Gas Technology Symposium, 17–18 April, Shreveport, Louisiana

Automatic sequenced compressor units that are started by the push of a button are now in service; the next step will be automatically controlled units that don't even require the push! Actually, this step is almost here because the control system is designed that does not require a manually initiated starting signal or running control.

When reference is made to these different systems among gas and controls people, they know that a unit which can be properly started by actuation of a pushbutton or turning of a selector switch has "automatic sequence control". They know, too, that unit which automatically can be properly started by a set or predetermined condition occurring, but with no actuating of a pushbutton is considered to have "automatic control".

To date, the majority of controls in use or planned are of the" automatic sequence" variety. The question most often asked and the problem exciting most interest on these controls seems to be "How far away can I be to push this button to start this equipment and still have control?"

Cooper-Bessemer has approached this problem and the problems of automation with the basic question of "what does a sound control system consist of?" We have concluded that if we have a sound control system that will sequence the engine unit and the associated equipment properly and protect this equipment adequately, the answer to the question is "anywhere". Whether the initiating signal is at the equipment, in an engine room, at a control 200ft away, the next state, or a set condition becomes a matter of customer choice.

This control system should also be so flexible that a customer's desired sequence can be followed. The circuitry and components should be serviceable without requiring a 10-year apprenticeship for the service personnel to understand maintenance. With these ideas and a few others, the end product must most of all be competitive with present systems. Keeping these in mind, the design of the systems can be started.

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