'Wireless Now - Wireless Comes of Age' (Issue #4)

'Wireless Now - Wireless Comes of Age' (Issue #4)
Supplement to
Closing the Loop
on Wireless Control
Full redundancy and a wireless-friendly PID algorithm facilitate critical control without wires.
Wireless instrument networks have laid claim
to what is arguably the fastest industry penetration of
any process automation technology in history. Wireless has proven that it can deliver significant business
benefits quickly and easily, relatively inexpensively and
with little or no implementation risk.
“Wireless has been adopted at thousands of customer
sites globally,” says Bob Karschnia, vice president, wireless, for Emerson Process Management. “Plants using
wireless realize savings and become smarter through simpler engineering and construction, flexible startup, faster
deployment and project completion, and the ability to
respond to changing automation needs.”
Until recently, however, wireless was recommended only for the open-loop monitoring of non-critical
measurement points. But the technology has come
of age quickly, with users demanding—and suppliers
such as Emerson now providing—wireless technology suitable for many closed-loop control and critical
monitoring applications.
Two key advances making control over wireless a reality are fully redundant communication
pathways and a new PID algorithm, developed by
Emerson Process Management, that allows control
loops to accommodate “reporting by exception” of
the process variable being controlled, a feature of the
WirelessHART communication standard intended to
extend transmitter battery life.
Redundant Communications Offered
“Now available with the DeltaV S-series digital automation system, full redundancy protects the wireless
network from any single point of failure, ensuring that
data is always delivered even if there is a malfunction,”
Karschnia says.
Recent enhancements to the company’s Smart
Wireless lineup include redundant wireless I/O, redundant power and communications, and redundant
Smart Wireless Remote Links. The Remote Links are
Class I/Division 2 devices that provide a redundant,
wired connection from the wireless field network to
the DeltaV I/O. “The new full redundancy furthers
strengthens Smart Wireless technology as a complement to wired and bus approaches on capital projects,” Karschnia says.
Customers need proof that control with wireless is
viable, Karschnia continues. “We’ve responded with realworld Smart Wireless installations featuring one-second
updates, enhanced PID and battery management over
WirelessHART,” he says.
The new redundancy and robustness provide confidence to customers to now extend the use of Smart
Wireless in critical monitoring and control applications—without sacrificing flexibility and ease of use.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated closed-loop control of a distillation column using
wireless, with performance virtually undistinguishable from that
of wired transmitters.
FEBRUARY 2010 ● special advertising supplement
real-world functionality Demonstrated
Two recent installations demonstrate the effectiveness of Smart Wireless for control over Wire2
Three Processors Named Smart Wireless Innovators
To recognize creativity and business value from
applications of its Smart Wireless solutions,
Emerson Process Management announced the
winners of its 2009 Smart Wireless Innovators
Application Contest at the 2009 Emerson Global
Users Exchange in Orlando, Fla. A cross-industry
panel of end-user judges selectel CalPortland’s
rotating cement kiln monitoring application as
Most Innovative and CHS and Severstal Wheeling
as co-winners for Best Business Results.
CalPortland, a manufacturer and distributor of
cement and concrete used Smart Wireless to monitor a rotating 540-ft-long, 13-ft-diameter cement
kiln at its plant in Colton, Calif. (See photograph
The wireless devices rotate with the cement
kiln at almost two times per minute and help the
company meet nitrogen-oxide emissions regulations. The rotation, extreme temperature, cement
dust and location of the kiln made using a wired
solution impossible.
The co-winners of the business-results award
demonstrated dollar savings in operations, installation savings compared to a wired approach,
time savings with wireless implementation and
safety or environmental-impact improvements.
Oil-refiner CHS used Emerson Smart Wireless
technology to improve the reliability of a tank monitoring application at its Laurel, Mont., facility. The
installation cost savings was $500,000 compared
to a wired solution, and will prevent tank over-fill
and tank repairs and the resulting repair/remediation efforts.
“Many of the operations people told me the accuracy is better as well,” says Ken Paulson, refinery
process engineer. “We’ve been able to get this
redundancy in a very cost-effective manner.”
Co-winner in the best business results category, Severstal Wheeling, the U.S.’s fourth largest
integrated steel producer, recently expanded use
of Smart Wireless technology to improve process,
fire safety, and environmental monitoring at its
fully integrated, 80-inch hot strip mill in Mingo
Junction, Ohio.
Emerson’s Smart Wireless solutions, initially employed by Severstal Wheeling to monitor production, prevented roll failures valued at
$300,000 and improved mill efficiency. This gave
the company the confidence to deploy three additional cost-effective Emerson wireless networks
to further fine-tune process control and to monitor
its fire safety system and oil storage tanks.
“The success we saw in the first installations
gave us the confidence to go forward,” says Gary
Borham, Severstal Wheeling engineering manager.
“Now that we’ve used this technology, it’s like
anything is at our finger tips if we want it.”
