Technologies in the modern world are developing with an unprecedented speed.
Alongside with the development of technologies a key prerequisite of it is the concept of safety in its broadest meaning. From the first safe miners’ lamps to intrinsically safe HMI interfaces – safety issues go hand-in-hand with development of technologies.
«It seems likely that in the future, as in the present, intrinsic safety will play a major part in the pool of techniques that are used to solve problems. It will inevitably become a solution worthy of serious consideration and perhaps the preferred choice of some people and organisations. This, with time, will lead to even greater acceptance.»
Chris Towle, one of the founders of MTL.
The lamp was successfully tested in Hebburn colliery in January 1816 and quickly went into production. Strictly speaking, Davy lamp was not just a lamp, but a gas analyzer as well, indicating the presence of flammable gases in the atmosphere with its uneven burning accompanied by flares and blastings.
Davy refused to apply for a patent, this way making his invention available free-for-all. For inventing the lamp Davy was granted the title of a baronet.
Mass application of the Davy lamp had an immediate impact, cutting down the number of accidents in mining and allowing working deep seams, thus making its input into industrial development of England in the 19th century.
Davy safety lamp gained wide application in coal mines in Europe and in Russia.
In 1815 a British chemist, physicist, one of the founders of electrochemistry designed a miner’s safety lamp with a wire gauze chimney enclosing the flame. This way solving the problem of a dangerous flammable gas in mines. Thickness, size and thermal capacity of the wire gauze were selected in such a way as to allow it to act as a flame arrestor. Air (and any firedamp present) can pass through the mesh freely enough to support combustion, but the holes are too fine to allow a flame to propagate through them and ignite any firedamp outside the mesh.
To develop it to the level of success it was for specialists from various automation sections and measurement equipment manufacturers to recognise the need for a safety barrier itself, and to become accomplices in the development process, and later in promotion in industry.
Developments in the field of intrinsic safety always take a long time. The development of the initial concept and the need to consult others who are involved in certification or the application of instruments are factors which contribute to the time taken. The tortuous path through the certification labyrinth, which usually includes the creation of new standards or the modification of existing standards and the creation of an acceptable Code of Practice also contribute to the elapsed time. This long time scale, resources and investments involved in the long term bring significant rewards.
Early prototypes of barriers refer to the years of 1963-1964 — the so-called open construction barriers.
Despite this construction not being suitable for large installations, one was installed in a carbon black plant in Scotland and was in use until the mid-1990’s.
As the outcome of discussions and evaluation it was considered necessary to encapsulate the barrier so as to avoid problems caused by pollution and the possibility of unauthorised replacement of components. Encapsulation also improved the thermal dissipation.
After 1971 barriers became a recognized technology, and their production started at the same time.
Shunt-diode barriers are still produced in big quantities and the installed fleet accounts to millions of units since the time of realization of the concept.
Measurement Technology Ltd was conceived in April 1971 as a result of a cutback in the new-product design and development activities of a large instrument company. Many qualified staff with wide experience in different disciplines were suddenly available, and seven members of the team decided to start their own operation.
They included the technical director, Ian Hutcheon; the chief electronics engineer, Chris Towle; the chief mechanical engineer, Edward Low; an electronics design engineer, Jacques Oudar; the technical publications manager of the design department and two skilled technicians. This was the beginning of MTL.
In 1988 MTL became a public company.
As of the 1st of September 2016 the legal name of Measurement Technology Limited changed for Eaton Electric Limited. The Company is headquartered in Luton, England.
Today MTL, building on the 40+ years history is recognized as a world leader in the development and supply of intrinsic safety explosion protection devices, fieldbus and industrial networks, process control, lightning and surge protection.
MTL Group of companies comprises three main divisions:
- MTL Hazardous Areas;
- MTL Visualisation;
- MTL Surge Technologies.
1971 Measurement Technology Ltd.– commences trading at John Street, Luton.
First products sold to Rothampsted Experimental Station – two MTL200 Series solid-state choppers.
MTL100 Series shunt-diode safety barriers introduced, which had been holding strong positions in the IS barriers market for over a decade.
1972 The Company introduces the MTL400 Series temperature transmitters.
1972-77 World-wide distributor/agency network established.
1977 The MTL370 Lightning Protection Unit introduced.
1980 MTL2000 Series isolators launched – a world first featuring galvanic isolation between input and output.
1984 MTL700 Series shunt-diode barriers launched which replaced series MTL100.
Zener barriers served as an industry standard for over 40 years. Series MTL700 when introduced into the market in 1984 became a recognized worldwide standard.
