'Wireless Now - How Wireless Speeds Innovation at BP' (Issue #2)

'Wireless Now - How Wireless Speeds Innovation at BP' (Issue #2)
co n s i d e r w i re l e s s .co m
M AKI N G THE POS S IBLE R E A L
NOVEMber 2008
co n s i d e r w i re l e s s .co m
MAK I N G T HE POS S IBLE R E A L
How Wireless Speeds
Innovation
at BP
The strategic
role of wireless
in refining
automation
technology
Setting Up Your First
Wireless Network...p5
Go Native for Easiest
Wireless Integration...p9
The Top 10 Ways to Get
Started in Wireless...p12
BP Speeds Innovation
with Wireless
Improvements in equipment monitoring and availability are among the
benefits already realized.
BP and Emerson Process Management continue to
collaborate on the application of wireless technology
to speed use of the innovative technology for business
improvement. BP has expanded its Cherry Point refinery applications, installed Emerson’s Smart Wireless
network throughout its tank farm in its R&D facility
in Naperville, Ill., U.S., and is making installations at
its other refineries around the world.
BP Cherry Point is a 225,000-bpd refinery located
in northwestern Washington state in the U.S., and is
the largest supplier of calcined coke to the aluminum
industry. One out of every six aluminum cans is made
using BP Cherry Point’s calcined coke. Smart Wireless
transmitters on the refinery’s calciner unit monitor bearing and calciner coke temperatures to help
prevent fan and conveyor failure. Fans can cost up to
$100,000 to repair, but more important, can be down
for up to 10 days with associated production losses.
The 15-transmitter wireless installation, done in 2006,
is believed to be the world’s first industrial wireless
mesh network, and continues to run reliably while
eliminating operator rounds in the field.
Cherry Point has expanded wireless use to 35 transmitters, including tank farm and utility applications, and
installation of an Emerson Smart Wireless gateway in the
diesel unit to make it ready for wireless devices.
“The principal advantage we see around wireless is
the ability to accumulate and analyze a much greater
array of data than would otherwise be economically
possible,” says Mike Ingraham, technology manager for
Cherry Point refinery. “Wireless enables us to get more
data, more efficiently, more economically than we ever
have been able to in the past. We really hope our wireless
technology will be a principal tool in maintaining plant
availability while expanding our flexibility to meet fuel
specs and an ever-changing array of feedstock.”
BP’S TANK FARM PROVING GROUND
At BP’s research and development campus near Chicago, a tank farm (pictured above and on cover) provides a venue to try out new
wireless functions as they become available. The real-world environment in a pilot-scale operation provides feedback to Emerson Process
Management, the wireless network provider, and hands-on experience for refinery management.
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Croda, CFE LAPEM Win
Wireless Innovator Awards
A second facility, BP Naperville R&D, is a worldclass technology center that includes a recently modernized tank farm feeding an expanding number of pilot
plants that develop processing technology options for
BP refining worldwide.
“Following the first application of Smart Wireless at
BP’s Cherry Point refinery, which BP saw as a success, the
company installed a 45-transmitter network at the Naperville tank farm. Operational for about one year, this has
provided strong operational experience, and a platform for
At the Emerson Global Users Exchange 2008, an
end-user panel awarded Croda Inc.’s moving railcar
monitoring application as “Most Creative” and
CFE LAPEM’s temporary power unit monitoring
application as having the “Most Significant Business
Impact” in Emerson’s Smart Wireless Innovators
Application Contest.
Designed to recognize creativity and business
value from applications of the company’s Smart
Wireless solutions, entries in this first annual contest
were from production, manufacturing and distribution facilities around the world.
The “innovation” criteria included the extent to
which the use of wireless was novel; the identification
of previously unknown process issues; the degree to
which using wired technology wouldn’t have been possible; and the extent of real operations improvement.
The winning score went to Croda Inc., an international specialty chemical maker, for its monitoring of temperatures in moving railcars at its plant
in Mill Hall Pa., U.S.
The “business results” criteria included demonstrated dollar savings in operations; installation savings compared to a wired approach; time savings for
implementing with wireless; and the extent to which
safety or environmental effects were improved.
Scoring highest was CFE LAPEM, a laboratory analysis group within the Federal Electrical Commission
of Mexico. LAPEM has five analysis teams that set up
temporary measurement facilities at each of 140 power
plants. One team’s easy establishment of a temporary
wireless network in power plants made it possible to
increase its productivity and plant coverage by 10%
and to increase annual service revenue by US$512,000.
“We are excited at the great range of wireless applications across industries and around the world that
we received,” commented Peter Zornio, chief strategic
officer of Emerson Process Management. “The contest
unveiled what is really an amazing display of ease of
use, flexibility, reliability and business value delivery.”
“Wireless is an important
enabler for refinery-of-thefuture technologies....
It’s a very important vehicle
for getting instrumentation
into places where wired
instrumentation would be
too expensive or, frankly,
not very practical.”
