London--Invensys Process Systems (IPS) today announced that it has been selected by The Arkema Group, a multi-national chemical manufacturer, to provide a wireless hand-held solution for hazardous industrial areas. IPS services and technology will enable Arkema's field operations teams to keep in touch with process alarms and plant conditions, resulting in enhanced plant safety, better utilization of manpower and increased productivity.
The IPS-developed wireless solution is designed to allow operators to keep in touch with process alarms and conditions while conducting their shift operations duties, work that previously could have been compromised due to labor constraints. Based on a PlantPulse study of the site conducted by IPS Global Consulting and the Arkema operations team, a delivery plan was developed encompassing radio frequency coverage, access point location, network bandwidth and technology selection with a view to future strategic needs.
"Arkema strives for industrial and operational excellence," said Mike Spronkmans, manager of technical operations at the Rotterdam site. "These new IPS solutions, which are completely scalable, will improve our ability to respond now and in the future to operations issues and market developments without compromising our responsibility for the health and safety of our employees, our neighbors and the environment."
The solution not only allows mobile operators to view and acknowledge control room alarms from the field, but also enables the operator to exact a shutdown from the hand-held device in case of an emergency. The wireless network also has a number of hot spots across the facility, providing operators with continuous access and allowing IPS to connect any network or device without detrimental effects.
A new master alarm database has also been developed, which allows process engineers to share their knowledge on why the alarm was set, how long the operator has to respond and what corrective action is required when the alarm is acknowledged.
"Using the PDAs as part of the original control system migration and alarm management consultation should result in a visible change in our work process, thus increasing plant productivity significantly," said Spronkmans. "In addition, we can use the wireless network as the backbone for future enhancements to safety, such as additional process screens outside the control room and wireless video cameras in the dispatch area."