One of the additional applications uses Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters to check
bearing lubricant on backup rolls in the plant’s
finishing mill, reducing maintenance costs and
downtime. (continued on page 4)
CalPortland’s innovative application of wireless to monitor temperature distribution in a rotating kiln 540-ft. in
length helped the company meet nitrogen-oxide emissions regulations and bag the top prize in Emerson’s Smart
Wireless Innovators contest this year.
special advertising supplement ● FEBRUARY 2010
(continued from page 3)
“Since we installed the wireless network,
we’ve not needed to replace backup rolls because
of overheating bearings and damaged rolls,” says
Borham. “It takes four hours to change a roll and
costs could reach $200,000. We can now see when
bearing temperatures rise and can shut down to
perform maintenance, which only takes an hour.”
A second application uses Rosemount wireless pressure transmitters to monitor the water
pressure of the fire safety system protecting the
plant’s oil cellar.
The network has detected two water leaks, enabling quick repairs that returned water pressure
to a safe level. Severstal Wheeling was also able to
discontinue clipboard rounds once made to check
the system, which extends 1,500 feet through a
series of tunnels.
The company had to upgrade its fire safety
system to comply with insurance requirements but
estimated it would cost $60,000 to $100,000 to
install a hard-wired monitoring network.
“The hard-wired installation cost estimate was
outrageous and with the economy the way it is
there was no way we could do it,” Borham says.
“The cost of installing the wireless network was 60
percent less than a hard-wired solution.”
In a third Smart Wireless application, the
company installed Rosemount wireless transmitters on 11 oil storage tanks located inside and
outside its facility. The devices are connected
to and convert the 4-20 milliamp signals from
existing hard-wired pressure transmitters that
measure tank levels.
“If there is a spill, we know exactly which tank
and what time it occurred,” Borham said. “We can
immediately work to contain it. We can also use
the level data to monitor when to order more oil.”
lessHART networks. At bioprocess technologies
supplier Broadley James, wireless pH and temperature transmitters control a single-use disposable
bioreactor. “We conducted batch runs using mammalian cell culture,” says Scott Broadley, Broadley
James president. “The observed pH and temperature
control using wireless measurements was equivalent
to that achieved using wired transmitters.”
Similar results were seen at another installation at
the University of Texas, Austin, where stripper and
absorber control is being done using WirelessHART
transmitters. Column pressure control and heater
stream flow control over wireless provided the same
dynamic response and comparable performance to
that achieved using wired transmitters, according to
Frank Seibert, technical manager of the UT Austin
separations research program.
A modified PID control algorithm makes this
possible, explains Randy Balentine, DeltaV product
marketing manager for Emerson Process Management. “We understood how WirelessHART devices
provide non-periodic process variable updates,
and how we could accommodate that in the PID
algorithm,” he says. The technology is available to
address most control applications, with scan rates
as fast as one second, supported by WirelessHART
devices, the Remote Link, and the DeltaV digital
automation system.
“Yesterday, you couldn’t do PID wirelessly,” says
Balentine. “Today, that’s no longer the case.”
Enabling fully redundant communication paths over
WirelessHART for Emerson’s Smart Wireless architecture, recent additions to the lineup include redundant
wireless I/O, redundant power and communications
and a redundant Smart Wireless Remote Link.
FEBRUARY 2010 ● special advertising supplement
Better Intelligence Means
Improved Performance
Manufacturers turn to wireless to better understand and optimize their processes.
Throughout the history of process manufacturing, incremental improvements in process performance
often have hinged on the availability of more complete
process information. The more thorough one’s picture
of what’s happening in a manufacturing process, the
better one can improve efficiency and control variability—and avoid the occasional nasty surprise.
But the gathering of better process intelligence
has long been constrained by the cost of instrumentation: Any incremental measurement entailed the cost
of the transmitter itself, as well as the time and labor
required for engineering and implementing the installation, the running of wire back to a central control
room and the distributed control system input/output (I/O) hardware itself. Over the years, the cost of
transmitters has decreased, as has the cost of I/O. It’s
the stubborn middle part of the engineering, installation and wiring, that has stood in the way of our
better understanding, controlling and anticipating the
performance of our manufacturing processes.
Because of the high cost of wiring, many secondary process variables have long gone unmeasured, and
expensive pieces of critical rotating equipment remain
uninstrumented. But with the advent of wireless instrument networks, many of those pesky middle costs are
dramatically lower or gone altogether, and the economics
have shifted in favor of incremental measurements that
can translate to improved process performance.
Indeed, thousands of process manufacturers world-
wide have implemented wireless solutions in the past
several years, and for many of them better process intelligence has meant documented improvements in efficiency,
fuel consumption and throughput, as well as the lowering
of emissions, prevention of downtime and avoidance of
safety incidents and equipment damage. Here, then, is a
brief global tour of some of the results being achieved.