1985 DC powered MTL3000 Series isolators launched; IS loop-powered displays introduced.
1986 IS Multiplexers launched.
1988 MTL700 Series updated to include 'overvolt protection' variants. MTL630 Series of Digital Indicators launched.
1994 The Company awarded MIAA 'Instrumentation Product of the Year' for MTL7000 Series barriers.
1996 The Company launches the innovative MTL8000 Series Process I/O family.
MTL provides two simple means of connecting instrument loops into hazardous areas of a process plant using zener barriers or isolators.
1996 MTL5000 Series isolators launched.
2001 The Company launches MTL7700 Series of IS Barriers. MTL7700 Series is a direct replacement for MTL700 series.
2002 The Company introduces SIL rated MTL4000/5000 Series isolators approved for Safety Critical applications. MTL4500/5500 Series is a direct replacement for MTL4000/5000 Series.
MTL4500/5500 Series isolators based on a proprietary “One-Core” technology. Incorporating advanced circuit design, a common set of components and innovative transformer construction, the new modules achieve a significant reduction in power consumption while increasing channel packing densities.
From MTL news:
“MTL have always been recognised as a technology leader and the introduction of these new intrinsic safety isolators will reinforce that reputation. With project timescales and constraints becoming ever tighter, control system vendors and end-users are looking for a source they can trust to deliver and implement their IS interface requirements quickly and effectively. Through the innovative use of transformer technology and other advanced electronics, our engineers have produced a product that meets these needs.»,
Marketing Director of MTL.
«Organic» growth of the Company powered by new developments, and a number of merges and acquisitions throughout various periods of the company development was aimed at expanding the product line for hazardous area operation. Such companies as Elpro, RTK, Telematic, Atlantic Scientific integrated at different times into MTL, provided for development of new applications and technologies, including traditional analogue, Foundation Fieldbus, industrial Ethernet, fiberoptics and wireless.
2001 The Company joins forces with Relcom Inc. to create Fieldbus H1 physical layer innovators.
2002 FISCO and FNICO power supplies launched for fieldbus applications.
2003 MTL – Relcom начинают работу над крупнейшим проектом Foundation Fieldbus.
MTL is the first company to introduce redundancy for the FISCO concept.
The introduction of power supply redundancy extends the benefits of FISCO into critical hazardous area applications. MTL 910x power supply system provides the highest level of reliability for critical hazardous area applications.
MTL is continuing cooperation with major DCS companies in the Fieldbus area as well.
Phil Saward, MTL's technical manager for industrial networks:
«Not only has MTL responded to the demand for greater flexibility when using the high energy trunk technique, but has also exceeded customers' expectations for easy installation and maintenance of field-mounted equipment in Fieldbus applications».
2005 The Company wins Honeywell Supplier of the Year award. The Company launches F606 FISCO/FNICO interface for Yokogawa ALF111 users.
2005-06 MTL-Relcom develop 12 way Megablock wiring hubs.
2006 MTL-Relcom release the FBT-6 intelligent fieldbus monitor.
Ian Verhappen joins MTL as Director of Industrial Networking Technologies. Ian Verhappen is highly respected in the Process Automation sector as one of the authors of standards for industrial networks, and the project leader of the first world complex pilot Foundation fieldbus project incorporating components of various manufacturers.
«MTL is no longer just an equipment provider but now also your “industrial network solutions” source offering engineering services for system design, commissioning support, and remote diagnostics ensuring you a reliable system on which to base your automation projects.»
These years were marked with a number of cooperation agreements with equipment and control systems manufacturers for industrial automation.
MTL and Weidmuller have announced a bilateral co-operation agreement which is aimed at strengthening both companies’ customer service in the industrial automation sector.
MTL and Byres Security Inc launch TOFINO Ethernet Security Solution. The MTL Tofino solution is a distributed system with a flexible architecture that allows you to create security zones throughout your control network to protect critical system components.
“MTL is the perfect partner to bring this solution to industry — MTL’s reputation as a supplier of choice for reliable industrial interconnection components, its manufacturing capabilities, and its worldwide customer support teams are uniquely focused on the process control market.”,
Eric Byres, Security expert and CEO of Byres Security.
