MECHANICAL engineer Ken Innes, the Aberdeen-based head of rotating equipment for Shell Exploration and Production in Europe, has won a Royal Academy of Engineering silver medal for his outstanding contribution with a commercial benefit to British engineering.
Mr Innes, originally from Udny, is responsible for millions of pounds worth of power plants on oil production platforms in Europe.
A key part of his job is to prevent equipment failures and he has pioneered a new way of doing this and at the same time improving equipment performance and minimising energy usage.
He has led the development of a new online monitoring system, Smartconnect, that continuously monitors turbines, compressors and pumps, to analyse the kinds of failure that occur most often and then to use data that is collected routinely by control systems to monitor the operating condition of the equipment.
Smartconnect was tested on the Nelson production platform where it revealed equipment problems at an early stage so maintenance could be programmed before failures occurred. Wim Hardeveld, Shell’s global head for rotating equipment, said: “Smartconnect can optimise the production process by 1-3% so, on a typical platform producing 50-100,000 barrels of oil a day, this could equate to more than $100,000 each day in increased revenue.”