In This Story
Ways Wireless Users Have
Improved Process Performance
1.Improved energy efficiency
2.Increased throughput
3. Prevented downtime
4.Improved safety
5.Reduced emissions
6. Protected equipment
7. Boosted quality
8.Decreased cycle time
9.Eased troubleshooting
10.Streamlined maintenance
Throughput Improved at AOC
Among those manufacturers relying on wireless to improve control of their processes is AOC’s Perris, Calif.,
resin manufacturing facility, where Smart Wireless
technology from Emerson Process Management has
ABOVE. As part of a major modernization program recently awarded to Emerson Process Management, Poland’s Belchatow power plant,
the largest lignite-fired power station in Europe, is among the many plants worldwide implementing wireless instrumentation networks to
improve plant performance, increase availability and reduce environmental impact.
special advertising supplement ● FEBRUARY 2010
Emerson Process Management’s Smart Wireless Field Starter Kit is a complete wireless automation kit you can order today. The kit is a
configurable assortment of 5 to 100 devices, including wireless pressure, temperature, level, flow, vibration, discrete switches and pH
devices, as well as wireless enabling devices: Smart Wireless THUM Adapters and wireless valve position monitors. Requiring no site
survey, no special tools and providing seamless integration with wired networks, the Starter Kit includes a secure Smart Wireless Gateway,
AMS Device Manager software to manage predictive diagnostics from your wireless devices and SmartStart Services to get things up and
running smoothly. Visit EmersonSmartWireless.com/FieldKit to request a quote.
allowed the company to boost throughput by 10% and
increased employee safety in the process.
The secure, self-organizing network ensures proper
mixing of AOC’s intermediate resin products with
micro-additives at target temperatures to achieve
customer-specific formulations and quality. Smart Wireless eliminated clipboard rounds that were an inefficient
use of operators’ time, subjected personnel to a safety risk
and lengthened time to market.
“If staff found the temperature was not at target, it
required additional time and resources to heat or cool
the mix tank to the target temperature before adding
temperature- dependent micro-additives or loading the
product,” says Tou Moua, AOC product engineer. “By
replacing manual sampling with on-line measurements,
we were able to decrease cycle time up to 10 percent. We
also improved operator safety and freed up operators’
time to improve on other areas of the plant.”
AOC chose reliable Smart Wireless technology because it required minimal wiring; the wireless transmitters can easily be moved from one location to another;
and it was more cost-effective than wired technology.
Setup and commissioning of the network was quick and
easy, taking only 12 hours, according to Moua.
of several heat exchangers. The self-organizing wireless
mesh network delivers better temperature data for heat
exchanger efficiency calculations, enabling improved
maintenance and efficiency.
EnCana uses steam injection in a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process to recover petroleum from
the McMurray formation oil sands reservoir. The heat
“We were pleased with
the ease of installation
of the Smart Wireless
network, which is operating perfectly.”
–Stephan Meerman, instrument supervisor, EnCana
exchangers are used to recover heat energy from the heavy
oil in order to raise the temperature of the boiler feedwater
used to produce steam for the injection system. Efficient
heat exchanger operation is essential to reduce fuel consumption, enabling the company to conserve energy.
Getting the system running was simple. Emerson’s
Smart Wireless network was installed, commissioned
and operating in just two days. The inlet and outlet temperatures on several heat exchangers are measured with
Rosemount wireless transmitters, providing continuous,
up-to-date information for determining the efficiency of
Efficiency Boosted at EnCana
At EnCana Corp.’s oil sands project at Christina Lake
in northern Alberta, Canada, Emerson Smart Wireless
technology is credited with improving the efficiency
FEBRUARY 2010 ● special advertising supplement
[email protected]:
Gas Producer Improves Profits, Protects Environment
Tecpetrol, a natural gas producer in Argentina,
quickly needed to collect real-time gas flow data
in order to track gas venting, comply with environmental regulations, measure gas sold to third
parties and perform AGA3 calculations needed
for economic balancing of its three facilities.
The company turned to an Emerson Smart
Wireless solution “because it’s a secure, robust,
self-organizing network. It’s reliable and easy to
install, expand and use,” says Odin Fernández,
automation and energy head, Tecpetrol. “The
wireless applications saved us a total of $34,000
in installation costs compared to installing a
wired solution, a 27% savings.”
Ten each of Emerson’s Rosemount wireless pressure, DP and temperature transmitters are installed
in the orifice plates at gas wellheads across three
of the company’s facilities. The devices transmit
data every 15 seconds to Smart Wireless gateways
installed at each facility that forward the data to the
company’s DeltaV digital automation system.
The wireless network monitors the gas balance of the treatment plants, including dew
point, primary separation, compression stages
contracted, consumption and plant venting.
Some of the data points tapped had never
been monitored before. Other points had been
checked manually by staff reading local gauges.
“We needed to closely watch our gas balance
because excessive gas venting can impact our
company’s bottom line through lost product. Our
those units in transferring heat to boiler feedwater. The
information from the wireless devices also gives insight
into tube fouling and damage.
Installation and startup of the wireless network by
plant personnel were fast, enabling improvement of heat
exchanger operation to begin quickly. EnCana avoided
the cost of running cable and wires as far as 200 meters,
saving an estimated $40,000 versus mounting conventional wired instrumentation.
According to Stephan Meerman, an electrical and
instrumentation supervisor at EnCana, “We are now able
to maximize heat exchanger operation and maintain the
tubes more effectively to prevent heat losses and avoid
devastating tube ruptures. We were pleased with the ease
of installation of the Smart Wireless network, which is
operating perfectly.”
Currently using wireless to monitor wellhead conditions, Tecpetrol
plans to expand its use of wireless use to test measurements
taken during well drilling.
gas-venting levels must also comply with environmental regulations,” Fernández says.
