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Emerson introduces 2.4GHz Smart Wireless system for European manufacturing plants

15 January 2007

Emerson Process Management has launched 2.4GHz in-plant Smart Wireless solutions, enabling European mainstream manufacturing to move to the next level of reliability and operational performance. Emerson’s 900 MHz Smart Wireless solutions are already shipping in North America. By capturing information that was previously inaccessible, Emerson’s Smart Wireless networks extend asset optimisation and predictive maintenance, helping manufacturers avoid costly, unexpected process interruptions and shutdowns; optimise performance and the lifetime of processing equipment; and maximise production output. Response to safety incidents can be improved, and emissions reduced.

Extending Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture, the company’s Smart Wireless solutions are the industry’s first to use self-organising network technology to deliver data at unprecedented levels of reliability from assets previously out of physical or economic reach. Field trials with several North American and European customers over the last three years have demonstrated greater than 99 percent network reliability and an installed cost that is as much as 90 percent lower than a wired equivalent.

Emerson’s Smart Wireless solutions combine innovative self-organising wireless network technology and gateways with wireless-enabled industry leading Rosemount measurement transmitters and AMS Suite: Intelligent Device Manager predictive maintenance software, all seamlessly integrated with DeltaV and Ovation automation systems or with legacy hosts.

Self-organising networks are highly reliable because they allow wireless devices to serve as alternate communication paths, providing redundancy that enables over 99% of field network messages to reach their destination – no easy task in the “canyons of metal” that make up today’s manufacturing facilities. Networks using Emerson’s technology are scaleable from 5 to 100,000 devices.

Installation of Emerson’s Smart Wireless solutions requires no complex site surveys or special tools. The solutions are designed to support SP100 control and monitoring application classes 1 to 5 on the same network, and have been proven by customer use for classes 3 to 5. Emerson’s SmartPower innovations enable battery life of 5 to 15 years depending on application.

Industrial grade security of Emerson’s wireless networks has been validated in extensive field trials and through review by independent security experts. Encryption, authentication, verification, anti-jamming and key management techniques are used in a robust security approach.

“Manufacturers hate surprises in their facilities, and have long wanted to have eyes and ears on every asset to know what is really going on in their operation,” said John Berra, president of Emerson Process Management. “Until now, there was no easy, reliable and economical way to reach all of the assets that needed monitoring. We’ve completed three years of customer field trials. In those trials, we’ve seen customers quickly discover and remedy problems that would otherwise have gone undetected.”

Emerson’s Smart Wireless solutions can be deployed in various process manufacturing segments, including refining, oil and gas, chemical, pulp and paper, and water and wastewater treatment. In addition, the technology can be applied to remote monitoring of oil and gas well-heads, pipeline stations, and production platforms.

Emerson’s global SmartStart wireless service experts help customers realise the full potential benefits of Smart Wireless solutions. They help with first start-up, including a full network health assessment to ensure robust communications plus verification of device functionality through the chosen output (Modbus, OPC, Ethernet, etc).

“Wireless measurement technology will help users see and control more of what happens in their plants,” said Harry Forbes, an analyst with the ARC Advisory Group. “Besides huge savings in installation costs, this will drive fundamental process and automation improvements that are not possible with wired measurements.”

“That’s what makes this the most fundamental improvement in process automation in decades,” continued Forbes. “ARC believes there is pent-up demand for wireless in both new and existing applications. Emerson’s strong brand and leading market position validates that the era of wireless measurement has arrived.”

Emerson is working with equipment vendors, customers, and industry associations, including the Wireless HART working group of the HART Communications Foundation and ISA SP-100, to develop wireless networking standards that meet the requirements of industrial monitoring and control, enabling the widespread adoption of wireless sensor networking technology. Emerson is guaranteeing an easy upgrade path for compliance to the industry standard when it is completed.

To make it even easier for customers to reach the next level of business improvement, Emerson is introducing the SmartPack™ starter kit, consisting of SmartStart services; from 5 to 100 wireless Rosemount flow, pressure, level, or temperature transmitters; a wireless gateway; and an AMS Intelligent Device Manager software application for predictive diagnostic information access through the wireless gateway. By following easy best practices, the completely assembled, configured, and tested starter kit network will establish itself right out of the box, with no additional user input or set-up.

“We are excited about making the 2.4GHz Smart Wireless solutions available in Europe, following the high level of interest in 900 MHz Smart Wireless solutions following our launch in North America,” added Berra. “The experience and benefits demonstrated by field trials has created confidence and high interest in joining the age of wireless, and realising the new level of performance it promises; we’re thrilled to announce the technology for Europe.”


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