multiple tasks, ease of operation is essential to reduce the chance of expensive errors. Standard operation requires operators to select the gear, set the throttle, check the flow rate, then adjust the gear or throttle accordingly — often over and over again.

With ASC, operators simply need to set the desired flow, and the engine and transmission automatically work together to achieve and maintain that rate. There’s no need for constant manual intervention and no risk of losing control due to bumping in and out of gear. Think of ASC like the cruise control feature in your car. All it takes to maintain precise flow control is one push of a button.

3. It makes overall operation more reliable.

Reliability is critical in cementing applications. Once the job is underway, stopping for maintenance or service isn’t an option. ASC helps boost reliability by increasing lube flow. In standard operation, the engine must run at low speeds to maintain the low flow rate. That means the pump lubricating the transmission also runs at low speeds — increasing the chance for problems. With ASC, engine speed remains high, providing more lubricant flow to the transmission to improve durability.

4. It’s available for both hardwired and J1939 controllers.

Different rigs feature different controller designs. ASC can be configured to work with either hardwired or J1939-based controller systems. The customer control interface is simple to use — consisting of a shifter, a display that shows both desired and actual flow, ASC enable and set/hold switches and a throttle. Everything operators need to achieve and maintain precise low flow is at their fingertips.

Interested in learning more about the advantages ASC can deliver in your cementing or other low-flow application? This feature is currently available exclusively on the Cat® CX31-P600 Well Service Transmission. Visit us at Booth #2439 at the Offshore Technology Conference for more details or talk to your local Cat dealer.

 

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Automated Speed Control

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