“One of the advantages in using this equipment is that our process is very variable and
involves piping modifications, compressor layouts
and primary separation, among other things,”
Fernández says. “We can move the measurement
points when we need to and do not depend on
pipes, cabling, etc.”
Emissions Reduced at Met-Mex Peñoles
At Met-Mex Peñoles in Torreon, Mexico, the largest
non-ferrous metallurgical complex in Latin America,
company management had promised the community
that the plant would reduce sulfur dioxide atmospheric
pollution caused by stack emissions, as well as provide
better quality reporting to the responsible environmental agency.
The company turned to Emerson Process Management, installing Smart Wireless instrumentation on
the 50-meter stack at its lead foundry. Prior to the
installation, the plant estimated the amount of sulfur
emissions coming from the stack based on a number
of sources. Emissions were inferred using an opacity
meter and sulfur dioxide analyzer on the stack, along
with an annual flow measurement taken by a contrac7
special advertising supplement ● FEBRUARY 2010
hazardous-duty chemical pumps, yielding a significant improvement in plant safety, increased operator awareness of the condition of these pumps, and
reduced the potential for plant or environmental
damage due to a fire and/or chemical release. In addition, the company saved $30,000 to $40,000 on
system engineering and installation costs compared
with a wired alternative.
The new WirelessHART network, comprising 20
new Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters
and 20 new Rosemount wireless discrete switches,
plus dual-element temperature sensors and hightemperature switches, extends about 1,500 feet
from end to end. The transmitters are connected by
a self-organizing wireless mesh network to a Smart
Wireless gateway that relays the data to a DeltaV
digital automation system for monitoring, alarming
and trending purposes. The wireless discrete switches
transmit system fault and high-temperature trip
signals from the temperature switches to the DeltaV
console, where operator graphics display temperature
and switch data for each pump along with a wireless
network overview and status screen for operations
and maintenance personnel.
If the discharge temperature of a pump rises beyond
the safe operating setpoint, a high alarm is issued by
the DeltaV system. If the temperature continues to rise,
the DeltaV system issues a high-high temperature alarm
to notify operators that the temperature at that pump
is reaching a dangerous level. If the temperature rises
still further, the local high-temperature switch shuts the
pump off before it reaches the critical temperature at
which the ammonium nitrate could begin to decompose.
Operators are alerted to a safety trip fault by a signal
from the discrete wireless switch.
Emerson’s AMS Suite predictive maintenance software sends predictive diagnostics generated by the smart
field devices to operations and maintenance so a hightemperature alarm condition can be addressed before a
safety trip is required. In addition, the AMS Wireless
SNAP-ON application aided with planning, installation and diagnostics of the wireless network. All of the
devices on this network were powered up and commissioned in just one day in July, 2009.
According to Dyno Nobel plant operations manager,
Sam Correnti, “All the factors of security, reliability, ease
of installation and ease of use were considered in our
selection of this technology and our confidence in the
Having this wireless network in place offers some
unique advantages that the company plans to exploit
in the future, Correnti says. For example, safety shower
flow alarms will soon be added, and planning is underway for additional temperature and pressure monitors in
another area of the plant.
tor who would climb to the top of the stack. This
person was exposed to extreme heat and emissions
during the measurement.
Met-Mex installed a Smart Wireless network
and field instruments including a Rosemount Annubar onto the stack at 25 meters above ground
with a Rosemount wireless DP flow transmitter
to measure stack gas flow, as well as a Rosemount
wireless pressure transmitter and two Rosemount
wireless temperature transmitters. The reliable, selforganizing network sends data every five seconds to a
Emerson’s AMS Suite predictive monitoring software allows users to
easily monitor device and equipment status, as well as overall health
of a plant’s wireless communication networks.
Smart Wireless gateway, which is installed outdoors
approximately 65 meters away.
The gateway is integrated with the plant’s DeltaV
digital automation system, and plant staff use Emerson’s
AMS Suite predictive maintenance software to manage
the new devices, including configuration, diagnostic
checks, and monitoring alarms and alerts.
“The new data allow us to take preventive actions
within our processes to reduce emissions instead of shutting down the plant to avoid fines,” says Juan Manuel
Perez, smelter plant instrumental department chief,
Met-Mex Peñoles. “A plant shutdown can cost up to
$100,000 an hour.”
Met-Mex intends to expand its wireless network
by installing more devices to tap into additional data
from nearby processes, making further operational
improvements, and expects this will bring total installed
cost savings to $40,000 compared to installing wired
Pumps Protected at Dyno Nobel
At Dyno Nobel’s ammonium nitrate production
facility in Louisiana, Mo., wireless now protects 20
FEBRUARY 2010 ● special advertising supplement
Wireless Reshapes Work Processes
Better process control is just the start for wireless.
Benefits are encouraging changes in business practices too.
Among the earliest justifications for in-plant wireless networks was the ability to add incremental process
measurement points that previously had been uneconomical or impractical. More measurements allow
plants to understand and control their processes more
closely, in turn boosting efficiency, throughput and
other quantifiable aspects of process performance.