2007 MTL tops readers poll for Intrinsic Safety Barriers following the publication of the 15th Annual CONTROL Magazine Readers Choice Awards 2007. Over 700 industry professionals were polled to select their best technology providers across 73 different categories. Seen by many industry observers as a good measure of product reliability and user confidence, MTL was ranked in the first place in the Intrinsic Safety Barrier classification.
MTL has grown extensively over the years. MTL acquired Gecma Components, a manufacturer of computer terminals for hazardous areas. Smart HMI interfaces find wider application as a means of data processing with advanced communication capabilities to take operational decisions. In hazardous areas remote operator stations represent a preferred solution for process monitoring and control. Its first intrinsically safe terminal the company developed in 1996.
And it was not just the first Gecma terminal, the company introduced the first IS terminal based on a modular design. As of today the installed base of terminals accounts to 15 000+ units worldwide.
2008 MTL Instruments became part of Cooper Crouse-Hinds (a division of Eaton). This boosted further development of innovative and integrated solutions required by users for hazardous areas. MTL was at a stage of development where they would have had to make substantial additions to its resources for the company to grow further. Cooper Crouse-Hinds already has the resources to help MTL grow, along with the tried and tested processes for executing this growth successfully.
MTL’s fundamental strategy remains the same, and growing its business through acquisition is a strategic objective that has not changed. MTL’s strategic objective as a key supplier at the control hardware infrastructure layer between the controllers and field instruments has remained unchanged as well.
The task is to make safety available to automation engineers, so that they could focus on safe and efficient process operation.
Many of the world’s most safety-critical processes are monitored, controlled or protected by MTL products.
At the present level of technologies it is rather difficult to provide for added value in the hardware infrastructure of a process control system, but MTL continues to be the driver of innovation. For the last decade MTL made a substantial input into the subject of intrinsic safety, many of the solutions are innovative, industry «firsts».
2009 MTL Instruments is proud to announce that it has been voted the number one supplier for Intrinsic Safety by the readers of CONTROL magazine. Over 1000 process automation professionals responded to the 17th annual survey which covers 100 technology categories. MTL repeated its position of 2007 and improved on its second place position in 2008.
Not content with topping the survey for Intrinsic Safety, MTL also picked up third place in the Signal Conditioner category and a highly commendable sixth place for RTK Instruments in the Annunciator category. To be mentioned in the survey at all is an excellent indicator of market presence and product excellence.
2011 MTL Instruments launches into the market a new range of Ethernet products providing for a complete «Ethernet anywhere» solution.
Ethernet application in control systems for a long time has been hindered by classification for hazardous zone application. MTL’s 9200 series of Ethernet products is certified for use in ATEX Zone 2 and UL Class 1 Div 2 areas.
MTL Ethernet switch modules; serial gateways; wireless access units; media converters are approved for Zone 1 as per IEEE 802.3/802.1. Units are connected to a power supply in Zone 2 and an isolator providing for a new technology solution «Ethernet anywhere».
«This launch represents a significant step forward for MTL and its customers. We are confident that our new portfolio will enable customers to select from a range of class-leading products backed by MTL’s pedigree of 40 years experience in the Process industry»,
MTL’s Product Line Manager for Industrial Networks.
2013 MTL launches MTL4850 Hart multiplexer. One of the key features of MTL4850 is that they are designed for use with SIL3 loops.
2014 A new MTL1000 range of signal conditioners for safety area is introduced to the market.
The MTL1000 range of signal conditioning isolators and accessories is designed to help protect field instruments and control systems to provide safe, reliable process communications and is intended for safe area applications.
This cost-effective solution offers significant savings with its embedded DIN-rail mounted power-bus up to 30% and high packing density with 6.2mm wide slimline modules.
“With the new MTL1000 range, we bring more than 40 years of hazardous area experience and industry expertise to safe-area applications, enabling customers to benefit from a single source supplier that will enhance the integrity of their supply chain and lead to cost savings»,
MTL product line manager.
2017 MTL announces the launch of an expanded range of MTL GECMA Work Stations.
A new range of GECMA Work Stations approved to global hazardous certification for Zone 1/2/21/22 environments provides for visualisation in harsh industrial conditions. GECMA Work Station range includes: Remote Terminal (RT), Thin Client (TC) and Personal Computer (PC) version.
A unique GECMA Work Station modular design means that every element of GECMA WS is individually explosion proof certified: you do not need a specially certified cover for the equipment.