— Mark Howard, commercial
technology manager, BP
testing the technology, leading to significant take-up of
wireless at BP refineries throughout the world.
“The wireless devices allow our operators to be more
efficient, collecting data from one central point as opposed
to walking around the tank farm and recording all the
values,” says a BP representative. “The other advantage of
the wireless devices is that they supply data continuously
for recording in our historian, allowing us to see what is
happening in the tank farm at any time of the day.”
The Naperville wireless network uses Rosemount
wireless transmitters to monitor suction and discharge
pressures, levels, flow and temperatures. New wireless
functions are installed as they become available, and
emphasis is on collaboration with Emerson to expand
the capabilities as rapidly as possible to cover refinerywide applications. The real-world environment in a
pilot-scale operation provides feedback to Emerson and
hands-on experience for refinery management. Options
for refinery process optimization and sharing of wireless
automation technology are thereby shared globally by
the Refining Technology team.
“Wireless is an important enabler for refinery-of-thefuture technologies,” comments Mark Howard, commercial technology manager at BP. “It helps us deploy
the sort of instrumentation, sensors and analytical devices that we need for condition monitoring to support
At Croda, wireless temperature transmitters help
boost operator safety and efficiency.
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predictive maintenance, tracking feedstock through the
value chain and a host of other applications. Wireless
is a very important vehicle for getting instrumentation
into places where wired instrumentation would be too
expensive or, frankly, not very practical.”
Howard adds, “Looking ahead, we like the move toward standards such as WirelessHART in the Emerson
technology. We like being able to access new wireless
transmitters as quickly as we can deploy them, and
we’re getting very robust operation. We look forward to
a greater range of instrumentation becoming available.”
“We value highly the collaboration with BP Refining Technology team,” says John Berra, chairman,
Emerson Process Management. “Smart Wireless was
conceived through years of research and development
that led to Emerson’s pioneering introduction to the
market in 2006. Key in this effort was the parallel
pioneering effort by BP in its trial mesh installation of
Smart Wireless at Cherry Point in that same year. Our
combined efforts have, I believe, moved the age of wireless forward at an accelerated pace.”
“We share BP’s important objective of speeding innovation to deliver standard interoperable wireless technology for improved plant reliability, safety and environmental compliance,” concludes Berra.
Wireless Promises Big
CapEx Savings
At last month’s Emerson Global Users Exchange,
John Dolenc (pictured) presented a detailed study
on the potential impact of wireless technology in
the construction of a new capital project, in particular, a hypothetical hydrotreater.
“Wireless communication technology can reduce the total installed cost of monitoring instrumentation,” said Dolenc.
In the case of the hydrotreater, 44% of measurement points were deemed appropriate for wireless,
yielding an overall instrumentation savings of up
to 41% compared
with all analog wiring. Watch for the
detailed results of
Dolenc’s analysis
in the next issue of
WirelessNow, where
the study will be
expanded to include
the role of wireless
on a fieldbus project.
Boise Boosts Safety Response
Until recently and until wireless, Boise’s St. Helen, Ore.,
U.S., paper mill did not have a monitoring network for
its eye-wash and safety-shower stations, relying instead
upon individual radio communications.
“But we have numerous people
at our mill—including drivers who are
unloading chemicals—who don’t have an
avenue to communicate directly with the
operators,” explains Boise’s Jeff Taylor.
“And although we use lots of radios at
the plant, none of the contractors and
only some of the employees have them.”
So to better ensure the overall safety
of both plant personnel and its contractors, the mill explored options to alert
the control room automatically if any of
its eye-wash or safety-shower stations were activated.
That way, operators could quickly dispatch assistance
to the station and investigate for possible injuries.
But at an estimated $40,000, the tab to install
NOVEMBER 2008 ● special advertising supplement
hard-wired monitors on the eight safety stations was
pricey. “We had looked into installing a wired network
monitoring system, but it was cost-prohibitive to do
so,” Taylor says. “But by installing a wireless network
instead, we were able to save about 60% in installation costs.”
Today, when any one of the eye-wash or safetyshower stations at the mill is turned on, Rosemount
wireless discrete transmitters in a self-organizing
Smart Wireless field network immediately communicate with the mill’s operating system, and the alert is
conveyed to the mill control room.
The switches and Smart Wireless Gateway were
easy to install and commission. Some of the switches
are as far as 200 feet from the gateway. The gateway
interfaces with an OPC server, which delivers reliable
data to the mill’s operating system. The robust wireless network monitors the switches every 15 seconds.
“Because we have established this wireless network infrastructure,” Taylor adds, “we anticipate that
for low cost we can easily add additional transmitters
at our mill for use with other applications.”
4
Your First Wireless Network
A new generation of engineering tools are making it easier than
ever to get up and running with wireless.
Cost savings are an oft-cited advantage to
using wireless networks in industrial environments. Eliminate the wire and conduit or armored
cable—together with the I/O and engineering costs
associated with them—and, presto! Costs for an
incremental process measurement plummet by as
much as a factor of 10.