But as wireless networks have proliferated in the
process environment, users are finding that incremental
gains in process performance are only the beginning.
Just as importantly, wireless is allowing process manufacturers to redesign their work processes and business
practices, even allowing the easier experimentation with
new ways of doing business—at minimum cost and risk.
In This Story
Ways Wireless Users Are
Reinventing Work Processes
1.Testing new measurement and
control strategies
2.Deploying more flexible
process units
3.Providing local and mobile
data access
4.Eliminating manual
5.Responding more quickly
to process upsets
6.Moving to predictive
maintenance strategies
7.Extending instrumentation
verification intervals
8.Reducing operator rounds
9.Streamlining start-up
and commissioning
10.Adding wireless infrastructure
to capital projects
Boosting Worker Productivity
In the arena of personnel productivity, wireless is
streamlining—and in some cases eliminating—formerly routine tasks. And with the increasing prevalence
of mobile access to the plant’s control and information
systems, plant personnel are no longer shackled to their
desks or the control room and can be more productive
wherever they might be physically located.
ABOVE. The typical process plant has hundreds of uninstrumented manual valves, often in remote, hard-to-reach locations. Emerson’s
Fisher 4320 wireless valve position monitor allows operators to remotely verify that valves are in the proper position without entering
hazardous areas or climbing ladders to check the valves’ state or position.
special advertising supplement ● FEBRUARY 2010
[email protected]:
Sun Chemical’s facility in Kankakee, Ill., is among
those companies not only eliminating operator rounds
with wireless, but also improving product quality in the
process. The world’s largest producer of printing inks and
pigments uses Emerson’s Rosemount wireless transmitters to measure differential pressure drop across filter
housings used in ink production. The pressure increases
as the filters become clogged with particles, and alarms
sent to operators signal when filters should be changed.
Periodic staff rounds to check gauges on the filter housings are no longer necessary.
“Now that we can make sure that we don’t over-pressurize the filter housing, we can provide better quality
ink to our customers,” says John Dwyer, Sun Chemical
process engineer. “We have saved thousands of dollars in
eliminating material rejects.”
At a Petrobras gas compression facility in Sao Mateus
in northeastern Brazil, staff no longer make clipboard
rounds to two of the seven compressors on-site to
check local readings and record the data by hand in
spreadsheets—a task once performed every three hours,
24 hours a day. “We now have online access to real-time
data about the compressors’ operation and can review
historical data and trends,” says Gabriel Lopes, Petrobras
Sao Mateus maintenance operator. “Alarms are generated
when problems occur, enabling staff to take fast action in
an abnormal situation.”
At the Chevron Phillips chemical plant in Sweeny,
Texas, Emerson Process Management’s new Smart
Wireless THUM adapter is enabling extra capabilities
for Micro Motion Coriolis flowmeters that are used in
fiscal accounting of product transfer between Chevron Phillips and an adjacent petroleum refinery.
“The required proving for fiscal transfer flowmeters is time consuming and a big expense
for the plant,” says Stephen Fair, instrument
measurement planner at Chevron Phillips. “To
ease this issue, we plan to confirm our ability
Emerson Process Management’s
recently introduced THUM Adapter
(as shown on a Micro Motion Coriolis
meter) is a WirelessHART device that
can be retrofitted on almost any twoor four-wire HART device without
special power requirements to enable
wireless transmission of measurement
and diagnostic information..
to extend the time intervals between
meter provings by trending data from
the Micro Motion meter verification tool
against data from proving reports. Adding to the extended interval savings, use
of the Smart Wireless THUM Adapter on the remote
flowmeters is making it possible for us to launch
meter verification from the plant control room
rather than making trips to the field. The adapters
will also act as repeaters for other devices being
added to the wireless network. ”
The Smart Wireless THUM Adapter extends
predictive intelligence into new areas throughout the
plant, opening the door for a vast range of process
improvements in these key areas:
• G
aining access to advanced diagnostics
• Enabling enhanced valve capabilities
• Remotely managing and monitoring devices
• Making any HART device wireless
• Efficiently gathering data from multivariable
The THUM Adapter can be purchased alone or
as part of the Smart Wireless Field Starter Kit (see
sidebar, p.6, for details) that comes pre-configured
out of the box to immediately form a secure, robust
self-organizing network. The Starter Kit includes a
Smart Wireless Gateway, a 25-tag license for AMS
Device Manager software, 5 to 100 wireless devices
and Emerson-supplied SmartStart installation
FEBRUARY 2010 ● special advertising supplement
“Alarms are generated when
problems occur, enabling
staff to take fast action in an
abnormal situation.”
–Gabriel Lopes, maintenance operator, Petrobras
Lopes continues, “Connecting the existing monitors
on the compressors to the central control system with
cables was not financially feasible because of installation
and maintenance costs. Furthermore, because the installation is in a flood-prone area, a wired installation would
be less reliable and require extra maintenance.”
The installation’s 56 wireless devices include 50 pressure and temperature transmitters as well as six Emerson
CSI wireless vibration transmitters. The system also cost
an estimated $200,000 less than its wired alternative.
