I want to acquire some knowledge regarding Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) for our steam turbine control system which would be GE MARK VIe.
Our EPC contractor is Chinese and our basic design package has been finalized. We are finalizing Inspection and Testing Plan (ITPs) for major equipment. The steam turbine would be of GE and control system is MARK VIe. When we asked our EPC contractor to share ITP of steam turbine control system, he declined and is of the opinion that GE doesn't involve customers to witness FAT of steam turbine control system MARK VIe. This came as a surprise to us as we believe its solely dependent on customers to witness any ITP.
Does any customer ever witness FAT of MARK VIe as steam turbine control system? If yes, then can you please share project name and any relevant details.
Any help in this regard would be highly appreciated.
GE doesn't normally do customer FATs. They do internal FAT and do internal testing and then send the system out. However, customers can push to do Software Acceptance Tests (SWAT) for that specific software being done. I don't think they will allow your hardware to be there. But they do charge a crazy amount for it.
If it were my site, I would be adamant on witnessing the SWAT. Often you find numerous problems in the screens and custom logic. The problems would be found at site otherwise by the TAs that would cost more TA $$.
Just my 2 cents.
My 2 cents,
FATs or SATs (Software Acceptance Tests) can be useful IF AND ONLY IF the people attending the FAT are familiar--very familiar--with the turbine and how it operates and are willing to "take the reins" and "drive" and ask questions when things don't behave as they expect.
Most FATs/SATs are boondoggles--sort of a "gift" or "reward" for the attendee(s). I have been in many FATs/SATs where the attendees were completely uninterested in the FAT/SAT and were more interested in shopping and sightseeing (getting their picture taken at some famous landmark, or buying electronics for themselves and/or family members). They really had NO knowledge of the turbine, and no desire to learn.
The people performing the FAT/SAT for the supplier/provider can usually start and stop the turbine, synchronize it if it is a generator drive, and produce MWs, test trips and stops, etc.
Mostly Customer personnel attending the FAT/SAT are most interested in the HMI displays, and they ALL want something different than what they are witnessing. This can lead to all manner of issues, because usually BEFORE the FAT/SAT a set of displays have been sent to someone at the Customer (NOT always a technical person or an operator) who approves them, so technically the HMI displays at the FAT are already approved and shouldn't require modifications....
If this is your first turbine, or your first GE-design turbine with a Mark* control system AND your personnel are familiar with turbines and controls AND are familiar with any specific requirements which have to be included in the package it might be a good idea to attend the FAT. Otherwise, the personnel may be overwhelmed by the technology and if there is a language difference that will usually add to the confusion.
If the people who will be attending the FAT/SAT are not very experienced operators AND there are no special requirements for the package, save your money. While in years and decades past it was common for Customers to attend FATs/SATs, it's becoming less and less common. It's a great expense for everyone involved, and, unless the Customer personnel are experienced and motivated it usually doesn't find or fix anything of substance. Only HMI displays, and while some think the turbine won't run without PERFECT HMI displays--they are completely wrong and ill-informed.
If you're intent on sending personnel to the FAT/SAT be sure they have specific questions and points of interest--usually based on any special requirements (such as back-pressure control for some process, or special boiler/steam generator interlocks).
While the attendees of a FAT or SAT might learn something, an FAT or SAT is NOT a training environment. The GE personnel performing the FAT/SAT are not trainers--that's not their job. Their job is to try to make sure the control system does what it's supposed to as they understand the application. If the Customer personnel attending the FAT/SAT don't understand the application and any special requirements, then any problems are still only going to become apparent during commissioning--and will be fixed then.