Fertilizer producer chooses wireless sensor solution

Wireless pressure and temperature transmitters send measurements via a self-organizing network that was easier to install and less costly than wired systems.

01/16/2009


Soda Springs, ID — Nu-West Industries has chosen Emerson’s Smart Wireless platform to solve a complex reactor monitoring application. The vessel has 16 pressure and temperature monitoring points that need monitoring as part of the phosphate-based fertilizer manufacturing process. This has solved a logistical problem as the tank is in a difficult-to-reach area of the plant, about 250 ft from the control room.

“Hard wiring this installation would have been very challenging due to the location of the vessel,” says Brian Wood, DCS specialist for Nu-West. “Given the low-risk and simplicity of the application, this seemed an ideal place to try Emerson’s wireless package. The self-organizing architecture was the clincher since having a less than perfect line-of-sight to each device is not a concern with this system.”

Nu-West, a subsidiary of Agrium US , was interested in trying a wireless sensor approach, but it would have to be secure and reliable in operation over the extended distance and difficult location. The remote tank is 40 ft high and has four different beds of gases used to react with certain process chemicals. Even though this is not classified as a hazardous area, the tank layout and distance involved made running wires to the tank and mounting instruments both difficult and expensive.

Emerson says that each device in the wireless network can act as a router for other nearby devices, passing messages along until they reach their destination. If there is an obstruction, transmissions are simply re-routed along the mesh network until a clear path to the gateway is found.

Transmissions from the remote tank at Nu-West are received by a Smart Wireless Gateway and channeled via the PlantWeb control architecture to the DeltaV automation system.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
Control Engineering News Desk Register here .





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me