Saab Electronics Introduces TankRadar
—Literature Available Saab Marine Electronics AB of Gothenburg, Sweden, has been supplying radar-type level gauging systems for over ten years. Originally, the system's only function was to measure level. However, with the price of crude oil and refined products continually climbing, Saab realized the need for something more.
Their newest addition is TankRadar.
TankRadar is built more accurately to compute the quantity (value) of an owner's "seagoing product inventory." This result is achieved with a combination of level measurement accuracy (plus or minus 5mm over 30 meters) and cargo temperature measurement in each tank.
Level and temperature data is multiplexed from the radar transmitter to the processor unit in the control room via the same 3 pair cable. The processor takes the data, as well as an inserted cargo density figure and displays level, temperature, cargo weight and volume at the processor or on 20-inch color CRT(s). In that manner, data from all tanks and all products onboard can be computed.
By connecting an on-line printer, a total cargo manifest can be prepared quickly and with great accuracy.
Safety considerations can also be handled by TankRadar. By feeding data into a loading computer, the ship's structural integrity is always assured. Inert gas pressures and high or low level and temperature alarms for each tank can be monitored via the same CCRT(s) or at the processor.
Saab TankRadar is also capable of performing control functions.
Several systems have been installed where TankRadar is connected to cargo pumps and cargo/ballast valves. Control of the pumps and valves is accomplished via keyboard entries and CCRT monitoring. This can be set up to control digitally (on-off) or analog (0-100 percent) for both pumps and valves. The software is written in such a way that each command must be visually verified on the CCRT before it is i n i t i a t e d . That indicates the greatest possible margin of safety by always requiring operator input and always allowing operator intervention in the event of an equipment malfunction or a human error.
Recently, some very advanced systems have been offered which include the maximum automatic control. An operator can program parameters for desired cargo handling time, trim/list limits, cargo handling patterns, pumping rates, etc., and then initiate the sequence.
From there, the software will control all aspects of cargo handling within the operator-entered parameters.
Once again, the software is written with all safety considerations being given top priority. For all devices that are controlled by Saab's processor, a back-up panel can be provided. In the event of a micro-processor malfunction or a power failure, the panel will allow manual control of the connected pumps, valves, etc.
Adding capabilities has not added maintenance or repair costs. The system continues to require little or no maintenance and when repairs are necessary, they can be accomplished at the processor or from on deck. There is never a need to enter a tank and repairs are possible during any condition of loading, discharge or voyage.
In the economic climate surrounding tanker operations, any system that saves time, saves money.
If an operator can project lower operating costs he can offer a more competitive rate to a potential charterer.
If his rates are competitive enough, his ship keeps running.
Saab TankRadar offers measurement of a shipboard inventory with excellent accuracy, reliability and repairability. At the same time the system can reduce manpower requirements by using automation to any extent that the owner desires.
For additional information and free literature on Saab's TankRadar, Circle 94 on Reader Service Card
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