Emerson Bullish on Wireless Automation

Sept. 12, 2007

This week at the Emerson Global Users Exchange in Dallas, Texas, Emerson Process Management (www.emersonprocess.com) introduced users to a variety of new products, many of which feature capability for

This week at the Emerson Global Users Exchange in Dallas, Texas, Emerson Process Management (www.emersonprocess.com) introduced users to a variety of new products, many of which feature capability for industrial wireless communication. And such was the underlying theme of the event, as John Berra, president of Emerson Process Management, kicked off the Users Exchange with a keynote address that focused heavily on the advantages wireless technology holds for industrial automation in general. Speaking of industrial wireless, Berra said, "This is the brink of a new generation in automation every bit as big as when DCS came out."

At last year’s Users Exchange, Emerson introduced its Smart Wireless initiative, previewing several wireless products that it intended to bring to market in the coming year. This year, Berra highlighted those product releases with specific customer applications that showed how end-users are leveraging wireless technology to produce process efficiency and cut cost in real-world manufacturing environments. Emerson followed Berra’s keynote by debuting a number of new wireless-enabled products and announcing an ongoing partnership with Cisco to build wireless plant systems. Hereafter, we highlight the new wireless products announced at the Users Exchange and the wireless applications Berra featured in his keynote address.

New Wireless Products
New wireless products introduced at the Emerson Global Users Exchange include:
• The CSI 9420 Machinery Health Transmitter is a wireless vibration transmitter that provides monitoring of rotating equipment, such as pumps, and delivers predictive diagnostics for improved reliability and plant safety. Through Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture, the transmitter delivers vibration information over a wireless self-organizing network for use by operations and maintenance personnel. Configuration, diagnostics, and alerts from the wireless vibration transmitter are available in AMS Suite predictive maintenance software. Vibration data is also available in data historians or any control system for trending and analysis with other process parameters. In addition to measuring overall vibration, the CSI 9420 Machinery Health Transmitter includes PeakVue technology for advanced bearing diagnostics.
• DeltaV Version 10.3 is designed to make it easier to integrate Emerson’s self-organizing Smart Wireless field networks with Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture. In the new DeltaV release, Emerson’s 1420 wireless gateway becomes a node on the DeltaV control network, permitting it to be auto-sensed and auto-configured in the DeltaV Explorer. In addition, HART alerts from WirelessHART devices will be passed directly through to the AMS Device Manager, eliminating the need for an additional Ethernet network. AMS Device Manager delivers predictive device diagnostic information to the control room and to the maintenance shop so that both plant functions are seeing the same information and are able to quickly troubleshoot any issues before they become problems.
• RCS Microcor Wireless Transmitter is a joint offering from Emerson Process Management and Rohrback Cosasco Systems (RCS, www.rohrbackcosasco.com). The device is designed to provide high-speed communication of corrosion rate data, integrating Emerson’s Smart Wireless offerings with corrosion information from the RCS Microcor device for use in the automation system where it can be logged, trended, and analyzed along with other process information. Corrosion data is also available in Emerson’s AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager software. The wireless corrosion device is based on RCS”s Microcor technology and will provide corrosion rates in any process media at speeds approaching real time. According to Emerson, the real-time corrosion rates can be used by operators to detect a spike in corrosion, control inhibitor injection, and correlate with other process data for root-cause analysis to reduce operating costs, extend asset life, and extend the time between shut-downs. The RCS wireless transmitter will work as a node in a self-organizing network with other Emerson Smart Wireless devices, or it can be configured as a part of an independent network of corrosion monitors.
• ROC800 Smart Remote Wireless Interface Card enables Emerson’s ROC800-series remote operations controllers to support wireless field networks. This, in turn, according to Emerson, allows oil and gas operators to improve asset predictability, manage remote assets more profitably, improve maintenance efficiency and effectiveness, and deliver cost reductions in asset construction time. Emerson’s enhancement of the ROC800 adds wireless functionality to the company’s Smart Remote Automation Solutions, which extends the predictive intelligence of PlantWeb digital architecture into remote oil and gas locations. The new ROC800 Smart Wireless Interface Card allows the ROC800-Series Remote Operations Controller to communicate directly with any mix of up to 30 wireless temperature transmitters or wireless pressure transmitters over the self-organizing mesh field network. According to Emerson, this has significant cost benefits when used for monitoring process variables that may be located up to 200 meters away from the RTU. Wiring of instrumentation has significant costs in these environments since land is often leased and surfaces may be rocky and difficult for wiring. The remoteness of such locations also makes manual monitoring very expensive. Since Smart Wireless monitoring points enable up to 90 percent installed cost reduction as compared with wired installations, the technology opens significant opportunities for operations improvement, according to Emerson. Field instruments that use the wireless self-organizing network approach can be installed to bring in diagnostic information from points that could not be monitored earlier because of cost constraints.
• Rosemount 702 Discrete Wireless Transmitter enables users to wirelessly access data from discrete points not connected to the control network due to the high cost of wiring. Applications include level and environmental spill prevention, personnel safety, and plant equipment status. The 702 supports a variety of non-powered switch types, with single- or dual-channel capacity. The transmitter is hazardous-area approved and fully compatible with existing Smart Wireless networks. It can access HART diagnostic data and provides 7-15 year SmartPower battery life.

