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SERVICE BULLETIN

TIL 1897: Controller Connectivity and Stalled Io Live Values

This Service Bulletin is to inform Customers of the applicability of TIL 1897 to units serviced by GE Oil & Gas.

Serviceable Units
All units equipped with Mark VIe, Mark Ve, Mark VIeS, EX2100e, and LS2100e control systems with
ControlST versions 03.03.28C to 04.06.09C inclusive.

Compliance Category
O – Optional Identifies changes that may be beneficial to some, but not necessarily all, operators.
Accomplishment is at customer's discretion.

M - Maintenance Identifies maintenance guidelines or best practices for reliable equipment operation.

C - Compliance Required Identifies the need for action to correct a condition that, if left uncorrected, may result
in reduced equipment reliability or efficiency. Compliance may be required within a
specific operating time.

A - Alert Failure to comply with the Service Bulletin could result in equipment or facility damage.
Compliance is mandated within a specific operating time.

S – Safety Failure to comply with this Service Bulletin could result in personal injury. Compliance is
mandated within a specific operating time.

Timing Code
1 Prior to Unit Startup / Prior to Continued Operation (forced outage condition)
2 At First Opportunity (next shutdown)
3 Prior to Operation of Affected System
4 At First Exposure of Component
5 At Scheduled Component Part Repair or Replacement
6 Next Scheduled Outage
7 Optional

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The information published in this Service Bulletin is offered to you by GE in consideration of its ongoing sales and service relationship with
your organization. However, since the operation of your plant involves factors not within our knowledge, and since operation of the plant is
within your control and responsibility for its continuing successful operation rests with you, GE disclaims responsibility or liability for damage
of any type, including but not limited to direct, consequential or special damages that may be alleged to have occurred as result of applying
this information, regardless of whether it is claimed that GE is strictly liable, in breach of contract, in breach of warranty, negligent, or is in
other respect responsible for any alleged injury or damage sustained by your organization as a result of applying this information. The
information contained in this Service Bulletin is confidential and proprietary. This Bulletin and the information contained in it are protected by
copyright and/or other intellectual property rights. This Bulletin and information are provided for authorized use only, and may not be used by
or disclosed to others without the prior express written consent of Nuovo Pignone S.r.l....
THERMAL ENGINEERING TIL 1897
PRODUCT SERVICE 29 JULY 2013
Compliance Category –C
Timing Code - 6

TECHNICAL INFORMATION LETTER

CONTROLLER CONNECTIVITY AND STALLED IO LIVE VALUES


APPLICATION
Mark VIe, Mark Ve, Mark VIeS, EX2100e, and LS2100e control systems with ControlST versions 03.03.28C to 04.06.09C
inclusive.

PURPOSE
To notify users of three potential issues with recent ConstrolST releases and to provide corrective actions.

Compliance Category
O - Optional Identifies changes that may be beneficial to some, but not necessarily all,
operators. Accomplishment is at customer's discretion.
M - Maintenance Identifies maintenance guidelines or best practices for reliable equipment
operation.
C - Compliance Required Identifies the need for action to correct a condition that, if left uncorrected,
may result in reduced equipment reliability or efficiency. Compliance may be
required within a specific operating time.
A - Alert Failure to comply with the TIL could result in equipment damage or facility
damage. Compliance is mandated within a specific operating time.
S – Safety Failure to comply with this TIL could result in personal injury. Compliance is
mandated within a specific operating time.

Timing Code
1 Prior to Unit Startup / Prior to Continued Operation (forced outage condition)
2 At First Opportunity (next shutdown)
3 Prior to Operation of Affected System
4 At First Exposure of Component
5 At Scheduled Component Part Repair or Replacement
6 Next Scheduled Outage

