AIS ATEX Certified & Ex Approved HMI Panel PCs for the Oil & Gas Industry

Touch Screen Panel PCs In Hazardous Areas Classified LocationsHazardous areas and classified locations at industrial plants and Oil & Gas operations demand HMI solutions that can deliver the ultimate in safety, performance and reliability, while withstanding some of the most demanding conditions and the harshest environments known

Introducing ATEX Ex Zone 2 and UL Class 1 Div 2 certified panel PCs and thin clients from AIS. These rugged, Ex-proof panel computers and operator interface terminals are designed with an open architecture for maximum application flexibility, and certified to meet all key Class/Division, ATEX and IECEx Zone Standards for hazardous environments.  Our HMI solutions are already specified, installed and proven by the 10 largest providers of oil and gas equipment services to the Oil & Gas industry. 

WHITE PAPER ON: Hazardous Area Classifications and Protection Techniques
Understanding the Basics of Fire and Explosion Safety Legislation, Regulations and Standards... Learn more »

HMI Operator Control and Monitoring Systems for Oil and GasAlthough the Oil and Gas industry is forecasting tremendous growth over the next several years, like many users in the process industries they face a variety of challenges in managing their upstream and downstream operations.  Confronted with a shortage of experienced engineers, space conversation on off-shore platforms and improving energy efficiency are a few key issues today, AIS control, monitoring and diagnostic solutions play a critical role in addressing and solving these challenges.  AIS HMI panel PCs and thin client make complex operations and navigation easier for engineers regardless of expertise level. Packaged in a compact footprint they consume less panel space on equipment. Fan-less operation and low power consumption Intel processors (TDP 3.5W) help make this new panel PC one of the most energy efficient HMIs in the world.  Finally, they come preloaded with Windows Embedded or Linux operating systems to give end-users the flexibility to develop a solution that best suits their requirements.

Rugged and Safe HMI

The Oil & Gas industry serves up one of the most demanding and challenging environments to contend with for Oil & Gas OEMs/ODMs and HMI manufacturers. The harsh and extreme conditions encountered while exploring for fossil fuels and oil production is problematic for drilling equipment, and even more so for sensitive electronics, control and monitoring equipment.  Designed to stand up to the most rigorous conditions known in the oil and gas industry, AIS robust HMI and monitoring solutions are:

  • Tested to MIL-STD-810 methodology for a range of extreme conditions including drops, shocks, vibration, humidity, rain, dust and sand-resistance, and temperature extremes
  • Tested to DNV standard methodology for a range of extreme conditions including temperature, humidity, vibration, EMC compatibility and enclosures
  • Totally sealed stainless steel enclosure, sealed I/O  from particles, water, and corrosive agents to providing 360 degree protection
  • Optimized frame design with virtually gap-free manufacture to avoid dirt and fluids residues
  • Passive liquid cooling dissipates heat without a cooling fan
  • Sunlight readable display with optically bonded LCD options
  • Capable of extreme operating temperatures ranging from -20 to 60C (-4 to 120F)

Improved Flexibility & Agility

In the Oil & Gas industry, companies need to react to changing needs and requirements with incredible speed and agility.  From solving drilling problems, to facilitating new processes and procedures, to dealing with new conditions on an oil rig, control and monitoring equipment has to be up to all the tasks at hand. Flexibility is the key to successfully reacting to demands and AIS visualization solutions help operators quickly and efficiently operate, monitor and execute all the tasks required. AIS advanced HMIs offer.

  • Open design with embedded Windows Embedded and Linux system for maximum system flexibility, operation,  programmability and sustainability
  • The versatility and flexibility  to connect to any SCADA, PLC hardware, larger client-server architecture or virtualization scheme
  • Flexible mounting and work station options to fit into any location or application offshore or onshore
  • Human asset maximization by providing intuitive, easy to use HMI hardware solutions, including multi-touch (PCT or PCAT) technology

Enhanced Safety & Availability

Safety should be a top priority in every plant in the world.  In hazardous areas such as industrial plants, refineries and power stations, where the build-up of flammable gases, vapors or combustible dust may be present, significant dangers may put your most valuable assets at risk: people and equipment. AIS understands this monumental concern and the importance of designing control and monitoring solutions that help promote worker and plant safety in hazlocs. We go to great lengths, investing tremendous capital and resources to make certain our products test, pass and adhere to the necessary electrical safety standards and codes for hazardous areas and classified locations.  AIS Rugged HMI Panel PCs and Industrial multi-touch displays s are properly designed to meet:

