With the increasing availability of low-cost sensors and wireless technology, today’s plants have the opportunity to improve operational performance by enhancing and leveraging sensing capabilities. Indeed, sensing and measurement technology form the foundation of the new Emerson Plantweb digital ecosystem (see accompanying graphic, p3), unveiled at this week’s Emerson Global Users Exchange in Austin, Texas.
“The whole idea is to look at the problem holistically—to see, decide and act,” said Bob Karschnia, vice president and general manager, Wireless, Emerson Automation Solutions, to attendees of a Tuesday morning press conference. “The key to operational benefits is to act, but the first step is to see. To see what’s happening in your processes and equipment, we offer Pervasive Sensing.”
As part of Emerson’s Plantweb digital ecosystem, Pervasive Sensing expands the use of sensor and analytics technology into new operational performance areas through a new generation of low-cost sensors that are easy to install and maintain, take advantage of wireless communications as part of a secure, integrated industrial network, and use new analytic algorithms to create insights into the performance of a plant’s assets.
“We launched Pervasive Sensing a few years ago, and it’s now in use in networks around the world, in many kinds of plants and any application you can think of, from BP’s Quad 204 oilfield project to a set of six pumps in the back of a plant,” Karschnia said. “The key is sensing technologies—Emerson is different, with a broad portfolio. We now have 40 existing wireless products, and today we’re highlighting six new ones that can be used to drive safety, reliability, production, energy efficiency and compliance.”
Wireless corrosion monitoring: Permasense Wireless Corrosion Monitoring is a permanently-installed technology that uses unique sensor technology, wireless data delivery and advanced analytics to continuously monitor for metal loss from corrosion or erosion in pipes, pipelines or vessels. Corrosion and erosion trends are delivered in real-time and directly to the engineer. The sensors are battery-powered and can be deployed in hazardous and remote areas, the analytic software accurately forecasts corrosion and erosion issues/ locations in pipelines or vessels, and the system can be integrated with virtually any existing IT architecture.
Wireless medium voltage equipment monitoring: IntelliSAW wireless medium-voltage equipment monitoring systems monitor electric power switchgear temperatures to identify and prevent failures that can result in significant damage, power outages and potentially fatal accidents. The noninvasive, wireless temperature sensors require no external power and are capable of simultaneously measuring all relevant hot-spots such as bus bars, breaker inputs, breaker outputs and cables. They provide surface acoustic wave (SAW-based) measurement of temperatures, RF-based partial discharge detection, and humidity monitoring along with an advanced human-machine interface.
Wireless gas monitoring: The Rosemount 928 Wireless Gas Monitor is the world’s first integrated WirelessHART toxic gas detection solution. Maintaining wellheads and natural gas metering stations is difficult and dangerous because workers may be exposed to unplanned releases of toxic gas. Operators typically have had to rely on portable gas detection devices (or no gas detection at all). Remote sites and previously unmonitored portions of existing facilities can now continuously monitor for the presence of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas to protect facilities and more importantly, help keep personnel safe.
Wireless non-intrusive surface-sensing temperature measurement: Rosemount X-well Technology is a surface-sensing temperature measurement solution that eliminates the need for thermowell process penetration for measuring process temperatures in pipe applications, and removes leak points to reduce compliance costs and increase safety. Eliminating the need to drill to get process temperatures also avoids the risk of corrosion. It provides an accurate and repeatable internal process temperature measurement with quick, easy installation and simplified long-term maintenance. And temperature measurements can be added without shutting down a process.
Wireless power metering: The SensEnable 56WM wireless power meter is designed to monitor voltage, current, power, energy and other electrical parameters on single- and three-phase electrical systems with revenue-grade accuracy. It allows early detection of machine problems through continuous measurement of power consumption and power quality. With other submeters monitoring gas, water, steam, and other utilities, it can help provide a “complete holistic view of energy consumption,” Karschnia said. Its granular data can enable better operations management decisions, and support optimized predictive maintenance of facility assets based on energy consumption and power quality.
Pressure gauge measurement: Rosemount Wireless Pressure Gauges deliver safe and reliable readings as frequently as once per minute to keep operators updated on changing field conditions, reducing manual operator rounds and improving safety by keeping personnel out of hazardous areas. They use WirelessHART, offer a 10-year life and feature field-proven pressure sensor technology, including up to 150 times the overpressure protection of traditional gauges and two layers of process isolation for a safer field environment. They reduce maintenance costs and time by eliminating common weak points found in mechanical gauges.