Wireless: New equipment health monitoring platform

By Control Engineering Staff December 20, 2007

Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) has raised the ante for wireless instrumentation platforms by introducing its OneWireless Equipment Health Monitoring (EHM) system. HPS is offering this in conjunction with SKF , using a combination of hardware and software from both companies. This system is aimed at applications where equipment is not super-critical, since those installations usually already have monitoring. EHM installations will typically be those that are the next level down, where traditional monitoring systems have been considered too expensive to be cost effective.

OneWireless EHM will transmit complete spectral information wirelessly– including vibration amplitude and operating parameter information – from the field to the plant control room, helping reduce equipment failures and improve business performance through lower maintenance costs. The system centers around a basic device that is designed to monitor one equipment installation. The EHM device has eight instrument channels: four are designed for vibration sensors and four accept standard 4-20 mA transmitters of any kind. In this application, those will typically be temperature, rotation or current level sensors.

The OneWireless EHM isn’t just a box, it’s a full solution, says Jeff Becker, global wireless business director for HPS. “It includes the infrastructure, software, and services to get it up and running. There’s software at a couple different layers. The EHM box itself takes the vibration data and performs FFTs (fast Fourier transforms) on the device. It sends that data back to an analysis package that’s on the network that can take the data and perform trending, different kinds of threshold alarming, etc. That software interfaces to other DCS software using an OPC interface to pass data.”

Honeywell says the EHM system collects acceleration, velocity, temperature and bearing condition data and delivers it to process operators and maintenance personnel to alert them of any equipment problems. The device is a cost-effective and efficient alternative to the manual inspections that many industrial facilities employ to monitor the health of rotating equipment such as pumps, compressors and motors.

The EHM software can deduce probable bearing defects, misalignment, pump cavitations and impeller wear. The software can then translate the data into alarms that can be configured to appear in the plant’s DCS and asset management platform. Additionally, the system can be installed in less than four hours on a pre-installed OneWireless network, and readily integrates with Honeywell DCS or other platform using OPC.

“Wired equipment instrumentation solutions provide effective condition monitoring, but the equipment and installation costs may be impractical, and the few wireless alternatives are very limited in functionality and the information they provide,” says Becker. “OneWireless EHM provides all the information needed to pinpoint problems before equipment failure. It acts as another set of eyes in the field and helps technicians better anticipate maintenance and avoid downtime.”

In addition to stand-alone OneWireless EHM components, Honeywell offers OneWireless EHM starter kits, which contain everything necessary to monitor between four and eight plant assets wirelessly, depending on individual facility needs.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
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