Smart structures: Emerson plant studies support use of wireless in capital projects

Emerson Process Management has unveiled quantified results and other findings of two independent real-world greenfield projects that recommend wireless infrastructure be a key component of all new projects.

02/04/2009



Emerson Process Management has unveiled quantified results and other findings of two independent real-world greenfield projects that recommend wireless infrastructure be a key component of all new projects.

In one use case, JDI Contracts applied Smart Wireless technology to applications in a new process plant for a major U.S. chemical manufacturer; in the other, Emerson modeled a hydrotreater capital project. Economics, efficiency, and other advantages made the case for wireless with both JDI and Emerson.

“Our recommendations regarding‘best practices’ are firmly centered around procedures and technology required to meet owner objectives and deliver expected project outcomes to our clients, including scope, schedule, budget, and less tangible outcomes such as maintainability and ease of use,” comments Roger Hoyum,principal engineer, JDI Contracts. “With wireless technology, we can deliver a better plant.”

JDI worked with a major EPC and end user to study the project impact of wireless. They compared engineering, construction, start-up, and overhead costs for approaches using wired HART, wired bus technologies, WirelessHART, and combinations of each. Wireless was used for non-safety, low speed control and monitoring—amounting to about 25 percent of the total points.

With each paradigm shift—wireless being the latest—plants realized savings and became smarter through simpler engineering and construction, flexible start-up, faster deployment, project completion, and changing automation needs. For the use of Smart Wireless on 25 percent of points, overall plant engineering, construction, and start-up savings were about 10 percent of considered costs as compared with wired HART; for the bus installation, wireless savings were on a par with wired busing. Although not quantified, other considerations of flexibility and schedule impact were deemed very important in each approach.

“Wireless is an important new tool for use with HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus in capital projects,” concludes Hoyum. “It delivers savings, flexibility, and speed of implementation.”

In its own study, Emerson used real data from a near-6,000 point greenfield hydrotreater project. Wireless was applied to 44 percent of all points. Similar to the JDI study, Smart Wireless showed significant savings of 36 percent in automation and installation as compared with a completely wired HART solution; FOUNDATION fieldbus was slightly less expensive than WirelessHART due to use of high density temperature measurement, although as mentioned, wireless combines its relative low cost with the advantages of ease of use for difficult monitoring locations, flexibility and future growth.

In combination with its extensive experience in hundreds of wireless brownfield installations, Emerson's conclusions from the greenfield project studies are that Smart Wireless gives maximum cost advantage where installations are difficult, remote monitoring is required, and auxiliary systems are involved. Wireless eliminates the need for and cost of building in spare I/O capacity. Wireless devices are greatly flexible when it comes to making changes late in a project, and for temporary installations for start-up and troubleshooting. And, it’s very easy to add incremental wireless points compared to wired bus points. Training and engineering are simplified with the inherently easy wireless technology. And wireless delivers larger, long-term operational benefits due to its easy, low cost expandability.

“Our takeaway from these studies is that all three technologies—HART, FOUNDATION fieldbus and wireless—should be in the design toolbox for capital projects,” summarizes Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer of Emerson Process Management. “The studies confirm that FOUNDATION fieldbus continues to offer the lowest cost installation for process control points. For monitoring points, both FOUNDATION fieldbus and wireless offer good alternatives and similar installation savings. However, over the plant life cycle, wireless adds significant benefits with simplified training, flexibility and allows very easy and lowest cost incremental expansion.”









Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
February 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Jan/Feb 2018
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards
December 2017
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

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

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me