Wireless Applications
Among the customer applications cited by Berra during his keynote were:
• PPG Industries (www.ppg.com) has installed Smart Wireless Rosemount transmitters at its Chemical Division facility in Lake Charles, La. The transmitters for pipeline and steam-header temperature measurement enable PPG operators to watch for cold spots and adjust steam throughput the process. PPG has also commissioned eight wireless Rosemount transmitters on a self-organizing mesh for tank level measurements to provide backup of primary radar level measurements, helping ensure level control. According to Emerson, wireless transmitters allow PPG to install instrumentation that would normally be cost-prohibitive in the plant that covers approximately 765 acres and is dense with pipes, buildings, and equipment. PPG estimates its installation costs for wired instruments are nearly $20 per foot for wiring and conduit.
• Croda (www.croda.com) is using Smart Wireless temperature transmitters as a solution to the problem of monitoring rising temperatures in railcars containing chemicals. No matter where the railcars may be positioned at the Mill Hall, Pennsylvania plant, a wireless temperature transmitter on each car sends minute-by-minute temperature readings to a central host. Croda uses this information to improve the performance and safety of its facility. In this way, Emerson’s wireless system contributes to overall plant safety, making operators aware of any unexpected temperature rise, while saving the company about $15,000 per year in reduced maintenance, according to Emerson. Normally, three railcars are remotely located on-site. Since the railcars are frequently moved, hard wiring of temperature sensors was not practical. Previously, an employee had to climb to the top of each car once a day to check the temperatures and record each reading. This was a time-consuming procedure that during wet or icy conditions presented a fall potential. The wireless temperature transmitters pass data through a 1420 gateway (receiver) and on to the plant’s DeltaV control system. While the operators watch for rising temperatures, transmitter performance is simultaneously checked by Emerson’s AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager, which will alarm if a transmitter ceases to operate or performs erratically.
• Milford Power (www.milfordpower.com) successfully applied Emerson’s wireless self-organizing field network to monitor remote system and equipment buildings operated at its 500 MW gas-fired turbine facility in Milford, Connecticut. Emerson’s Smart Wireless Solution enabled the power company to avoid as much as $75,000 in capital and installation costs while advancing the protection of water pumping and circulation equipment against freeze damage that could cost as much as $20,000 to repair or replace. Although the remote stations are heated during cold weather, Milford Power wanted a way to continuously inform plant operators of severe temperature drops in case of a heater failure so that fast corrective action could be taken. Since installing direct wiring between remote monitoring devices and the control room would have been very expensive, officials at Milford Power began looking for a reliable wireless system to satisfy their needs at a reasonable cost. Emerson’s Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters offered the communications approach, battery life, and price point required for the project, according to Millford. The Emerson wireless solution was commissioned by placing 12 devices at pump locations around the power plant. The mesh network was communicating in only two hours. The signals were easily transmitted around buildings and other obstructions, according to Emerson.
• Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation (www.wpsc.com) installed wireless transmitters to deliver previously unattainable data on conditions in the company’s 80-inch hot strip mill in Mingo Junction, Ohio, enabling operating personnel to improve product quality and increase productivity. The wireless solution, which includes four wireless Rosemount DP flowmeters with Annubars and one 1420 gateway, are operating on both the roughing and finishing sections of the company’s hot strip mill. According to Emerson, the transmitters were installed and operating in just a few hours with very little manpower. The self-organizing network automatically adapts as device points are added or removed. The transmitted signals are received through a single gateway and delivered directly to the Pi data historian for trending and alarming. The operators therefore have continuous access to the data, which they are using to improve operations and maintenance. For example, wirelessly acquired data enabled operators at the facility to get firm control of the volume of water being sprayed onto the hot steel surfaces on the run-out table in order to achieve specified coiling temperatures. This wireless system has delivered high returns, supplying flow data to optimize and improve strip cooling and nearly eliminate coiling temperature rejects, according to Wheeling-Pittsburgh.

The WirelessHART Tie-In
During his keynote address, Berra recognized last week’s final approval of the HART 7 specification with WirelessHART, a wireless standard specifically designed for process measurement and control applications. "There should be no doubt in your mind that this stuff works," said Berra of WirelessHART, which was approved by the HART Communication Foundation’s board of directors, with which Emerson Process Management holds a seat.

According to Berra, WirelessHART is a major step forward in the effort to bring real value to industrial environments through wireless technologies. As an open-standard platform, Berra said WirelessHART will give users more capability to wirelessly access vital process data. Most importantly, he said that since the standard will be backward compatible with all existing HART-enabled devices, it will allow users to access diagnostic data from their HART devices that their wired environments did not previously support.

To capitalize on the release of WirelessHART, Emerson is offering a WirelessHART adapter for existing devices, and it will be offering WirelessHART support inherent within wireless product releases going forward.

The Emerson Global Users Exchange is run through a partnership between the user community and Emerson Process Management. The event’s board of directors feature 12 end-user representatives, who work with Emerson to develop the curriculum for the discussion sessions at the event. The Emerson Global Users Exchange aims to identify key user needs, which Emerson can then use to guide its product development efforts going forward.

Sponsored Recommendations

Learn About: Micro Motion™ 4700 Config I/O Coriolis Transmitter

An Advanced Transmitter that Expands Connectivity

Micro Motion™ G-Series Compact, Drainable Coriolis Flow and Density Meters

Micro Motion G-Series Coriolis flow and density meters are ideally suited for Process Monitoring and Optimization applications, offering easy selection with pre-selected models...

Learn about: Micro Motion G-Series Coriolis Flow and Density Meters

The Micro Motion G-Series is designed to help you access the benefits of Coriolis technology even when available space is limited.

Micro Motion 4700 Coriolis Configurable Inputs and Outputs Transmitter

The Micro Motion 4700 Coriolis Transmitter offers a compact C1D1 (Zone 1) housing. Bluetooth and Smart Meter Verification are available.