© 2013 General Electric Company


The proprietary information published in this Technical Information Letter is offered to you by GE in consideration of its ongoing sales and service
relationship with your organization. However, since the operation of your plant involves many factors not within our knowledge, and since operation
of the plant is in your control and ultimate responsibility for its continuing successful operation rests with you, GE specifically disclaims any
responsibility for liability based on claims for damage of any type, i.e. direct, consequential or special that may be alleged to have been incurred as
result of applying this information regardless of whether it is claimed that GE is strictly liable, in breach of contract, in breach of warranty, negligent, or
is in other respects responsible for any alleged injury or damage sustained by your organization as a result of applying this information.
This Technical Information Letter contains proprietary information of General Electric Company, USA and is furnished to its customer solely to assist
that customer in the installation, testing, operation and/or maintenance of the equipment described. This document shall not be reproduced or
distributed in whole or in part nor shall its contents be disclosed to any third party without the written approval of GE Power & Water Customer
Engineering. All rights reserved.
TIL 1897
BACKGROUND DISCUSSION
The Mark VIe, Mark Ve, Mark VIeS, EX2100e, and LS2100e controllers are part of the Mark VIe Control System and are
released as components of the ControlST software suite. The ToolboxST application is Windows-based software for
configuring and maintaining the Mark VIe Control System. There have been a few reported incidents with the Mark VIe
Control System involving three unrelated issues.

A summary of the issues and corrective action recommended are detailed in the following table

ControlST version  Problem  Short term mitigation  Long term mitigation 


Controllers may reboot 
when “Unforce all “ is  Avoid use of “Unforce all”  Upgrade to ControlST 
03.03.28C to 04.06.09C  executed  command  version 04.06.10C or later 
Loss of Controller or  Reboot Controller if  Upgrade to ControlST 
04.02.14C to 04.05.13C  Alarm connectivity   specific alarm occurs  version 04.06.10C or later 
Disable Dynamic Binding 
in ToolboxST & Reboot  Upgrade to ControlST 
03.03.28C to 04.04.12C  IO states may freeze up  Controller   version 04.06.10C or later 

A more detailed treatment of each problem follows

1. Controller reboot when “Unforce all” is executed:


Under certain conditions it is possible to cause Mark VIe controllers to reboot when executing an “Un-force all”
command. If logic needs to be unforced online then use the “Remove selected forces” feature. There is no issue
with un-forcing numerous signals simultaneously using this feature.

There are two separate conditions with separate root causes that may result in the same failure mode
signature. Each of these conditions may result in a condition where the controllers reboot simultaneously
causing a system trip.
Condition 1: The root cause was found to be excessive fragmentation of variable addresses causing this
command to take too long to perform, resulting in a controller watchdog reset.
Condition 2: The root cause was found to be an invalid memory access in the remove all forces command
handler in the command replication subsystem of the Mark VIe controller. This invalid memory access may
occur on all three controllers which could result in a reboot of the processors.

2. Loss of Controller or Alarm Connectivity :


A loss of ToolboxST connectivity with the controller and/or alarms on the HMIs. This is usually accompanied by
one or more of the following symptoms:

 Unable to connect to the device with ToolboxST, “The device responded to a “GetNumVars” request
with an error: GENERAL_FAILURE”
 Alarm transitions are no longer transmitted and displayed on the HMI.
 Diagnostic “Alarm 320: Process Alarm Buffers Full – Controller can miss alarm transitions” reported by
the device.

Additional details on these symptoms can be found in Appendix 1

The root cause has been identified as an issue with the real time operating system used within the controller
and its network handling processes. This base operating system was upgraded to a newer version with the
release of ControlST 04.02.xx. The network handling process failure can occur once the controller has been
booted for 206 days or longer. A controller that has been rebooted for any reason within the last 206 days will
not show any of the symptoms of this issue.

© 2013 General Electric Company


This Technical Information Letter contains proprietary information of General Electric Company, USA and is furnished to its customer solely to assist
that customer in the installation, testing, operation and/or maintenance of the equipment described. This document shall not be reproduced or
distributed in whole or in part nor shall its contents be disclosed to any third party without the written approval of GE Power & Water Customer
Engineering. All rights reserved.
Page 2 of 10
TIL 1897
3. Frozen Live IO Values :
Analysis of a recent field event revealed that the Mark VIe control system has a potential failure mode which may leave
inputs in a frozen, or stalled state but still showing healthy in ToolboxST (see Figure 3). The investigation found that by
clicking on an IO Pack, the “Live Values” column for the controller displayed green (healthy), but the values were not
updating. This leaves the controller in a state where it appeared to be controlling but was not, since it was using frozen
data for its calculations.