Approved for North American Classification

  • Class 1 Division 2, Groups A, B, C, D, T4
  • Class I Zone 2, IIA, T4

Approved for European and IEC Classifications

  • Zone 2, Category 3, Gas
  • II 3 G Ex nA ic IIA T4

Increased Reliability & Performance

End users in the oil and gas industry need to derive maximum value out of all their installed assets and equipment investments. In order to accomplish this, their process automation equipment must perform reliably and continuously at peak operating levels.  At the helm of the command center of oil and gas equipment is typically a control and monitoring operator interface which will have a drastic impact on achieving these performance goals. An AIS visualization solution will deliver top line results, in the way of key metrics being used to calculate including Return on Net Assets (RONA) and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), both of which are critical contributors to the over-all goal of achieving Operational Excellence (OpX).  AIS control and monitoring visualization solutions help critical assets run optimally by delivering:

  • Total Quality Management (TQM) principles applied to all AIS operations
  • 40,000 to 50,000 MTBF range for AIS displays
  • 85-90% projected OEE
  • Lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Reduced unplanned downtime, spare parts inventory
  • Lower MTTR and improved quality
  • Increased capacity and throughput

Regulatory Compliance

Constructed with stainless steel and completely sealed, AIS HMI panel PCs, thin clients and industrial multi-touch monitors are designed for volatile and harsh environments commonly found in oil and gas refineries, plants and operations.   All configurations are built to meet the most demanding specifications with NEMA 4/4X, IP65/66 enclosure with UL 50 or IEC 529 on the entire system, including fully sealed I/O ports. They feature approvals and comply with all the popular standards, regulations and codes including:

  • UL Listed to Safety Standards: ANSI/ISA 12.12.01, 2012, Nonincendive Panel PC for Use in Class 1, Division 2 Groups A, B, C, D Hazardous (Classified) Locations and CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 213-M1987 for Use in Class 1, Division 2 Hazardous Locations: UL File # E365958
  • UL Listed to Safety Standards: UL 60950-1 and CSA C22.2 No. 60950-1-07: UL File # E320439
  • CE Ex Marked to Safety Standards: Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX)-Directive 94/9/EC-Complying with the Essential Health and Safety Requirements that relate to the design of Zone 2 Category 3 Panel PC, certified to ATEX Protection Classes- “CE Ex mark” II 3 G Ex nA ic IIA T4
  • Compliance with the Essential Health and Safety Requirements has been assured by Compliance with IEC 60079-0, IEC 60079-11, and IEC 60079-15 

Controlling and Monitoring Processes and Automation Equipment at Industrial Plants, Oil & Gas Refineries, Oilfield Equipment & Services

Touch Screen Panel PC In Hazardous Areas Classified LocationsAccessing critical process information and controlling your remote systems is not an easy job. Being consistently aware and on top of your all processes, the functionality of your equipment and system effectiveness and readiness are not easy tasks. It presents many challenges in manpower allocation, efficiency and cost to oil & gas end-users. The difficulty to access remote locations both physically and virtually complicate the challenges immensely, especially in hazardous locations which makes the task even more daunting. AIS’s remote automation, control, monitoring and HMI solutions make this all possible. Access to remote real-time production information, remote diagnosis of all equipment and processes and browser-based remote monitoring/operation of all HMI screens are a few key benefits that AIS HMI solutions have to offer.

With increasing pressure to improve operational performance, meet environmental specifications and overcome rising energy costs, oil and gas operations must efficiently and securely monitor and control entire processes across local and remote locations. Supported by their complete offering of Ex explosion protection, ATEX and intrinsically safe HMIs and industrial monitor solutions, AIS is dedicated to serving oil and gas operations and achieving their mission critical objectives in accordance with 49 CFR Part 192 - TRANSPORTATION OF NATURAL AND OTHER GAS BY PIPELINE: MINIMUM FEDERAL SAFETY STANDARDS.

