In many industries, legacy controls don't always keep up with emerging technology. On land drilling rigs, many drillers continue to run all the engines all the time because that’s what they have always done. Managing the engines properly requires training and attention to detail, leaving them running regardless of power demand is the easiest way to ensure adequate power is available when needed.
Today's emerging drilling technologies, however, are finally putting that old, expensive, and inefficient practice to bed. Caterpillar's Smart Engine Management System optimizes engine operation, reduces costs, and increases rig productivity and profitability.
The fully automated system is programmable to the driller specifications. Once running, the system starts and stops the engines based on rig performance and demand.
As drilling requirements change or if manual intervention is needed, touch screen displays give drillers remote control of the engines so they can make changes as needed. These controllers can be located anywhere on the rig’s control network, including the VFD/SCR house and the driller’s cabin. The system continuously monitors and reports engine performance, allowing drillers to identify inefficiencies, maintenance issues or engine warnings.
The primary benefit of the drilling rig Smart Engine Management system is reducing operating and maintenance costs.
• Fewer engines running at higher loads is more efficient and reduces fuel costs. The new technology eliminates the debate about how many engines to have online at a given time because the system automates the process, optimizing performance and operating costs based on programmable targets. One study demonstrated that a rig running with the Smart Engine Management system reduced its fuel costs by 10 percent over 5,000 hours of drilling.
• The Smart Engine Management system also reduces engine maintenance and repair costs. Our study demonstrated that drilling engines using smart engine management accumulated 19% fewer hours per day and extended regular maintenance intervals by the same amount.
• From an environmental standpoint, better engine management results in reduced carbon foot print from lower engine operating hours and less greenhouse gas emissions from improved fuel consumption. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions allow drilling rigs to also participate in global warming mitigation.
There are a myriad of technologies being developed to improve efficiency, affordability, and environmental performance in the oil patch. Cat's Smart Engine Management systems is built on our long history and depth of knowledge in the drilling industry. Our flagship 3500 engine platform has been going strong for the past 35 years, with over 180,000 engines providing over 250 million horsepower around the world. Caterpillar has been the spearhead of innovation in delivering power to rigs because the company’s nuanced understanding of industry needs has been developed over seventy-five years of collaborating with customers to help them drill.
The Smart Engine Management system addresses the challenges created by the current global energy landscape. It offers its users the ability to lower cost and improve efficiency while managing environmental objectives. Supported by unmatched Cat dealer network, both drilling contractors and operators can be assured that the system provides the highest quality and the most reliability of any similar system.