Monitor for the following diagnostic alarms in any controller during all downloads:

 "Diagnostic 489: EGD Error - One or more consumed exchanges contain unbound variables"
 "Diagnostic 488: EGD Error - Could not configure consumed exchanges from one or more Producers"

Online download fails with the error: “Cannot execute online load ‘Client has disabled online loads’. Appendix 1 contains
more details on the specific error messages.

Figure 1: Stalled IO data as indicated in ToolboxST


The root cause has been identified as an issue in the dynamic binding subsystem process. Dynamic binding is a
feature that was introduced in ControlST version 03.03.28C. This feature enables changes to be made in one
controller entity without having to build and download all the other controllers sharing the same EGD data.
Instead, only the producing entity has to make, build and download the change. EGD data is the signal data
which is exchanged real time between different control entities on the network, for example between the Mark
VIe controller and an HMI or the EX2100e controller.

All other controllers on the network that use (consume) the changed EGD signal will automatically update. This
is a useful time saving feature, in particular on large, complex systems where there is an ongoing need to make
incremental changes to plant configuration. However, in less complex or less frequently altered systems this
feature may be of limited benefit and simply disabling it will generally be the best option.

© 2013 General Electric Company


This Technical Information Letter contains proprietary information of General Electric Company, USA and is furnished to its customer solely to assist
that customer in the installation, testing, operation and/or maintenance of the equipment described. This document shall not be reproduced or
distributed in whole or in part nor shall its contents be disclosed to any third party without the written approval of GE Power & Water Customer
Engineering. All rights reserved.
Page 3 of 10
TIL 1897

RECOMMENDATIONS
General short term mitigation:

 ControlST 03.03.28C to 04.06.09C

For sites with versions of ControlST 03.03.28C to 04.06.09C inclusive, the recommendation is to avoid use of
‘Unforce all’ command.

 ControlST 04.02.14C to 04.05.13C

For sites with versions of ControlST 04.02.14C to 04.05.13C inclusive, the recommendation is to reboot each
controller at the first opportunity should any of the noted alarms (also listed in appendix 1) occur. Appropriate
checks need to be made prior to rebooting processors online to ensure that the controller panel and its
instrumentation are in a state that will enable a controller reboot without tripping the unit. GHT-200085
describes the necessary precautions as well as the steps required to test this capability. TIL-1810 covers some
of the more common and preventable issues that may result in the loss of a single processor tripping a gas
turbine. Proactively rebooting the control panels and controllers during planned and unplanned unit shutdowns
may assist some users to better managing the timing of any upgrade. Online reboots are not possible with
simplex ( non-redundant) controllers.

 ControlST 3.03.38C to 04.04.12C

For sites with versions of ControlST 3.03.38C to 04.04.12C inclusive, the recommendation is to disable dynamic
binding (Please refer APPENDIX III for disabling dynamic binding). These versions are affected by the frozen Live
IO issue. The controllers should be rebooted at the next practical opportunity to remove any possibility of an
input data stall occurring as a result of some past dynamic binding occurrence.

In the event that dynamic binding is actively and frequently used, upgrading to ControlST 04.06.10C or later is
the only effective long term remedy. However, by temporarily disabling this feature and postponing the type of
changes that might require it, the site can delay the need to upgrade until a suitable opportunity arises.

Long term corrective action:

 ControlST 03.03.28C to 04.06.09C

For sites with versions of ControlST 03.03.28C to 04.06.09C inclusive, the recommendation is to follow the
above described short term mitigation actions and upgrade to ControlST version 04.06.10C or later at the next
practical opportunity.

 ControlST 04.02.14C to 04.05.13C

For sites with versions of ControlST 04.02.14C to 04.05.13C inclusive, the recommendation is to follow the
above described short term mitigation actions and upgrade to ControlST version 04.06.10C or later at the next
practical opportunity.