  • As of the effective date, these regulations apply to (1) existing facilities, (2) existing facilities that undergo modification, and (3) new facilities. An exception is noted for human machine interfaces (HMI) that are not modified, replaced, or installed new. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities are not covered by these amendments. Thus, there are no changes to 49 CFR Part 192/193/195.
  • AIS HMI and visualization solutions are ideal for applications requiring autonomous control and monitoring systems. Some common applications, AIS has experience applying its solutions to include oil and gas wells, pipelines distributed over wide geographical areas and wide-area co-generation systems to name just a few.
  • AIS origins begin over decade ago, as they now have the expertise in the regulation and control of operations at large-scale industrial plants such as oil refineries that require superior reliability, continuous control and monitoring and system continuity over the entire lifetime of the facility.

Oil & Gas Application Benefits Utilizing AIS HMI & Visualization Solutions:

  • Overall improved operational effectiveness and decision making thanks to more visible and centralized processes
  • Improved safety and overall performance driven by the new Experian user interface, including the use of displays based on ASM philosophies for faster operator detection and quick resolution of any issues that may arise.
  • Higher return on investment (ROI) of existing hardware by keeping all field wiring and I/O intact with controller replacement.
  • Increased production and efficiency due to a better understanding of data and ability to interpret it into actionable information
  • Communication of data across the network and information reporting
  • Empowers HMI project specialists to act as technology leads or project execution leads for both small projects and large projects involving implementation of customized complex and/or standard automation engineering solutions.

Drilling Systems HMI and Visualization

ATEX Ex Zone 2 Class 1 Div 2 Panel PC for Drilling Rig HMI ApplicationsHMI and visualization solutions for drilling rig applications from AIS help oil & gas end-users deal with and solve the several common problems they confront with in their operations including: the lack of experienced labor and personnel to control and monitor the drilling equipment, the need to reduce costs and have better metrics, minimize operator errors and improve overall operator safety. Utilizing AIS’s HMI open system architecture will improve the overall maintainability of their site.

Application Possibilities with AIS HMIs and Third Party Enterprise & SCADA Software Tools

  • With AIS HMIs and the right programming tools or software packages, machine operators will easily find information only relevant to their job or task. For example, an Oil Rig and Oil Well drill operator may be only interested in viewing information regarding the drilling process, while a service technician may only need to see the error log of the control system. Information can be managed so that only the necessary information will be displayed to the appropriate personnel.
  • Use AIS HMIs to recreate a graphical representation or a more “control panel like” experience on the interface so that operators can be more comfortable and effective.  For example, with Oil Rig and Oil Well drills, information relating to the diesel motor’s RPM value, drilling speed and oil pressure can be displayed while in drilling mode as gauges in the user interface. While the machine operator focuses on monitoring the boom position and the drill penetration speed while drilling, they may need to glance at gauges for verification. In the upright position the gauge’s needles let the operator know that the machine is functioning as expected. In each gauge, there is additional range drawn in gauges that shows the normal operating area.
  • Machine operators are extremely focused while drilling, so it is advisable to place any “feedback” information close to the area of focus for the operator. For example, if the operator’s drill gets stuck, the light or user interface message informing about him about the situation should be located so that it is in close proximity to the drilling controls. Now the operator is likely to take a glimpse at the drilling controls, so he will be alerted to the situation and act promptly.
  • For Process Control & Rig Instrumentation HMI applications, operations personnel can set upper and lower performance parameters, or pre-set timed operations, for equipment that previously had to be manually operated and monitored. Benefits include keeping workers out of potentially hazardous environments, reduced personnel requirements and improved equipment performance. A data-acquisition system and advanced driller’s monitoring system can accurately measure, monitor and display all drilling variables in real time.

Oil Refinery HMI and Visualization

  • ATEX Ex Zone 2 Class Div 2 Panel PC for Oil Refineries HMI ApplicationsAIS HMI and visualization solution enhance productivity and energy efficiency of oil refineries, terminals and downstream complexes.
  • Your HMI and visualization investment is future proof and safe when you invest in AIS hardware and technologies. AIS offers an affordable migration path for upgrades and you can depend on AIS to handle all your future hardware and OS designs. We have a strong grasp of the latest guidelines for safety and efficiency and will implement them in your new HMI design, while maintaining an interface that's comfortable for your team and delivers the features, performance and productivity required.  Our U.S. based HMI design and engineering teams will work with you to meet your goals and assure total satisfaction.  Extensive experience in all aspect of development and production combined with our size allow us to offer you very competitive pricing.
  • Our HMIs solutions allow your personnel to perform and function at their highest levels of performance. Extended operator workplace (EOW) provides an ergonomic HMI for the process, plant assets and automation, electrical and telecoms aspects, thereby also improving productivity.

