Emerson unplugged: Wireless technology highlights user conference

By -- Control Engineering October 1, 2008
Emerson Process Management Smart Wireless transmitter monitors BP calciner fan bearing temperature. Photos courtesy of Emerson Process Management.

Austin, TX — Emerson Process Management
Among them:

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) named WirelessHART Communication Specification (HART 7.1) a publicly Available Specification (IEC/PAS 62591Ed. 1) on Sept. 19, 2008. Emerson started its Smart Wireless effort in 2006.
IEC action: 29 countries participated
For the IEC action, the National Committees of 29 countries participated in the approval ballot. WirelessHART Communication is the first industrial wireless communication technology to achieve this level of international recognition, according to HART Communication Foundation (HCF) .
Emerson is the first of many to begin shipping WirelessHART products, the company says.
“WirelessHART Communication fulfills the long-demanded goal of global users for a single wireless communication standard that the major automation suppliers support and that has international status,” says Ron Helson, HCF executive director. Calling the IEC endorsement “landmark recognition,” Helson said users can purchase and implement WirelessHART-based products with confidence equal to what they have with the 26 million HART devices installed globally. HCF released WirelessHART in September 2007, calling it the “first open and interoperable wireless communication standard designed to address the critical needs of the process industry for reliable, robust, and secure wireless communication in real world industrial plant applications.” WirelessHART builds on previous standards, including HART Protocol (IEC 61158), EDDL (IEC 61804-3), IEEE 802.15.4, as well as radio and frequency hopping, spread spectrum, and mesh networking technologies.

Smart Wireless transmitter monitors level at BP refinery tank farm, above and below.
Wireless can cost less to install than wires, especially when avoiding trenching.
Emerson is the first of many to begin shipping WirelessHART products, the company says.

