Air Products uses GE's wireless monitoring water solution

May 7, 2009

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Air Products, a global manufacturer of industrial gases and specialty chemicals, has recently completed installation of a new wireless remote monitoring solution powered by GE Enterprise Solutions and distributed through GE Water, a business unit of GE Energy. The new system, implemented at the company’s Calvert City, Ky., location, is helping improve operational efficiency and productivity by providing a way to reliably monitor, diagnose and maintain water equipment and processes.

The GE Wireless Monitoring Solution combines an exclusive blend of technologies from across the GE Enterprise Solutions portfolio to create an all-encompassing remote monitoring system that offers application expertise, wireless technology, sensor technology, software hosting, alarm notification and installation services in a complete end-to-end solution.

“GE’s new Wireless Monitoring Solution is truly innovative,” says Butch Marshall, site manager for Air Products. “The system helps us to be proactive as we monitor chemical tank levels that support our water operations, and we can access it at any time from anywhere in the world.”

The new solution connects Air Products’ water treatment data and provids enhanced visibility to relevant information, improved data accuracy, increased cost savings and higher staff productivity.

The GE wireless monitoring solution installed at Air Products features liquid level monitoring of the company’s large tank operations, which eliminates manual tracking and improves productivity by providing timely information on chemical inventories.

A submersible level robe sensor from GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies is dropped into each tank to collect measurements. Using GE Digital Energy’s wireless MDS technology, the raw data is sent to a Trinity gateway, which serves as the field data collection point for each application. The gateway sends the collected data to secure hosting servers managed by GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, where it is translated into online diagrams showing liquid levels and consumption rates. In addition, experts from GE Water are on call in the support center to help analyze information, resolve issues and drive continuous optimization for the business.

Additional features of the GE wireless monitoring solution include:

  • Remote monitoring, for easier access to accurate and timely information from anywhere in the world, which significantly improves operational efficiency;
    An easy-to-use Internet portal, which allows end users to tap into customized dashboards, user-selected trend information, and automatic alarming and event notifications;
  • Access to GE Water subject matter experts, which allows users to leverage GE’s in-depth industry and technical expertise to help analyze information, resolve issues and drive continuous optimization for the business;
  • Secure connectivity, which provides an integrated security approach that includes password clearance and device authentication for hardware in the field as well as password authentication to log onto the Internet portal.

“GE’s Wireless Monitoring Solution allows us to remotely monitor our chemical treatment systems that support our water treatment operations, and the system can automatically alert us when specified process conditions are reached,” explains Marshall. “It ensures that we are getting the right information at the right time to aid in our decision making for our operation.”

Although Air Products currently only uses the Wireless Monitoring Solution for tank monitoring purposes, the company may additionally begin using the solution for cooling system optimization, which improves the on-stream of valuable water treatment and processes.