But for a growing roll call of leading process
manufacturers, it’s not the cost-saving aspects of
wireless networks that are the primary driver for
adoption. Rather, it’s the easy part.
Indeed, all wireless field networks are easier and
less costly to install than traditional wired systems,
simply because they’re wireless.
Rules of Thumb for Manual Network DESIGN
Although a new breed of automated
tools are available to streamline wireless
network design (see sidebar, p7) manual
rules of thumb can also be used.
Starting with a scale layout of the
process unit or area, draw connecting
lines between each planned wireless
device and neighboring wireless devices
that meet any of the following criteria:
• The distance between wireless devices with no obstructions is less than
750 ft (230 m).
• The distance between wireless devices
with moderate infrastructure is less
than 250 ft (75 m). Moderate infrastructures typically are able to support
vehicular traffic.
• The distance between wireless devices with heavy infrastructure is less
than 100 ft (30 m). Heavy infrastructures typically are unable to support
vehicular traffic.
As a best practice during the
design phase, each wireless device
should be connected to three other
wireless devices, even though the
wireless connection distances may vary
by direction. Having three connections
during the design phase ensures each
device has two alternate connections
after installation.
If a wireless device does not have
three connections during the design
phase, then add additional measure-
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ment points or use a range extender to
fortify connectivity.
There should not be any connectivity lines between wireless devices in
the following situations:
• The path between wireless devices
crosses a large obstruction, such as a
large building or an entire process unit.
(In these circumstances, it is probably
best to add another gateway.)
• A device is in an enclosed area, such
as an equipment room, that isolates
the device from the other wireless
devices. (Use remote electronics to
move the antenna outside the enclosure or add a repeater device just
outside the enclosure.)
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But unlike line-of-sight or point-to-point wireless
approaches, self-organizing mesh networks, such as those
based on the WirelessHART standard, don’t require detailed site surveys or specialized equipment to implement.
With a brand new generation of planning and management tools, it’s easier than ever to ensure that your first
wireless effort performs optimally from the start.
Australian Terminal Keeps
Bitumen Flowing
At Terminals Pty.’s facility in Geelong, Victoria, Australia,
bitumen is unloaded from ships through a pipeline 3,000
ft (900 m) long and 8 in. (200 mm) in diameter. Because
bitumen solidifies at ambient temperature, electric heaters operate all along the pipeline to keep the bitumen
hot (160 ºC) and fluid. If a heater fails, a cold spot could
form, causing the bitumen to solidify and plug the line,
an expensive problem.
“We needed to monitor the bitumen line,” according to Bitumen Terminal project manager Joe Siklic, “to
make the operators aware of cooling anywhere in the
line from the ship to the storage facility, which could result in an emergency shutdown. Any delay in unloading
could keep a ship at the pier longer than planned with
demurrage costing up to $30,000 per day.”
The terminal chose wireless technology, Siklic says,
for its lower initial
cost and minimal
maintenance as
compared with hard
wiring. Eight Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters
are evenly spaced
along the pipeline, sending temperature readings on
one-minute intervals to a Smart Wireless Gateway on
shore that channels data to the AMS Suite predictive
maintenance software used for instrument configuration
and performance monitoring. The collected data also
are forwarded to a SCADA system in the terminal control
center via fiber-optic cable.
Due to the self-organizing nature of this technology,
each wireless device acts as a router for other nearby
devices, passing the signals along until they reach their
destination. If there is an obstruction, transmissions
simply are rerouted along the mesh network until a clear
path to the Smart Wireless Gateway is found. All of this
happens automatically, without any involvement by the
user, providing redundant communication paths and
better reliability than direct, line-of-sight communications between individual devices and their gateways.
“This is an ideal application for wireless,” Siklic
said. ”Since numerous paths exist to carry the transmissions, the network would easily compensate for
a transmitter failure, and the operators would be
warned. This wireless network has proved to be reliable, compatible with existing control equipment and
cost-effective.”
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“This wireless network has
proved to be reliable,
compatible and cost-effective.”
— Joe Siklic, project manager,
Bitumen Terminal, Terminals Pty.
ESTABLISH PROJECT SCOPE
For your first WirelessHART self-organizing wireless
network, it’s best to focus on a logical plant area or
single processing unit, such as a tank farm or distillation unit. Doing so has three primary benefits:
• It helps ensure that all the wireless devices will be
within a reasonable signal range of each other, since
they’ll be placed in a relatively limited area.
• With several devices in the same area, there are more
available communication paths for routing messages
around obstructions or other interference.
• It’s easier to integrate the data into information
systems if all data sources follow the same organizational structure—which in most plants is based on
process units.
If a process unit is of complex design, for example,
an enclosed multiple-floor manufacturing facility, then it
may be optimal to scope a wireless network to each floor.
For process facilities that are extremely compartmentalized by steel and concrete, you may want to treat each
large enclosure as a process unit.
PLAN LOCATIONS, VALIDATE DESIGN
The wireless devices’ role as routers in a self-organizing
network requires enough devices in proximity to each
other to support reliable communication paths.