At the Novartis biotech production center at
Huningue in northeastern France, a plant-wide wireless network is helping to improve maintenance and
operator efficiency. Emerson’s DeltaV digital automation system with a fully integrated Wi-Fi network
[email protected]:
Keeping Tabs on Manual Valves
and mobile operator stations are providing process
and plant information to operators and maintenance
staff throughout the facility.
Localized control is essential to the efficient management of the process, which is spread over three production levels, as well as being geographically dispersed.
Novartis implemented a distributed architecture, based
on Emerson’s DeltaV system. Therefore, operator stations
At Harcros Chemicals in Kansas City, Kansas, a network of Emerson Process Management wireless position monitors are keeping an eye on valves previously
unconnected to the plant’s control system. Harcros
uses manual valves for sampling, directing, injection
and extraction processes at the chemical production
facility. Many of the valves are in remote, hard-toreach locations too costly to access with wires.
“Monitoring them was a difficult process, requiring operators to enter hazardous areas or climb ladders to check
“Because of the wireless
network we do not need to
systematically invest in new
control stations.”
“Total savings were far beyond the direct
cost savings of a ‘no wires’ installation.”
Harcros Chemicals’ Lloyd Hale on the
company’s use of Fisher wireless valve
position monitors.
–Patrick Boschert, automation expert, Novartis.
the valves’ state or position,”
explains Emerson’s Terry Buzbee,
president of Fisher. “Searching
for an easier, safer way to monitor
valve performance, the managers
at the Harcros site installed the new Fisher 4320 wireless
position monitors.”
“Most process plants have situations similar to Harcros
Chemicals,” Buzbee says. “They might have hundreds or
even thousands of valves that are not connected to the
control system because of high wiring costs. These valves
therefore provide no feedback on their actual positions,
even though incorrectly positioned valves represent a
significant cause of safety-related incidents.”
According to Lloyd Hale, director of manufacturing at
Harcros, the facility has documented numerous benefits
from the wireless instrument applications, and total savings were far beyond the direct cost reductions of a “no
wires” installation. Sample and drain valves, for example,
are opened and purged before and after each batch.
Some product could be released or leaked during this
process, and a new batch begins every eight to 16 hours.
“Adding 22 wireless position monitors to these isolated
valves enabled Harcros personnel to identify inadvertent emissions before they could result in costly fines
or delays,” Hale says. “Downtime, rework, clean-up and
disposal can cost the facility up to $25,000 per incident.
The wireless monitor units helped us avoid three such
incidents, saving at least $75,000, not including fines.”
“Besides applying the Fisher wireless position
monitors to more of our manual valves,” Hale adds,
“we are considering Emerson Smart Wireless technology for tank-level management, rail-car monitoring and
a host of temperature, pressure and flow applications
at our Kansas City site.”
can be located near the main areas of the process such as
the bioreactors and tanks. To further maximize operator
efficiency, Novartis recognized that it needed a control
architecture that enabled operators to be fully mobile.
“In 2000 we introduced wireless technology and
recognized that it was well-suited to our needs. The most
recent developments in Emerson’s DeltaV system have
enabled us to implement a plant-wide wireless solution,”
says Philippe Heitz, head of engineering, Novartis.
The mobile operator stations provide Novartis with
complete flexibility to control its manufacturing processes. To meet the standards required for sterile zones C
& D, the mobile operator stations have a stainless steel
enclosure that houses the central processing unit. The
devices are equipped with a USB connection to the usual
keyboard, monitor and mouse for this type of environment and connect to the network of Wi-Fi access points.
Operators can move from one level to another with
their mobile station and still maintain an overview of the
process. This has not only significantly improved operator efficiency, but it has also made it possible to reduce
the number of workstations required by 50%.
There have also been efficiency improvements in
the area of plant maintenance. For example, by using a
mobile workstation it is now possible for just one person
to calibrate the instruments, when previously it would
have required two. Should any workstation have a fault,
there is no longer a need to shut down a process while
the station is fixed or replaced.
“Because of the wireless network we do not need to
systematically invest in new control stations, even if the
production of new products requires a change to the
plant equipment or layout,” explains Patrick Boschert,
automation expert, Novartis.
11 special advertising supplement ● FEBRUARY 2010
Avoiding Safety Incidents, Downtime
Wireless is helping to improve plant work practices and
reduce undesirable outcomes such as safety incidents and
process downtime. On the safety side, elimination of
routine monitoring tasks has reduced the need for personnel to visit inconvenient and potentially hazardous areas.
Meanwhile, access to equipment status and diagnostic
information is helping manufacturers to avoid accidental
emissions and to redesign their maintenance practices
around predictive rather than reactive strategies.
Samarco, one of the world’s largest exporters of
iron ore pellets, has seen a 12% increase in production
at its Germano Mine in Mariana, Brazil, through the
application of wireless technology to improve plant availability and protect key assets. Wireless flow and pressure
transmitters are used to monitor the seal-water injection
system of a dozen centrifugal pumps that remove reject
material during the iron ore refining process. Fresh water
is constantly injected into the operating pumps to prevent the highly abrasive reject material from coming into
contact with and damaging pump shafts.
