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Dow Chemical Wins 2013 HART Plant of the Year

March 13, 2014
This award showcases end users who have demonstrated ingenuity in the application of HART Communication for real-time operational improvements.

Dow Chemical Company, located in Deer Park, Texas, has been selected by The HART® Communication Foundation as the recipient of the 2013 HART Plant of the Year Award.

The HART Plant of the Year award is given annually to recognize the people, companies and plant sites around the world using the advanced capabilities of HART Communication in real-time applications to improve operations, lower costs and increase availability.

Dow Chemical engineers are using HART technology as part of a reliability improvement program to monitor critical control valves connected to asset management software for diagnostics, failure analysis, and preventative/predictive condition-based maintenance. Using the intelligent device information significantly reduced costs and improved plant operations as it enabled the transition from reactive to proactive maintenance.

Ted Masters, HART Communication Foundation President and CEO (3rd from right), presents the 2013 HART Plant of the Year Award to The Dow Chemical Company – Deer Park Acrylates Trip Reduction and Site Leadership teams.

According to Shadrach Stephens, Dow Chemical I/E Maintenance Group Leader, there has been a 66% improvement in downtime reduction over a three year period since the realibility program was implemented.

"HART technology has helped reduce production downtime related to control valve failures," said Stephens. "We use the HART signal to monitor real time valve conditions which has helped with identifying problems before they could cause unplanned events. This reliability effort combined with several improvement initiatives has yielded significant financial savings including millions of dollars in EBIT."

Stephens also said that HART Communication has helped Dow Chemical realize benefits and savings throughout plant operations, such as changing the plant culture with regards to valve maintenance, diagnostics and troubleshooting; Identifying root cause of the problem, short-term and long-term solutions to fix the problem; recognizing the need for an equipment maintenance strategy and work processes so that the work could continue automatically based on established and new practices; And taking two approaches for condition-based management – AMS and the data historian – instituting corrective action based on real-time data to prioritize and optimize maintenance resources.

The Deer Park facility has identified the future benefits of adding instruments to the AMS in order to monitor these critical instruments including transmitters, flowmeters and other high maintenance devices.