Robust wireless technology adopted by industrial customers for both extreme and mainstream applications
Peter Zornio, Emerson Process Management’s Chief Technology Officer told delegates at their annual Emerson Exchange (#EMrex) that more customers than ever have confidence in, and have adopted, wireless technologies for not only hard-to-reach, extreme applications, but also for critical, day-to-day process control and monitoring requirements. Clocking more than 1 billion total hours of wireless operations across 10,000 systems, Emerson Smart Wireless technology has proven its reliability, costs savings and significantly reduced installation time.
Emerson Smart Wireless technology, based on the internationally recognised IEC 62591 WirelessHART® standard approved in 2010, is now widely implemented in refineries, oil fields, offshore platforms, chemical plants and other industrial facilities around the world to obtain real-time plant data to optimise operations, improve worker and plant safety, and reduce emissions and other environmental impacts.
A technology first adopted for use in harsh, remote environments where wired instrumentation was not feasible, Smart Wireless technology has proven its reliability and performance in traditionally wired applications. Just last year, JX Nippon Oil & Energy’s (formerly Nippon Oil) Sendai refinery and adjacent tank farm were badly damaged by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, with raging fires, followed by hours of immersion in sea water. While much of the cabled instrumentation was destroyed, Emerson’s wireless network was still operating after the waters receded, including a fire-damaged wireless transmitter.
Since its release five years ago, Emerson estimates put the total installed savings resulting from Smart Wireless field devices at more than $350 million (€272m) and reductions in commissioning and installation time totalling 16 man-years. The adoption of this technology has now spread to more than 120 countries and more than 10,000 separate wireless systems.
“We knew wireless technology offered substantial savings and it is gratifying to see its rapid and widespread adoption,” said Bob Karschnia, Emerson Process Management vice president, wireless. “Many companies started out with small installations to prove the concept in their operating facilities. Today, those starter systems are rapidly expanding to site-wide facilities.”
Among the industries benefiting the most from wireless technology are upstream oil and gas producers, refineries, and chemical facilities.
Emerson continues to expand its wireless offerings, including the just introduced Mobile Worker: Voice and Video, the hands-free, high-definition voice and video solution that plant personnel can wear in remote field locations. Mobile Worker is designed to help process manufacturers save time and money on plant maintenance and trouble-shooting by bringing the problem to the experts rather than bringing the experts to the problem.