Pipeline Transport HMI and Visualization & Regulations Adherence

ATEX EX Zone 2 Class Div 2 Panel PC for Pipeline Transport Applications AIS engineer and design HMI and Visualization for pipeline transport applications in accordance with the latest pipeline safety standards.  The regulations call for specific improvements in the control room and change management, including compliance with American Petroleum Institute’s API 1165 and API 1168 best practices for control room management. They specify improvements in SCADA HMI, pipeline alarm management, business process management (BPM), field operator workflow, pipeline operator training, shift handover, documentation and auditing. 

Hazardous materials Pipeline Operators must comply with Risk-Reduction Regulations. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued regulations 49 CFR parts 195.446 and 192.631 to protect people and the environment from the risks inherent in the transportation of hazardous materials. PHMSA requires companies to implement and document measures that reduce risk associated with controller fatigue; precisely define roles and responsibilities of control room staff; and provide information, training and processes necessary to help fulfill these responsibilities.

The regulations apply to both owners and operators of liquid pipelines and gas pipelines. All control rooms are covered that contain equipment that permits the manual intervention of the operation of the pipeline. This includes local control rooms or panels to the extent that the safety effects of operational error are similar to regular control rooms. Control rooms and control areas that are “view only” are exempt. Also, gas pipelines that service less than 250,000 customers and/or lack compression equipment are subject to the requirements only for fatigue management, validation, compliance and documentation.

HMI Pipeline Transport Application Possibilities & Considerations

To support the pipeline’s technical engineering and operating personnel, AIS provides a comprehensive range of technical engineering and services to support their efforts and needs. AIS HMIs provide pipeline visualization and other monitoring capabilities at pumping stations.

  • Block valve stations are sectioning points of transport pipelines at remote sites for pipeline automation applications. During normal operation, mode valves are in the “open” position. When a block valve needs to be closed, pipeline operation must be stopped. Valve line closures are required to perform a pressure test of the pipeline to find small leaks, to isolate a leakage between two block line valves and for safety reasons during routine pipeline maintenance. Along the entire length of the pipeline, block valves will be remotely monitored and controlled using AIS HMI, advanced real-time HMI processors designed to support complex remote applications.
  • Information systems have also been introduced into different areas of pipeline industry activity. They add to the basic information of transportation (including SCADA and HMI) systems that collect and analyze information for integrity area, risk analysis tools and GIS.
  • The rule amendment summary states: “… Under the final rule, affected pipeline operators must define the roles and responsibilities of controllers and provide controllers with the necessary information, training, and processes to fulfill these responsibilities. Operators must also implement methods to prevent controller fatigue. The final rule further requires operators to manage HMI alarms, assure control room considerations are taken into account when changing pipeline equipment or configurations, and review reportable incidents or accidents to determine whether control room actions contributed to the event. It further requires the statutorily mandated human factors management. These regulations will enhance pipeline safety by coupling strengthened control room management with improved controller training and fatigue management HMI Displays. “Pipeline controllers must have adequate and up-to-date information about the conditions and operating status of the equipment they monitor and control…. “Operators need to assure that SCADA systems perform this important function correctly, and that the information is displayed in a manner that facilitates controller understanding and recognition of abnormal operating conditions
  • To prepare for the referenced requirements, operators should review each aspect of the following areas of their enterprise-wide SCADA: alarm management, control room management, documentation and procedures, HMI displays, shift handover, fatigue management, change management and training.
  • The design is expected to follow API Recommended Practice 11656 that covers the appropriate hardware to consider so that the equipment is capable of delivering the needed speed of response and providing for appropriate ways for the controller to input commands. It also lays out the proper use of color, the design of clear overviews of the process, and display navigation to enable effective controller use. Additionally, other important guides for HMI designs have been adopted by industrial users.
  • The SCADA operator station performs any required data conversions, intermediate calculations, checks for unusual conditions which should be brought to the attention of a pipeline controller, and stores data for viewing, long-term archiving, and for use by advanced applications and open Field Bus protocols. Pipeline controllers interface with the SCADA operator/monitoring station through the graphical user interface (HMI) which allows them to view current or historical data, alarm messages, and issue controls to field equipment.
  • Pipeline SCADA systems cover a broad range from small to huge, relatively simple to very complex, and important to extremely critical for both financial and safety reasons. A small SCADA system may be comprised of a local control/monitoring station, which also supports the HMI Station, to handle a few hundred points in a non-critical environment. A large SCADA system may be comprised of triple-redundant sets of servers and Hybrid-Controllers, in a distributed configuration, spread out over multiple geographic locations along with numerous multi-headed HMI workstations, support staff, and management. Factors such as point count, data acquisition rates, and availability (up-time) requirements determine the size, complexity, and redundancy of the pipeline control system.
  • In an Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) consortium traditional interface study, improving the human machine interaction (HMI) in designing the operator’s user interface resulted in 41% less time for the operators to deal with events like leaks, power failures, equipment malfunction and equipment failures in an unstable plant (Errington, 2005). 

