Emerson Process Management extended the predictive intelligence capabilities of PlantWeb digital architecture with the release of its Smart Wireless THUM Adapter at the 2009 Emerson Global Users Exchange this week in Orlando, Fla. The THUM Adapter can be installed on existing HART field instruments to free up diagnostics and process information that previously had been inaccessible in wired legacy system installations.
"The THUM device now enables all HART devices to be wireless," said Terry Buzbee, president of Emerson's valve division. "Three or four years ago, our customers did not talk to us about wireless. We've done our hard work where installations are now in place, and we are now very aggressively setting goals."
Most HART instruments have rich diagnostics and process data, and yet this valuable information goes unused because older legacy systems are not equipped to receive HART communications. While it is often too expensive and complicated to access this data through traditional wired means, upgrading devices with the THUM Adapter is a way to unlock the valuable diagnostic and process information.
"The Smart Wireless THUM Adapter is a tremendous innovation," said Buzbee. "With all the HART devices in the field, this adapter now makes the devices wireless-capable. It allows access to advanced instrument diagnostics and remote management of devices and monitoring of device health. This can give an economical opportunity to efficiently gather data from multivariable devices. It also means people don't have to be sent into the field."
THUM Adapter is a WirelessHART device that can be retrofit on almost any two- or four-wire HART device without special power requirements to enable wireless transmission of measurement and diagnostic information. Devices with the THUM Adapter operate as components of Emerson's Smart Wireless self-organizing field networks, delivering field intelligence to enable improvements in quality, safety, availability, operations and maintenance costs.
The Smart Wireless THUM Adapter extends predictive intelligence to new areas throughout the plant, opening the door for a vast range of process improvements in these key areas:
- Gaining access to advanced diagnostics: THUM Adapter allows access to advanced diagnostics through AMS Suite to tap into the power of in-situ meter verification for magnetic flowmeters and Coriolis meters, enabling significant operational improvements.
- Enabling enhanced valve capabilities: Industry experts estimate that 75% of control valves are unnecessarily removed from service for maintenance. The Smart Wireless THUM Adapter with AMS Valve Link software can enable Fisher Field digital valve controllers with added capabilities, including in-service valve testing, alert monitoring and valve-position trending.
- Remotely managing devices and monitoring health: THUM Adapter with AMS Suite allows customers to troubleshoot HART devices from their desks so they can optimize maintenance schedules, minimize downtime and reduce the time spent in hazardous areas. Online access to device diagnostics allows users to monitor devices continually and to know immediately if there is a problem before it causes a major upset.
- Making any HART device wireless: The high cost of loop wiring due to remote locations or physical obstructions often prohibits the installation of devices for new measurement points. With THUM Adapter, users can transform any HART instrument into a wireless device to enable expanded visibility in applications such as tank gauging, radar level, ultrasonic level, flow, valves, liquid and gas analyticals and pressure and temperature measurement.
- Gathering data from multivariable devices: Multivariable devices contain a wealth of information, but accessing all that information with legacy host systems can be difficult. THUM Adapter wirelessly transmits all device variables through any host system with a Smart Wireless Gateway, providing users with valuable information about their assets.
At the Chevron Phillips chemical plant in Sweeny, Texas, the 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," said Stephen Fair, instrument measurement planner at Chevron Phillips. "To ease this issue, we plan to confirm our ability 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."