The first step in planning your first wireless network
is to obtain or create a scaled drawing of the process
unit or area where the network will be installed. (For
an outdoor facility, the images available on Google
Earth—http://earth.google.com—can be used to create
one.) Within the scoped area, identify the measurement
points that satisfy current and future application needs.
With the scaled drawing completed, you have two
choices going forward. Wireless device locations can
be plotted by hand, and the anticipated reliability of
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network communication gauged by
the guidelines listed in the sidebar
on p5, “Rules of Thumb for Manual
Network Design.”
Another option is to use Emerson Process Management’s new
AMS Wireless SNAP-ON tool to
validate a planned network’s design easily and automatically (see
adjacent sidebar, “New Tool Eases
Wireless Network Design”), and
to optimize the network’s ongoing
operation.
Once the device locations are
plotted and validated, choose a
location for the wireless gateway
that provides power, is convenient for the physical (or possibly
wireless) connection to the host
control or information system
and, ideally, provides a direct
wireless connection (without a
“hop”) to 25% of the wireless devices in the network.
For even the smallest
networks, have at least
two devices that communicate directly with
the gateway. For larger
networks, a useful rule of
thumb is one additional
directly connected device
for every eight devices in
the network.
GATEWAY FIRST,
THEN ADD DEVICES
You must follow two essential rules when when
you install your first self-organizing network: Install and power up
the gateway first; then the wireless
devices nearest the gateway.
For the highest signal quality, install the gateway outdoors
(minimum rating of Class I Div II
or Zone 2) at least 3 ft (1 m) above
other canopy structures, such as
above the roof of a control room. If
outdoor mounting is not an option,
connect the gateway to a remote
omni-directional antenna using a
cable no longer than 20 ft (6 m).
Once the gateway is up, start
with the field devices that are clos-
New Tool Eases Wireless Network Design
While there are well-developed rules of thumb for manually validating that
a WirelessHART network configuration will provide adequate connectivity
(see sidebar, p5), a new engineering tool from Emerson Process Management now makes the job even easier.
Called the AMS
Wireless SNAP-ON,
the tool allows users to
drag and drop devices
and gateways onto a
plant layout, then easily
validate and optimize
the network design
against known best
practices. Further, once the
network is up and running,
the tool allows the user to
maintain the network easily
by graphically displaying
network traffic and diagnostic data.
To design a wireless network
This view is useful for detecting
any potential weak points in the
using the AMS Wireless SNAP-ON,
self-organizing network.
the user first imports an image of
the process area where the network will operate (top image).
Then he or she sets the image’s scale by drawing a line across any two
points and typing in the distance. The user then designates whether the
process area represents an environment of high, medium or low density of
process equipment.
The user then drags and drops desired WirelessHART devices and
gateway(s) onto the plant layout. Then the user automatically validates the
design against best practices planning parameters (middle image).
In this image, the red circle indicates a violation of best practices that
might be addressed by adding another measurement point or wireless
repeater to complement current communication paths.
For wireless networks already in operation, the user is able to see the
device icons from the HART Device Descriptor (DD) and the self-organizing
network communication pathways (bottom image).
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est to the gateway. Most WirelessHART devices, including Emerson Process Management’s Smart Wireless
instruments, have process connections and mounting
engineered to the same practices and systems that govern wired instrumentation today, with the exception of
the loop wiring.
lapem streamlines efficiency testing
On behalf of Mexico’s Federal Electrical Commission
(CFE), wireless technology is helping to streamline the
measurement of thermal efficiencies at power generating units throughout the country.
LAPEM, the Testing Laboratory of Equipment and
Materials, has five analysis teams that set up temporary
measurement facilities at each of 140 power plants, but
wanted to increase the frequency at which each plant
was tested. In contrast to traditional wired measurements, one team’s easy establishment of a temporary
wireless network made it possible to increase its
productivity and plant coverage by 10 percent. This led
to an annual revenue increase of US$512,000 for the
unit. It has also improved the revenue of the Federal
Electrical Commission by pushing higher output for
each plant while
reducing costs.
The ease of use
and the reliable
performance of
Emerson’s Smart
Wireless system resulted in a decision
by the Laboratory
Analysis group to
equip all five of its analytical teams with wireless instrumentation. Their productivity is expected to increase by
another 40 percent with faster turnaround time between
services. As a result, all five teams should perform 25
more assessment services per year, producing an extra
US$1,375,000 annually without adding personnel. Each
of the 140 power units can now be visited and analyzed
every other year.
“In the past, we could only cover about 50 plants per
year,” said Oscar Martinez Mejia of LAPEM. “We needed
to reduce turnaround time at each plant in order to
reach every plant on a two-year cycle. Emerson’s Smart
Wireless made it possible for the team equipped with
wireless devices to cut their on-site time by one-third,
enabling them to complete more services in a year’s
time and proving the value of wireless.”