Operators now can easily review flow and pressure
“We needed a very flexible network architecture that is easy
to modify, develop and expand.” Chematur Engineering’s John
Selinder is shown with a portion of the company’s new Biostil bioethanol pilot plant, which features the latest automation technology from Emerson, including Wi-Fi, WirelessHART and Foundation
fieldbus communications.
data through Emerson’s AMS Suite predictive maintenance software, looking for trends that indicate problems
and adjusting the process or scheduling preventative maintenance before asset damage or plant stoppages occur.
“We can better protect our pumps from damage
because we’re now able to identify potential faults in the
pump seals,” said Luis Carlos, technician at the mine.
“We avoid reactive maintenance and plant shutdowns.
We’re also able to see how much clean water we’re using
in the process.”
The Flexibility to Experiment
Perhaps the greatest appeal of wireless from a work process perspective lies not in its ability to accommodate
new ways of doing things, but in its inherent flexibility
to accommodate constant experimentation and innovation—again with minimal risk.
At Chematur Engineering’s pilot ethanol processing
plant at Karlskoga, near Stockholm, Sweden, flexibility is
core to the company’s use of Smart Wireless technology in
its “Biostil” demonstration unit. Because the layout and
function of the pilot plant is intended to be modified over
time, as improvements in the Biostil process take place, it
was essential that the network architecture be very flexible.
“We aimed to show that Chematur Engineering is
at the forefront of process plant design by implementing the most advanced process automation technology
available,” explains Johan Selinder, manager, electrical &
control design, Chematur Engineering AB. “At the same
time we needed a very flexible network architecture that
is easy to modify, develop and expand.”
The pilot plant features the very latest automation
technology from Emerson, including its DeltaV digital
automation system, open-standard WirelessHART
products as part of Smart Wireless solutions for field
instrumentation, Smart Wireless solutions for plant-wide
operations based on Wi-Fi networking, and a broad
range of Foundation fieldbus intelligent devices. The
DeltaV system enables the entire plant to be controlled
from a single operator station.
“Hands-on experience helped us get an understanding of where wireless technology can be successfully
applied,” says Selinder. “Currently we see the benefits in
monitoring applications accessing data from remote or
difficult to reach parts of the plant. Installing cabling in
these places can be cost-prohibitive, especially if there are
just one or two instruments to be connected.”
“A plant-wide wireless network offers enormous
benefits by bringing the control room out into the plant,”
adds Selinder. “This kind of power in the hands of operators produces much greater worker efficiency. Of course
you still need a central control room, but for maintenance and especially during commissioning and start-up
phases, it becomes an excellent tool.”
Don’t Build Your
Next Plant Without It
Wireless earns its place as essential capital project infrastructure.
The case for implementing wireless in existing facilities has been well made and has justified thousands of
applications in process plants worldwide over the past
several years. If a few incremental measurement points
are needed, and you can avoid running new conduit
or armored cable to the field; if you can avoid the need
to add new cabinet space; if you can avoid the need to
expand I/O capacity—installed cost per incremental
measurement point can be reduced by an order of magnitude using wireless instrument networks.
But for a significant capital project—a new greenfield unit or a significant brownfield expansion—the
wireless value proposition may not seem as clear cut.
Few would propose to eliminate wires altogether in a
new process plant, so if some number of wires must
still be run, when does it make sense to install a parallel
wireless infrastructure as well?
Increasingly, the answer is “all the time.” And
not primarily because of installed cost savings either.
Rather, it’s the forward-looking flexibility of wireless
that allows the addition of measurement points and
the change and evolution of control strategies and
work practices that has earned wireless a place alongside fieldbus and traditional point-to-point hardwiring
in the preferred mix of process automation network
technologies for capital projects.
Two recently updated cost analyses performed by
Emerson Process Management—one for a greenfield
aromatics plant and the other for a newly constructed
offshore production platform—readily demonstrate why
wireless earns a place in the project engineer’s portfolio.
wireless vs. conventional hardwiring
In the first study, a head-to-head comparison of conventional 4-20mA hardwiring against a mixed of conventional wiring (for control signals) and WirelessHART
(for most monitoring signals) yielded a total installed
instrumentation cost savings of 16%. In total, 44% of
Today’s wireless instrumentation technology
can trim control system installation costs
on a new offshore platform by up to 7%, or
$1.4 million USD. (Photo © StatoilHydro.)
13 special advertising supplement ● FEBRUARY 2010
Emerson Process Management’s DeltaV S-series architecture features
“I/O on Demand,” which offers users the ability to seamlessly mix and
match digitally marshaled conventional (wired HART) I/O, Foundation
fieldbus and WirelessHART networks.
the measurement points for this greenfield aromatics
plant were deemed suitable for wireless, according to
Dan Daugherty, fieldbus and wireless consultant with
Emerson Process Management and study author.
Further analysis showed that if the current state-ofthe-art in wireless multi-point temperature transmitters
(TMUX)—which each can wirelessly communicate up
to four individual temperature measurements—are used
rather than individual temperature transmitters, instrumentation installed cost savings jumped to 36% relative
to conventional hard-wiring.