If necessary a failed module could be promptly changed over in the hazardous area.
Compressor control in various industry sectors, drilling installations for oil and gas — driller’s control panel, pharmaceutical applications, and modular degassing units for coal seams — the widest spectrum of GECMA WS applications for process visualization.
MTL chose to obtain Functional Safety Management (FSM) accreditation to demonstrate competence to design and market products in accordance to the standard. This gives customers confidence and assurance when using MTL products in safety instrumented systems (SIS) without the need for further verification of documentation.
MTL’s Functional Safety offering covers a range of products assessed as suitable for use in or with safety loops. These include: interface components, IS barriers and isolators, fieldbus physical layer components, alarm annunciator equipment, communication modules and power supplies. Some modules added to the MTL4500 and MTL5500 product lines can be also used in SIL3 loops.
MTL was the first supplier of process instrumentation to be certified as a Functional Safety Management (FSM) company.
MTL products are used in all types of locations, both hazardous and general purpose; from offshore oil and gas platforms, power production plants and petrochemical installations to pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and other manufacturing/process plants.
One of the MTL statements on quality stresses that it is the policy of the company to provide products and services that meet or exceed customer expectations and satisfy them by anticipating their needs and requirements. «We work together to reach the world level quality with a steady dedication for improvement».
An ability to accurately define a key customer problem, and to understand how to provide for an efficient and effective solution, a practical expertise and understanding of industry issues, a strong leadership position allow the company to expand application for its products and solutions, and continue sustainable business worldwide.
Cooperation of MTL with DCS and engineering companies demonstrates its capability to implement major projects based on the latest technologies and innovations in a competitive environment within defined project time and with maximum efficiency.
Some major projects of a world class level carried out with high-tech MTL equipment could be a good example.
The major oil and gas plant in Khursaniyah, Aramco, Saudi Arabia, has chosen MTL Fieldbus solutions. The choice of MTL equipment for Foundation fieldbus physical layer made by the general contractor Bechtel-Technip (BT JV) was by the fact that FOUNDATION fieldbus™ solutions were already approved by Saudi Aramco and proven on many Aramco sites. But, of course, the final decision recognised that MTL-Relcom products fulfilled the technical & commercial requirements of the project and that the solution was ultimately the most competitive one.
Another major world project where MTL Fieldbus products are used has been realized in India – Jamnagar Export Refinery Project – over 20 thousand modules with a Fieldbus tag have found their application in the project, including MTL diagnostic modules for segments monitoring, and other products for physical layer of fieldbus.
Yaisky OR (Kemerovo Region) is in a way a pattern example of the plant of the future — high-end automation technologies are widely implemented there. Modern equipment and the latest developments in process control are used at the plant.
At the first stage of construction of the Yaisky OR the following MTL solutions have been implemented in the control system: MTL4500 series isolators, Foundation fieldbus components, including power supplies, Megablock modules and other solutions.
MTL solutions as part of one of the advanced control systems in operation in the country at Yaisky OR have proven to be relible IS interfaces. In the middle of 2017 for the second stage of the plant construction, VSP supplied process junction boxes, Megablock hubs, and 8-channel Fieldbus temperature multiplexers.
Western and North-Khosedayuskoye oil field;
Visovoye oil field.
Rusvietpetro, Khosedayuskoye oil field.
End User: JV Rusvietpetro.
DCS Yokogawa Centum CS3000 R3.
The first stage of the system was launched into operation in 2010:
650 segments in 2010-11; further extension of the system for 230 segments was planned for 2012-2013.
Application in Zone 2, MTL FISCO 9122-IS-PS.
The project is a complex integrated solution for DCS Yokogawa; project design by Giprovostokneft, Samara.
MTL equipment provides for integrated Fieldbus diagnostics on the basis of F809F; surge protection. Special Megablock junction boxes for low temperature application provide for stringent operational conditions.
MTL equipment and solutions have found wide application in the markets of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan. VSP customers’ geography covers oil & gas enterprises, petrochemical and pipeline companies, mineral fertilizers production, pharmaceuticals and other sectors.
For two decades of VSP operations, starting with 1996,
the MTL Company has been and is our key partner, and has
well-established reputation in Russia.
MTL and VSP 20-years’ partnership makes available for users technologies based on world-class engineering achievements — from
a «simple» barrier to high-tech data processing systems — industrial computers, input-output systems and other up-to-date solutions.