“It takes 15 days to install and commission wired instruments, take the readings, and tear down the setup,”
Martinez Mejia said. “Then, another week is needed for
reporting and other activities before a team can move
on to the next plant. In the future, they will be able to
cover 75 plants per year, because the on-site work can
be done in just 10 days using wireless devices.”
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“Wireless made it possible
for the team to cut their
on-site time by one-third.”
— Oscar Martinez Mejia,
CFE LAPEM
Once the first devices are working, you can be confident of a reliable communication path for the others and
a solid foundation for expanding the network. You can
use repeaters to temporarily strengthen the network until
all the devices are installed or until the network surrounds an entire process unit completely.
FORTIFY AND EXPAND
Once you’ve verified that each device has joined the
network and is communicating properly, identify any
“pinch points,” where messages from several wireless
devices must all pass through a single device or repeater
at any point on their way to the gateway.
Use additional repeaters or measurement devices
to eliminate this vulnerability. Emerson’s new AMS
Wireless SNAP-ON tool (see sidebar, p7) makes this
task especially easy by graphically displaying network
traffic patterns. Further, once the network is up and
running, the tool allows the user to maintain the network easily by graphically displaying network traffice
and diagnostic data.
Overall, the wireless devices in your self-organizing
network will have good connections if it meets the following criteria:
•A
t least 99% of messages sent by each device reach
the assigned gateway.
• At least 70% of transmissions between two nodes (one
“hop”) are successful.
• Device batteries last as long as expected.
• Radio signal strength in the gateway diagnostics is
good. This check can be misleading on its own (weak
signals can still get through if the path is stable), but it
can help identify a problem when it arises.
When it comes to adding devices to your first WirelessHART self-organizing wireless network, remember
that, in general, bigger really is better. In fact, the more
wireless nodes in the network, the easier it is to expand. It
really is that easy.
8
From Wireless to Seamless
Transparent integration enables the transformative potential of wireless.
To sustain business performance in today’s
complex and competitive environment, continuous
innovation is critical. And within the global process
industries, this innovation increasingly relies on collaborative decision-making based on the very latest
information—available at all levels of the enterprise,
within and across organizational boundaries. In fact,
companies will rely on better information integration to provide a critical productivity boost in view of
today’s shortage of skilled workers.
Fortunately, the advent of wireless technology
and standards for in-plant use has coincided with the
development of complementary tools to ease integration tasks. Indeed, the seamless integration of wireless
into current plant architectures holds the potential to
improve productivity dramatically by providing ready
access to better information.
Meanwhile, the integration of wireless networks
into your current plant automation hierarchy may be
simple—but in most cases it’s not yet entirely automatic.
So then, a brief review of the current options for making
your wired and wireless worlds work well together.
THROUGH THE GATEWAY
As with the transition between any two disparate networks, the integration of wireless into a host control
or information system relies on a gateway to translate,
for example, WirelessHART into Ethernet.
When adding a wireless network to an existing
process unit, it’s typically the interface requirements
of the host system that will dictate what type of
gateway interface will be needed. With the connectivity options listed below, the gateway can be integrated
with a wide range of host systems, including Emerson’s DeltaV and Ovation control systems, Emerson’s
AMS Suite asset management application, as well as a
wide range of programmable logic controllers, process
historians and other legacy control systems.
Primary Wireless Integration Protocols
Protocol
Typical Host
Modbus/RTU
Distributed control systems (DCSs) and programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
Modbus/TCP
DCSs, PLCs and human-machine interfaces (HMIs)
OPC
Data historians and HMIs
Ethernet
Asset management systems and other applications on the plant LAN
HTTP
Web interfaces used for configuration and simple monitoring
XML and CSV
(comma-separated values)
Bulk data transfer
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GO NATIVE
The best-case scenario for wireless
integration is a host system such
as Emerson’s DeltaV, Ovation or
AMS Suite, the latest generations
of which now include native support for wireless devices. Indeed,
for users of these systems no
integration per se is required—
wired and wireless field devices
appear transparently on the system
without requiring special wireless
or communication know-how.
In the latest iterations of
DeltaV and Ovation, the Smart
Wireless Gateway can even be
“auto-sensed” and “autoconfigured” for quick and easy
start-up and commissioning. Essentially, the gateway becomes just
another control network node.
In addition, HART alerts from
WirelessHART devices pass directly
through to the AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager, eliminating
the need for an additional network.
Nu-West Industries’ phosphatebased fertilizer plant in Soda
Springs, Idaho, U.S., is among
those process manufacturers
leveraging this native capability.
Remote tank level measurements
feed wirelessly through a Smart
Wireless Gateway into the plant’s
DeltaV automation system where
Emerson’s AMS Suite: Intelligent
Device Manager application recognizes readings that are out of norm,
enabling operations to take action
to control reactions in the tank.
SERIAL LIMITATIONS
If your application uses a serial
Modbus communication link, first
verify that the host system has
available connection capacity. A
good estimate for the number of
Modbus registers required is three
times the number of data points to
Emerson Process Management’s Smart Wireless architecture relies on industry-standard WirelessHART and
WiFi networks to communicate seamlessly with wireless
devices. To operators and maintenance personnel, wireless devices appear just like wired ones.
