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 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.
Electric motor power measurement and analysis: Understand the basics to drive greater efficiency; Selecting the right control chart; Linear position sensors gain acceptance
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

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.