In a second Emerson study for a manned offshore
platform, a more conservative set of assumptions
resulted in only 17% of measurement signals being
deemed suitable for wireless. Still, this more limited use
of wireless shaved 5 to 7% from installed costs for the
entire platform control system—a total of $1 to $1.4
million USD.
Considering only the measurement points on which
wireless was used, installed savings relative to hardwiring were 40%, says Emerson’s David Newman, global
oil and gas marketing director and study author. Further,
wireless saved up to 129 square meters of platform deck
FEBRUARY 2010 ● special advertising supplement
space that would otherwise be needed for cabling, cable
trays, junction boxes and cabinets, Newman says.
wireless vs. fieldbus
When Foundation fieldbus is added to the communication mix, wireless is no longer necessarily the clear
winner based purely on initial installed costs, with
considerations and assumptions becoming more subtle.
In the aromatics plant study, for example, total
installed cost for a full fieldbus implementation was
calculated to be marginally less expensive (2%) than
with wireless. This result was due to the relatively large
number of temperature measurement points in the
project, combined with the current availability of 8-point
fieldbus TMUX versus only 4-point TMUX available
with wireless. Together, these considerations tip installation economics in the favor of fieldbus.
In the case of the offshore platform analysis, temperature multiplexers were not considered in the design
in order to eliminate the possibility of common-cause
failure of multiple temperature measurement points. As
a result, adding Foundation fieldbus to the mix did not
result in lower installed costs.
Web Seminar Series Explores
Wireless Applications and Latest
I/O Advances
A new series of web seminars developed by
Emerson Process Management shows how digital
technologies--including wireless and electronic
marshalling--can help industrial end users to maximize output and reduce costs.
The series runs March 2010 to May 2010. Each
seminar is in English and is repeated on consecutive days to accommodate multiple locations and
time zones. For more information, follow the link at
The 45-minute web seminars will profile typical applications based on existing installations
to demonstrate how digital technologies such as
wireless can improve plant efficiency, increase
the effectiveness of operations and maintenance staff, and improve awareness of impend-
“The conclusion drawn is that a wireless installation will be lower in cost than fieldbus in every
monitoring area other than multi-point temperature
transmitters,” explains Daugherty. “Ultimately, however, wireless will also have an 8-point TMUX,” he
adds, “and the Foundation fieldbus advantage over
wireless will disappear.”
cost-effective over short distances
And while both studies confirmed the intuitive conclusion that the longer the wires eliminated, the bigger the
wireless savings, they also demonstrated that significant
savings are possible even when distances are short.
“Wireless need not be restricted to scenarios where
it is cost prohibitive or impossible to use wires.”
–Dan Daugherty, wireless and fieldbus consultant,
Emerson Process Management
Because conduit (or cable tray) and the labor to install
it, as well as the wiring terminations between the local
junction box and the device, are the greatest differential
cost contributors, even when average wire length is
extrapolated to zero there is a savings with wireless.
“The studies indicate that wireless technology need
not be restricted to the limited number of scenarios
Web Seminar Series Schedule
March 1 & 2
“Improving Production with
March 15 & 16
“More Reliability and Less
Maintenance with Wireless”
March 29 & 30
“Wireless in Projects: A
faster, cheaper, manageable
April 12 & 13
“Doing More with Less with
ing process incidents and upsets. Tailored to
the needs and interests of plant management
as well as projects, operations, and maintenance personnel across the process industries,
the seminars will be fully interactive, enabling
participants to pose questions directly to the
presenters during the event. Visit EmersonProcess.com/SmartWireless to register.
where it is cost-prohibitive or impossible to deploy wired
technology, nor is it only cost-effective in long-distance
applications,” says Daugherty.
why not wireless?
Both of the analyses cited above are based on the relatively conservative application of wireless instrument
technology, which continues to rapidly evolve in scope
and capabilities.
Indeed, recent innovations such as Emerson Process
Management’s fully redundant wireless infrastructure
components and WirelessHART-capable PID algorithm
continue to expand the scope of “wireless-suitable” measurement points to include critical monitoring and even
closed-loop control applications.
By now it should be clear that converting some
portion of monitoring points over to a wireless infrastructure as part of your next capital project is at worst
a breakeven in terms of installed costs—and at best
represents a significant savings. But with wireless it’s
important to realize that any installation cost savings
are just the tip of the iceberg compared with its inherent
ability to facilitate more flexible manufacturing strategies
that will continue to pay off for years to come.
“Having a wireless infrastructure alongside Foundation fieldbus segments is an advantage for incremental
addition of new monitoring points,” says Daugherty.
“There is no adverse effect to the capital expenses bottom
line, and there is added value in future maintenance and
incremental additions over time.”
So, in the end, why wouldn’t wireless be part of your
next capital project?
15 special advertising supplement ● FEBRUARY 2010
Getting a Vision for Smart Wireless
Applications is Now a Click Away
Take a few minutes to visit Emerson’s new web-based interactive tool
to see how wireless technologies can solve operational challenges
today, from wireless process control and monitoring to personnel
and asset tracking... and everything in between.
Get interactive, go to: www.EmersonSmartWireless.com
The Emerson logo is a trademark and a service mark of Emerson Electric Co. ©2010 Emerson Electric Company
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