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enable remote monitoring of the
process variable and device status
indicators. It’s also important
to note that with serial systems,
security measures are limited to
physical isolation of the components; data cannot be encrypted
and access cannot be managed due
to protocol limitations.
Hunt Refining in Tuscaloosa,
Ala., U.S., uses a Smart Wireless
Gateway to gather wireless temperature measurements from several hot
asphalt tanks 400 ft (130 m) away
from the control room. In this case,
two-wire Modbus connects the
gateway to the plant’s DeltaV control
system and AMS Suite application.
“The installation was simple,
and the transmitters came up and
talked with the gateway as soon as
power was applied,” says Dennis Stone, Hunt Refining process
control engineer. “The gateway was
easily connected to the distributed
control system via a two-wire
Modbus communication.”
ETHERNET OPTIONS
Finally, if the host application
requires integration via Modbus
TCP/IP, OPC or HTML, then
either a wireless or wired Ethernet
connection is the way to go. Ethernet communications will have
fewer restrictions than serial systems, but may require the involvement of your IT department. The
IT department can identify the
connection point and integrate
the gateway through Ethernet
firewalls and provide remote access to the gateway. Ethernet also
allows the gateway to be managed
securely like any other device in a
IT network.
Wireless Ethernet provides high
bandwidth to handle both diagnostic and measurement data. In fact,
with power as the only requirement,
you can place the gateway almost
anywhere that’s in range of the
devices as well as the host connection. For the same reason, it’s easy to
move the gateway if needed.
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A Great Place to Start
A survey of the process industry’s favorite first applications
for wireless field networks.
As collective interest in wireless gathers momentum, a growing number of process manufacturers
are seeking that first, relatively low-risk application that
will allow them to validate the technology within their
own cultures and operating environments.
And while the reasoning and justification varies
widely, many process manufacturers continue to choose
a field-level network of measurement devices as their first
foray into the wireless world, according to Emerson Process
Management, which today has several years and hundreds
of wireless implementations under its corporate belt.
Indeed, while most current application requests are
for field-network applications, says Jane Lansing, vice
president of marketing for Emerson Process Management, “we’re increasingly working with customers on
plant-level applications, such as for mobile workers and
the location of assets and people.”
And while none of the applications surveyed in this
article may apply directly to your plant’s situation, it’s
likely there’s one that has much in common with them.
(See figure below for application categories.)
Heat Exchanger and Filter Monitoring
Heat exchangers, which often are run until fouling adversely affects unit performance, represent an excellent
application for wireless. They rarely are instrumented,
Wireless Deployment is Driven by Customer Business Need
Wireless Field Networks
Application Categories
Wireless Plant Networks
Application Categories
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even in newer plants, but wireless monitors enable personnel to determine when maintenance is needed.
For example, a major refiner in Europe developed an
equipment health system for keeping an eye on its heat
exchangers. One of the company’s engineers explains,
“Monitoring heat exchangers for fouling allowed us to
establish which heat exchanger was the most fouled. This
knowledge gives us the opportunity to compare increases
in the throughput with cleaning cost and to make better
economic decisions.”
Filters present another application opportunity. Many
filters are run until they clog, but users can improve their
performance significantly and save energy by using wireless monitors. One major refinery uses wireless to detect
plugged filters on coker unit pumps, which is critical to
prevent damage to the pump on loss of suction.
Consider a Wireless Field Network
When Your Application Has…
• Manually collected data: Wireless can eliminate the
need to send technicians into the field to read gauges
• “Must have” measurements: Environmental or safety
regulations may require additional measurements. Wireless allows the easy placement of instruments where
needed.
• Need for diagnostics: Many plants have hundreds of
HART-based instruments. Wireless allows access to
diagnostic information in HART devices.
• Electrical classification problems: Wireless instruments
can be installed in hazardous environments more easily
than wired instruments.
• “Want to have” measurements: Wireless permits adding instruments in locations that could not previously be
justified.
• Long distances involved: Wireless can eliminate the
need for long cable runs and trenching to connect tank
farms and similar assets spread over a wide area.
• Many pumps and motors: Plants often have hundreds
of pumps and motors. And while continuous condition
monitoring is noble in concept, wiring vibration sensors
to all of them would be prohibitive. Wireless allows an
easy connection.
• Extreme environments: Hot, dangerous and/or hazardous environments make it difficult to install instruments
and run wire. Wireless minimizes the problem.
• Crowded environments: Wireless eliminates the need
to snake new wires through crowded enclosures and
conduit.
• New wiring is too expensive: Installed costs of $50 to
$100 per foot can make adding new wired measurement
points cost-prohibitive.
• Need for feedback: Manual valves that have no position
feedback can cause safety problems. Wirelessly monitoring can cost as little as 10% of a wired solution.
• No other way: Wireless works for mobile assets, remote
sites and rotating equipment where using wired instruments is impossible or impractical.