Hazardous Area Certification ATEX Zone 2 Div 2 HMI Panel PCAIS offers 15-22" HMI panel PCs or touch screen operator interfaces with international approvals for operation and monitoring in hazardous areas with modular designs. AIS premium and standard modular panel PCs are constructed with completely sealed stainless steel type 4/4X, IP 65/66, NEMA 4/4X enclosure with environmental ratings (UL 50 or IEC 529) on the entire HMI system including fully sealed I/O ports. The touch panel PC supports wide operating temperatures from -20 to +60°C, comes with pre-installed Windows 10 IoT Enterprise (LTSB), Windows 7, or Linux operating system, and is powered by Intel® Core™ i5-6300U (Premium IEx Series), Intel® Celeron® N2930 (Standard IEx Series), or Intel Atom® N2600 (Compact IEx Series) processor.

AIS offers OSHA’s NEC Class I Division 2, Groups A, B, C, D, T4, CENELEC’s ATEX 94/9/EC Zone 2, IEC’s IECEx Zone 2, Ex nA and Ex ic certification on its hazardous locations panel PCs and open HMI platforms which are primarily designed for the volatile and harsh environments of oil, gas, chemicals, and oilfield equipment and services.

Premium HMI Panel IEx

The Premium HMI panel PC (15-22") with Intel® Core™ i5-6300U processor (3M Cache, up to 3.00 GHz) is designed and certified to meet NEC/CEC Class/Division, ATEX Directive 94/9/EC, and IECEx Zone standards for increased safety in Division 2 and Zone 2 operator control and monitoring applications. AIS offers UL Class 1 Division 2, Groups A, B, C, D, T4, ATEX 94/9/EC Zone 2 Category 3, and IECEx Zone 2, Ex “nA” and Ex “ic”, T4 certification on its hazardous areas panel PC and open HMI platforms which are primarily designed for the volatile and harsh environments of oil, gas, chemicals, and petrochemical manufacturing industries used in drilling systems, control & monitoring, oilfield equipment & service applications. Learn more »

Standard HMI Panel IEx

The Standard HMI panel PC (15-22") with Intel® Celeron® processor N2930 (2M Cache, up to 2.16 GHz) is designed and certified to meet NEC/CEC Class/Division, ATEX Directive 94/9/EC, and IECEx Zone standards for increased safety in Division 2 and Zone 2 operator control and monitoring applications. AIS offers UL Class 1 Division 2, Groups A, B, C, D, T4, ATEX 94/9/EC Zone 2 Category 3, and IECEx Zone 2, Ex “nA” and Ex “ic”, T4 certification on its hazardous areas panel PC and open HMI platforms which are primarily designed for the volatile and harsh environments of oil, gas, chemicals, and petrochemical manufacturing industries used in drilling systems, control & monitoring, oilfield equipment & service applications. Learn more »

Compact HMI Panel IEx

The Compact HMI panel PC with Intel Atom® Processor N2600 (1M Cache, 1.6 GHz) is designed and certified to meet NEC/CEC Class/Division, ATEX Directive 94/9/EC, and IECEx Zone standards for increased safety in Division 2 and Zone 2 operator control and monitoring applications. AIS offers UL Class 1 Division 2, Groups A, B, C, D, T4, ATEX 94/9/EC Zone 2 Category 3, and IECEx Zone 2, Ex “nA” and Ex “ic”, T4 certification on its hazardous areas panel PC and open HMI platforms which are primarily designed for the volatile and harsh environments of oil, gas, chemicals, and petrochemical manufacturing industries used in drilling systems, control & monitoring, oilfield equipment & service applications. Learn more »