 ControlST 3.03.28C to 04.04.12C

For sites with versions of ControlST 3.03.28C to 04.04.12C inclusive, the recommendation is to follow the above
described short term mitigation actions and upgrade to ControlST version 04.06.10C or later at the next
practical opportunity.

© 2013 General Electric Company


This Technical Information Letter contains proprietary information of General Electric Company, USA and is furnished to its customer solely to assist
that customer in the installation, testing, operation and/or maintenance of the equipment described. This document shall not be reproduced or
distributed in whole or in part nor shall its contents be disclosed to any third party without the written approval of GE Power & Water Customer
Engineering. All rights reserved.
Page 4 of 10
TIL 1897
This TIL can be considered complete when the system has been upgraded to ControlST 04.06.10C or a later version.
Versions prior to 04.02.14C and after 04.06.08C are acceptable for long term use as long as the precautions noted in
this TIL are applied and periodically refreshed.

PLANNING INFORMATION
Compliance
 Compliance Category: C
 Timing Code: 6

Manpower Skills
Qualified Mark VIe controls GE Field Engineer.

Parts
GE Control ST CDs. Contact your local GE Service Manager or Contract Performance Manager at least six weeks prior to
scheduled upgrade for assistance in ordering.

Special Tooling

N/A

Reference Documents
GEI-100694

Previous Modifications
N/A

Scope of Work

Plant outage*
4 -8 Hrs of Field Engineer time per control panel

2 Hrs of Field Engineer time per HMI, Exciter or LCI

In order to prevent lengthy return to service delays, this upgrade must be tested and verified by a GE Controls field
engineer prior to the actual upgrade being done. This requires that the GE Controls field engineer be sent a complete
archive of the site master software folder at least 3-4 weeks prior to the actual upgrade and that the field engineer
confirm that he can accomplish the upgrade on a laptop or other appropriate computer with no unresolved problems.

*For sites that are unable to complete this during a total plant outage, it is possible to complete this upgrade in
stages. However, this may add significant complexity to the upgrade and will need to carefully managed.
Administrative steps will be required to separate the upgraded and non-upgraded parts of the system and this
may need the services of a project manager. Unusually large or complex upgrades may also require project
management and will need to be evaluated.

Refer to GEI-100694 for more specific help with the upgrade process.

Contact your local GE Service Manager or Contract Performance Manager for assistance or for additional
information.

Contact your local GE Service Manager or Contract Performance Manager in order to update GE unit record sheets
or to submit as-built drawings for changes incurred by this TIL.

NOTE: If you would like to receive future TILs by email, contact your local GE Service Manager or Contract Performance
Manager for assistance.
© 2013 General Electric Company
This Technical Information Letter contains proprietary information of General Electric Company, USA and is furnished to its customer solely to assist
that customer in the installation, testing, operation and/or maintenance of the equipment described. This document shall not be reproduced or
distributed in whole or in part nor shall its contents be disclosed to any third party without the written approval of GE Power & Water Customer
Engineering. All rights reserved.
Page 5 of 10
TIL 1897
APPENDIX I: LIST OF ALARMS / ERRORS
Loss of Controller Connectivity: Monitor alarms and errors reported by ToolboxST for any of the following symptoms:

 Unable to connect to the device with ToolboxST, “The device responded to a “GetNumVars” request with an
error: GENERAL_FAILURE”

Figure 2: Unable to connect to device error

 Alarm transitions are no longer transmitted and displayed on the HMI.

 The presence of diagnostic alarm 320: “Process Alarm Buffers Full – Controller can miss alarm transitions”
reported by the device.

