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 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 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.”