Tank Monitoring
Tank farms pose a unique instrumentation problem: Each
of dozens of storage tanks may have to be monitored for
level, temperature, pressure and so on. Because of the cost
of running wiring underground over the vast distances
involved, tank farms often are not instrumented.
Hunt Refining Company in Tuscaloosa, Ala., U.S.,
uses wireless temperature transmitters to monitor hot asphalt tanks. When very hot asphalt is added to a tank, the
hot fluid can “melt through” the stored asphalt and reach
cold pockets, where any moisture present can flash off
violently. This can cause a tank roof failure, which costs
$200,000 to repair. Wireless temperature transmitters are
spaced around each tank to monitor for cold pockets.
Checking Pump and Motor Health
When a vital pump or motor fails, it can cause a very
expensive process shutdown, a leak or other problems.
Installing wireless vibration monitors on key
pumps and motors is proving a wise investment for
process plants. Vibration data is transmitted wirelessly to a control system that detects and diagnoses
problems long before the pump or motor fails, allowing the plant to schedule maintenance or replacement at its convenience.
Monitoring Mobile Assets
Some process units, such as skids, pumps, compressors, portable laboratories and test equipment, are mobile. A major life-sciences company
installed wireless on its moving skid platforms,
While many users choose a wireless instrument network
as their first wireless project because of the high ROI,
recent advances such as this new Panasonic U1 mobile
operator station for Emerson’s DeltaV system, will accelerate the adoption of worker mobility applications. This
ultra-lightweight, ruggedized PC is Class 1, Div 2, and
includes both WiFi and cellular network connections.
13 special advertising supplement ● NOVEMBER 2008
which included pumps, filtration and milling equipment. The skids can be moved anywhere in the fivestory building, and successfully communicate through
12-in. reinforced concrete floors.
INEOS Köln Prevents
Unscheduled Downtime
Extreme Environments
Installing instrumentation in extreme environments
causes problems for both the instrumentation and
personnel. Extreme environments can mean temperature extremes, wet or dusty conditions or hazardous,
explosive conditions.
At Usiminas (Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais
S.A.), one of the world’s top steel producers, wireless
temperature transmitters are being used to monitor roll
bearing oil temperature at the company’s heavy plate steel
mill in Ipatinga, Brazil.
“This more accurate and redundant data allows us to
better maintain the roll bearings and to avoid unscheduled shut downs,” says Carlos Augusto Souza de Oliveira,
Usiminas instrumentation supervisor.
Emerson Smart Wireless technology is enabling polyethylene maker INEOS to detect blocked filters within
polyethylene pellet transportation tubes that can lead to
production downtime at its plant in Cologne, Germany.
INEOS produces polyethylene, which is used for a
very broad range of products including pipes, packages,
films and coating. Polyethylene pellets ready for customer use are transferred to the plants’ silo store through
pneumatic conveying systems. Pellets are entrained in
streams of air and effectively “blown” from one location
to another. The in-coming air is filtered to prevent any
pollution of final product.
The filters become blocked over time and lose their
efficiency, which in turn affects the quality of the end
product. INEOS could have established a preventive maintenance routine and cleaned the
filters on a time based schedule.
However, this could mean that
filters are cleaned when they
don’t need it, or that filters could
block between cleanings.
Cleaning and unblocking the
filters requires INEOS to stop the blowing and that is not
good for the process. Should a blockage take place on a
weekend, the maintenance costs are higher.
INEOS chose to clean the filters on a predictive basis,
before they become blocked and lose too much efficiency.
By closely monitoring the filter condition the maintenance
team can schedule the cleaning work at a time that will
minimize the cost and disruption caused.
INEOS explored the possibility of installing an online
system that would closely monitor the condition of the filter
and ensure availability. Using differential pressure meters
it is possible to monitor the condition of the filters online.
However, because of the location of these filters, connecting the required measurement points back to the control
system using a wired solution was not feasible.
“The filters are very hard to reach and the high cost
of installing cabling to connect the devices prevented us
from installing the online condition monitoring points we
wanted.” explained Frank Mehlkopf, maintenance engineer, INEOS Köln GmbH.
Instead, they turned to wireless. “We found Smart
Wireless so easy to use and we are currently testing it at
eight filters in our logistic area,” said Mehlkopf. “These
transmitters don’t even need to have line of sight to the
gateway....We fully intend to take advantage of this.”
NOVEMBER 2008 ● special advertising supplement
Rotating Equipment and Turbomachinery
Wireless analyzers increasingly are used to monitor
rotating equipment, such as turbines, generator sets,
reciprocating engines, compressors and other motordriven systems. Since such machines are often very large
and expensive, diagnostic equipment that can predict
pending problems allows users to fix small problems
before they become very large problems.
Rotating process equipment is also difficult to monitor with wired instruments. At Coogee Chemicals in
Australia, wired instruments failed frequently on a rotating
reactor, so Coogee installed wireless pressure and temperature transmitters.