Figure 3: Process Alarm Buffer

Frozen Live IO Values :

The frozen IO failure mode can be identified by the presence of the following controller diagnostic alarms and error
message while performing an online download:

 "Diagnostic 489: EGD Error - One or more consumed exchanges contain unbound variables"
 "Diagnostic 488: EGD Error - Could not configure consumed exchanges from one or more producers"
 An online load is performed and fails with the error: “Cannot execute Online Load ‘Client has disabled
Online Loads”

© 2013 General Electric Company


This Technical Information Letter contains proprietary information of General Electric Company, USA and is furnished to its customer solely to assist
that customer in the installation, testing, operation and/or maintenance of the equipment described. This document shall not be reproduced or
distributed in whole or in part nor shall its contents be disclosed to any third party without the written approval of GE Power & Water Customer
Engineering. All rights reserved.
Page 6 of 10
TIL 1897

Figure 4: Example of error messages/diagnostic errors


APPENDIX II: IDENTIFYING CURRENT CONTROLST VERSION


1. Go to Start-> Program files -> GE Control ST -> VersionsST (see Figure 5).

Figure 5: Path to locate current ControlST version

2. In the new window that opens, select the “Form View” tab (see Figure 6).

Figure 6: GE ControlST versions view selection

3. “Installed by Version” column provides the current ControlST version (Figure 7).

© 2013 General Electric Company


This Technical Information Letter contains proprietary information of General Electric Company, USA and is furnished to its customer solely to assist
that customer in the installation, testing, operation and/or maintenance of the equipment described. This document shall not be reproduced or
distributed in whole or in part nor shall its contents be disclosed to any third party without the written approval of GE Power & Water Customer
Engineering. All rights reserved.
Page 7 of 10
TIL 1897

Figure 7: ControlST version screen

APPENDIX III: DISABLING DYNAMIC BINDING


To disable dynamic binding use the following procedure: 
 
1. Close ToolboxST 
2. Manually edit the ToolboxST GlobalValues.xml file: 
a. Open the GlobalValues.xml file in a text editor such as WordPad or notepad 
i. On Windows 7 this file resides at
\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\GE Energy\ToolboxST\GlobalValues.xml

ii. On Windows XP this file resides at


\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\GE
Energy\ToolboxST\GlobalValues.xml

© 2013 General Electric Company


This Technical Information Letter contains proprietary information of General Electric Company, USA and is furnished to its customer solely to assist
that customer in the installation, testing, operation and/or maintenance of the equipment described. This document shall not be reproduced or
distributed in whole or in part nor shall its contents be disclosed to any third party without the written approval of GE Power & Water Customer
Engineering. All rights reserved.
Page 8 of 10
TIL 1897
b.
Edit the following line
<Key name="ShowEnableDynamicBinding">Boolean=False</Key>
by changing the Boolean value to True:
<Key name="ShowEnableDynamicBinding">Boolean=True</Key>
c. Save the file and exit the editor.
3. Open ToolboxST
4. For each device supporting dynamic binding (Mark VIe, Ex2100e, LS2100e):
a. Open the device.
b. On the general tab change the setting for “Enable Dynamic Binding” to false.

5. In order for this change to take effect the application must be built and downloaded to the controllers.

© 2013 General Electric Company


This Technical Information Letter contains proprietary information of General Electric Company, USA and is furnished to its customer solely to assist
that customer in the installation, testing, operation and/or maintenance of the equipment described. This document shall not be reproduced or
distributed in whole or in part nor shall its contents be disclosed to any third party without the written approval of GE Power & Water Customer
Engineering. All rights reserved.
Page 9 of 10
SERVICE BULLETIN

Note: In order to keep the GE Oil & Gas global installed fleet database updated, it is kindly requested that the
COMPLIANCE RECORD and USER SATISFACTION SURVEY be completed and sent to the addresses specified in the
forms.

Contacts
For units under warranty or covered under a Contractual Service Agreement (CSA) please refer to your GE
Oil & Gas Project Manager.

For technical questions or application and commercial requests please contact:

GE Oil & Gas


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Expense Policy
The recommendations contained in this Service Bulletin are for information only. Unless otherwise
indicated in a Contractual Service Agreement (CSA) in force between the parties, all costs associated with
implementation of the recommendations are the Customer’s responsibility.

Warranty issues will be handled as per the terms of the contract.

Nuovo Pignone S.r.l. Proprietary Information


This Bulletin and the information contained in it are protected by copyright and/or other intellectual property rights. This Bulletin
and information are provided for authorized use only, and may not be used by or disclosed to others without the prior express written
consent of Nuovo Pignone S.r.l.
Technical Updates Communication
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Comments:



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