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Studies confirm that all three technologies - HART, Foundation fieldbus and wireless - should be in the design toolbox for capital projects, Emerson Process Management says. Wireless saved more than 30% of cost, applied to fewer than half of project I/O points. Link to wireless implementation resource guide.


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Wireless implementation guide from Control Engineering

Austin, TX process plant for a major U.S. chemical manufacturer; in the other, Emerson modeled a hydrotreater capital project. Economics, efficiency and other advantages made the case for wireless with both JDI and Emerson.
“Our recommendations regarding‘best practices’ are firmly centered around procedures and technology required to meet owner objectives and deliver expected project outcomes to our clients, including scope, schedule, budget, and less tangible outcomes such as maintainability and ease of use,” commented Roger Hoyum,principal engineer, JDI Contracts. “With wireless technology, we can deliver a better plant.”

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JDI worked with a major EPC and end user to study the project impact of wireless. They compared engineering, construction, startup, and overhead costs for approaches using wired HART, wired bus technologies, WirelessHART, and combinations of each. Wireless was used for non-safety, low speed control and monitoring, amounting to about 25% of the total points.
With each paradigm shift, wireless being the latest, plants realized savings and became smarter through simpler engineering and construction, flexible start-up, faster deployment and project completion, and changing automation needs. For the use of Smart Wireless on 25% of points, overall plant engineering, construction and startup savings were about 10% of considered costs as compared with wired HART; for the bus installation, wireless savings were on a par with wired busing. Although not quantified, other considerations of flexibility and schedule impact were deemed very important in each approach.
Wireless adds flexibility, saves time and money
“Wireless is an important new tool for use with HART and Foundation Fieldbus in capital projects,” concluded Hoyum. “It delivers savings, flexibility, and speed of implementation.”
In their own study, Emerson used real data from a near-6,000 point greenfield hydrotreater project. Wireless was applied to 44% of all points. Similar to the JDI study, Smart Wireless showed significant savings of 36% in automation and installation as compared with a completely wired HART solution; Foundation fieldbus was slightly less expensive than WirelessHART due to use of high density temperature measurement, although as mentioned, wireless combines its relative low cost with the advantages of ease of use for difficult monitoring locations, flexibility and future growth.
In combination with experience in hundreds of wireless brownfield installations, Emerson's conclusions from the greenfield project studies are that Smart Wireless gives maximum cost advantage where installations are difficult, remote monitoring is required, and auxiliary systems are involved. Wireless eliminates the need for and cost of building in spare I/O capacity. Wireless devices are greatly flexible when it comes to making changes late in a project, and for temporary installations for start-up and troubleshooting. And, it’s very easy to add incremental wireless points compared to wired bus points, Emerson says, since training and engineering are simplified with easy wireless technology. And wireless delivers larger, long-term operational benefits due to its easy, low cost expandability, Emerson says.
“Our takeaway from these studies is that all three technologies - HART, Foundation fieldbus and wireless - should be in the design toolbox for capital projects,” summarized Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer of Emerson Process Management. “The studies confirm that Foundation fieldbus continues to offer the lowest cost installation for process control points. For monitoring points, both Foundation fieldbus and wireless offer good alternatives and similar installation savings. However, over the plant lifecycle, wireless adds significant benefits with simplified training, flexibility and allows very easy and lowest cost incremental expansion.”

Six points to consider when implementing industrial wireless

are in the Wireless Implementation Guide.
Emerson Process Management
-Edited by Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
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