This accomplishment has brought us to reminisce about the development of our game-changing pressure sensor…
It’s been several years since we began development of our hammer union pressure transducer. Our oilfield customers were having trouble with their current suppliers, so we decided to expand our pressure sensors into the oilfield market.
What trouble were they having? Specifically, they were having trouble with:
- Lead times
- Ease of installation
- Water retention, corrosion, and build-up
- Durability in high vibration and shock (in applications such as MWD)
So to address these issues, we built our hammer union pressure transmitter from the ground up.
We started with the elephant in the room, the lead times. Our customers were getting 26 week lead times from their suppliers, and it was really hurting their ability to get the pressure sensors to the end users. When demand is high, even loyal customer begin looking for a new source, which meant our reseller customers where loosing their customers at an alarming rate.
We solved the issue through careful material selection and better customer service. We decided to hold enough inventory to buffer our customers from the supply chain storm.
Ease of Installation
Once we solved the supply chain issue, we tackled the product design elements. One of the glaring issues with the competing pressure transducers is the tight space at the top of the housing where the connector sits. Our customers found that getting your fingers in there to connect the housing was very difficult. We simply widened the top of the housing to provide plenty of working room.
Another issue with the top of the housing was drainage. Water collects in the top of the housing on many hammer union pressure transmitters. This causes mud and debris build-up, along with corrosion. We put large drainage holes in ours to prevent this. No more water, build-up, or corrosion.
Finally, it was apparent that most transducers weren’t up to par on quality. Competing transducers simply could not take the vibration and shock that was common in the handling and sensor applications.
Initially, we performed an aggressive drop test from our roof. We took our transducer design up with several competitors and threw them off the roof into a concrete docking bay. There were a lot of sensors breaking. We adjusted our design until we couldn’t break it any more.
To take it a step further, and to handle the extreme vibration of applications such as measurement while drilling (MWD), we gave it an all welded housing. The NACE compliant base, the wetted part, is laser welded to the 316L SS housing. The housing electronics are fully sealed in the housing with a rubberized potting. So not only will the housing stand up to severe vibration, but so will the electronics inside.
ATEX and IECEx Certifications
We’ve had CSA hazloc certifications for quite some time now, but we just added ATEX and IECEx certs. The official hazloc markings are (for those of you who speak the language):
- ATEX CE 0344 EX II 1G Ex ia IIB T4 Ga (Ta = -40°C to +85°C)
- IEC EX ia IIB T4 Ga; Ta= -40°C to +85°C
We’re very happy about this important development as it means more of you can toss the problematic sensors you’re using for a much more durable, easier to use hammer union pressure transmitter.