Invensys, Apprion deploy wireless infrastructure at PPG Industries

Boston, MA—The first phase of a comprehensive managed wireless infrastructure at PPG Industries' chlor-alkali chemical manufacturing complex in Lake Charles, LA, is complete.

By Control Engineering Staff June 27, 2006

Boston, MA —The first phase of a comprehensive managed wireless infrastructure at PPG Industries ‘ chlor-alkali chemical manufacturing complex in Lake Charles, LA, is complete. The announcement was made yesterday by Invensys , which is implementing the project as part of an ongoing automation upgrade at the site, in conjunction with its strategic partner, Apprion , at the ARC Boston Forum .

The infrastructure is said to be designed to help improve plant profitability, safety, and security while providing a secure, flexible, and cost-effective foundation to support additional wireless applications in the future. Implementation took place following a comprehensive site assessment by a team of Invensys, Apprion, and PPG personnel. It incorporates multiple wireless technologies (standard and proprietary), wireless devices, and wireless-enabled applications.

Apprion’s IONosphere software platform was the key enabling technology for security, policy, and performance management of the entire wireless infrastructure. Phase 1 applications now in place at the site include:

  • Wireless temperature condition monitoring;

  • Wireless site security monitoring (including remote video surveillance);

  • Wireless environmental monitoring to help simplify regulatory compliance; and

  • Secure wireless laptop and PDA access to give authorized personnel remote access to the site’s enterprise network.

“Wireless coverage, services, and applications for huge plants like PPG Lake Charles have been infeasible until recently,” said Harry Forbes, ARC Advisory Group senior analyst. “This is clearly no longer the case. Now the challenge is to deploy and maintain a wireless infrastructure that can grow to support greater numbers and varieties of applications, and do so reliably and securely over a long period of time. It’s encouraging to see a wide variety of applications in this first phase of the project. I expect many more will be added as the‘network effect’ begins to occur at plants like PPG and they realize the potential value of this new infrastructure.”

Invensys’ managed network wireless strategy was introduced last year at ISA Expo 2005 in Chicago. It uses shared access point technology and common data and security models for all wireless devices, regardless of vendor or application.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk

Jeanine Katzel , senior editor