Energy Usage Monitoring
Monitoring energy usage is vital, but often difficult to do
with wired instruments. When a plant is first built, many
measurement points are considered, but not installed
because of time or cost. Now, when the measurements
are needed, the cost of wiring new sensors is prohibitive.
Wireless lets users go into an existing plant and install
the appropriate monitors. For example, at BP Bitumen
near Brisbane, Australia, two wireless transmitters were
deployed quickly to manage fuel delivery from temporary
propane tanks that were rushed into service during a shutdown of the regular fuel system. The wireless transmitters
allowed BP Bitumen to monitor the temporary propane
system until the main fuel system came back on line.
Temporary Measurements
Wireless allows systems integrators and end users to install
temporary instrumentation and monitors in various parts
of the process to check on developments during process
start-ups or turnarounds, and for troubleshooting.
14
Technochem Troubleshoots with
Mobile Measurements
“If I see a problem in some part of our process, it is fairly
simple for me to take a pressure transmitter and move
it elsewhere,” says Jan Huijben, incineration manager at
Technochem Environmental Complex (TEC) Pty, Ltd., a
provider of waste treatment, incineration and distillation
services for pharmaceutical and petrochemical companies in Singapore. “I can often determine what’s going
on in just five minutes, address the issue and quickly
return the transmitter to its original application.”
Imagine pulling off this nifty troubleshooting trick
using the wired tank farm instrumentation the company initially considered when Huijben arrived last year.
Then, an accurate tank level measurement system was needed, along with
an automated method of moving
that data into a computer database.
In addition to using the data for
tracking and managing inventories,
it was needed to schedule incoming
customer delivery and provide customers with order status, including
assurance that their chemical wastes
had been treated and destroyed.
Today, Emerson Process Management’s Smart Wireless field network
is automating inventory management and monitoring
levels in fourteen tanks at TEC. Among the benefits
apparent since April 2008 are the elimination of
“clipboard rounds,” more accurate real-time data
for process efficiency, documentation to verify that
specific chemical wastes have been destroyed, and
access to the data via the company network. When
management personnel are at another site, they can
view the process data and order changes if necessary.
Electronic connection of select data for customers is
being developed.
In an unanticipated bonus, some of the fourteen
Rosemount wireless pressure transmitters are moved
from place to place to aid in troubleshooting and new
process development in TEC’s continuous improvement
culture. “The flexibility of Emerson’s self-organizing
wireless technology makes it much easier to troubleshoot problems as well as evaluate new applications,”
says Huijben. Indeed, TEC is planning further use of
Smart Wireless. “At first, we thought this technology
was too expensive for us,” Huijben adds, “but we now
believe we are saving money with it.”
At Usiminas’ flat plate steel
mill in Ipatinga, Brazil, wireless
temperature transmitters
are helping to prevent roller
bearing failures that entail
thousands of dollars in repairs
and a minimum of 600 metric
tons lost production.
Heat Tracing
Heat tracing is used in the hydrocarbon industry to
keep materials in pipelines and processes at the correct
temperature. Wireless makes it possible to monitor heattracing temperatures quite easily.
Wellhead Monitoring
Oil and natural gas wellheads typically are located in
remote areas, where wiring and trenching are not practical because of long distances. Wellheads often operate
unmanned, are rarely visited by maintenance personnel
and are potentially hazardous. Wireless makes it possible to monitor these sites.
“If I see a problem in our
process, it’s fairly simple
for me to move a pressure
transmitter elsewhere.”
–Jan Huijben, incineration manager,
Technochem Environmental
One example is the more than 600 wireless Emerson devices currently on their way to the Morichal
District oil fields of Venezuela. PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, will use the devices to
monitor more than 180 wells, delivering pressure and
temperature data.
“We need more reliable and accurate measurements for better wellhead control in order to increase
production and meet our commitment to the government,” comments Euclides Rojas, automation and
IT manager at Morichal. “Our long-term goal is to
modernize more than 500 wells. Emerson’s wireless
communications technology has proven itself in our
rigorous field trials and is the cost-effective solution
we’ve been seeking for this purpose.”
15 special advertising supplement ● NOVEMBER 2008
TIRE
WIRELESS
WORKFORCE.
Smart Wireless is how fewer people do more.
Emerson Smart Wireless breaks down the physical, technical and economic barriers between you and the
information you need. Smart Wireless frees you from the clipboard routine, giving you direct access to the
asset-health information you’d normally have to go out and gather. What’s more, with ruggedized portable
PCs, Smart Wireless lets you instantly tap into control and asset-management systems wherever you are in the
plant — and respond on the spot. Plus, Smart Wireless enables a dynamic VoIP environment for immediate
telephony across the plant. Emerson Smart Wireless — it frees you to get the job done, wherever you may be.
Discover your plant’s limitless potential
at EmersonSmartWireless.com
The Emerson logo is a trademark and a service mark of Emerson Electric Co. © 2008 Emerson Electric Co.
HART® is a registered trademark of the HART Communication Foundation
00802-0100-2148
NOVEMBER
2008 ● special advertising supplement
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