Emerson WirelessHART products now shipping include its Smart Wireless range of pressure, flow, level, temperature, vibration, pH, and discrete transmitters and gateways, AMS Suite predictive maintenance and Wireless Snap-On software, 375 Field Communicator, and native wireless interface of DeltaV and Ovation digital systems. The continuous stream of future new products from Emerson will also use the standard, including the soon-to-be-released valve-position transmitter, and Smart Wireless Thum Adapter that will unleash stranded diagnostics in legacy devices.
“Our customers face increasing challenges of complex production, tougher feedstock, and environmental and safety requirements,” says Berra. “They are urgently seeking more information to increase plant and asset utilization and performance. Our standard inter-operable smart wireless field networks can deliver the information for step-change improvements while being easy and low cost to deploy.” HCF and WirelessHART require adherence to HART specifications ensuring backward compatibility, preserving the investment users have in tools, training, and knowledge.
Berra says HART 7 wired and wireless technologies will coexist in plants and that wired solutions will continue to dominate safety and critical control applications. He says early applications of WirelessHART include easy and quick upgrades of existing facilities to monitor variables previously out of reach economically or physically. The wireless applications are expanding to include non-critical closed-loop control, and open-loop control with humans in the loop.
“On the strength of the high reliability and performance of self-organizing WirelessHART mesh technology, and the major economic advantages of wireless, we believe WirelessHART technology will account for more than 20 percent
More wireless: BP R&D Naperville Tank Farm, Cherry Point Washington refinery
Emerson Process Management and BP continue to collaborate on application of wireless technology, announcing that BP has expanded its Cherry Point Washington refinery applications, installed Smart Wireless throughout its tank farm in its R&D facility in Naperville, Ill.,
BP Cherry Point is a 225,000 bpd (barrels per day) refinery, and is the largest supplier of calcined coke to the aluminum industry. One out of every six aluminum cans is made using BP Cherry Point’s calcined coke. Emerson’s Smart Wireless installation on the refinery’s calciner unit monitors bearing and calciner coke temperatures to help prevent fan and conveyor failure. Fans can cost up to $100,000 to repair but, more importantly, can be down for up to 10 days with associated production losses. The 15-transmitter wireless installation in 2006 is believed to be the world’s first industrial wireless mesh network installation, and continues to operate reliably while eliminating operator rounds in the field.
Cherry Point has expanded wireless use to 35 transmitters including tank farm and utility applications, and installation of a Smart Wireless gateway in the diesel unit to make it ready for wireless motes.
“The principal advantage we see around wireless is the ability to accumulate and analyze a much greater array of data than would otherwise be economically possible,” said Michael Ingraham, Technical Manager for Cherry Point refinery. He says wireless helps BP get more data more efficiently, and more economically than previously, expressing hope that it will “be a principal tool in maintaining plant availability while expanding our flexibility to meet fuel specs and ever changing array of feedstock.”
A second facility, BP Naperville R&D, is a world-class technology center including a modernized tank farm feeding an expanding number of pilot plants that develop processing technology options for BP refining worldwide.
Following the first application of Smart Wireless at BP’s Cherry Point refinery (which BP saw as a success), the company installed a 45-transmitter wireless network at the Naperville tank farm. Operational for about one year, this has provided strong operational experience and a platform for testing the technology, leading to significant take-up of wireless at other BP refineries throughout the world.
Wireless devices allow operators to be more efficient, collecting data from a central point as opposed to walking around the tank farm and recording all the values. It allows greater visibility at any time, says BP.
The Naperville wireless network uses Rosemount wireless transmitters to monitor suction, and discharge pressures, levels, flow, and temperatures. New wireless functions are installed as they become available in collaboration with Emerson. “Wireless is an important enabler for‘refinery of the future’ technologies,” says Mark Howard, commercial technology manager for BP. “It helps us deploy the sort of instrumentation, sensors, and analytical devices that we need for condition monitoring to support predictive maintenance, tracking feedstocks through the value chain, and a host of other applications. Wireless is a very important vehicle for getting instrumentation into places where wired devices would be too expensive or frankly not very practical.”
“Looking ahead, we support the move towards standards such as WirelessHART,” continued Howard. “We like being able to access new wireless transmitters as quickly as we can deploy them, and we’re getting very good robust operation. We look forward to a greater range of instrumentation becoming available.” Emerson Process Management has worked with BP since 2006 on wireless.
Wireless awards: Croda moving railcar monitoring, CFE Lapem power unit monitoring

Winners and finalists in the Emerson Process Management Smart Wireless Innovators Application Contest recognized creativity and business value from applications of the company’s Smart Wireless solutions. End user judges reviewed the anonymous entries to understand the application, challenges addressed, benefits obtained, and reason for use of wireless. They evaluated all entries to select “most innovative” and “highest business results” winners.
“Innovation” criteria included the extent to which use of wireless was novel; the identification of previously unknown process issues; the degree to which wired technology wouldn’t have been possible; and the extent of real operations improvement. The winning score went to Croda Inc., an international specialty chemical manufacturer, for its application to measure temperature in moving rail cars at its plant in Mill Hall, PA.
The “Business Results” criteria included demonstrated dollar savings in operations; installation savings compared to a wired approach; time savings for implementing with wireless; and the extent to which safety or environmental impacts were improved. Scoring highest was CFE Lapem, a laboratory analysis group within the Federal Electrical Commission of Mexico. Lapem has five analysis teams that set up temporary measurement facilities at each of 140 power plants. One team’s easy establishment of a temporary wireless network in power plants made it possible to increase its productivity and plant coverage by 10%, increase annual service revenue by $512,000, Emerson says.
Wired applications can be implemented where wired installations cannot provide adequate return on investment (ROI), says Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer of Emerson Process Management. Smart Wireless makes “meaningful contributions in safety, environment, and asset health leading to significant ROI,” continued Zornio. “What’s more, there’s considerable use in measurement of equipment that moves or rotates, and monitoring done through wireless devices quickly installed on a temporary basis is turning out to be a popular application.”
– Edited by  Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief
Control Engineering News Desk