Emerson Process Management

Oct. 3, 2006
In-plant Smart Wireless Solutions Boost Asset Management

Click here for a larger image of Emerson's wireless architecture diagram.

Emerson Process Management on Oct. 3 officially launched its in-plant Smart Wireless solutions, which enable manufacturers to boost mainstream applications to the next level of reliability and operational performance. Extending Emerson’s PlantWeb digital plant architecture, the field-proven Smart Wireless solutions deliver actionable information from assets previously out of physical or economic reach, expanding predictive process and asset management in existing and new facilities.

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

The Emerson Smart Wireless solutions have been designed based on customer inputs received throughout the development cycle, and have been field proven through extensive user trials.

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

Incremental information gained from use of Smart Wireless solutions can enhance customer understanding of their process, and identify opportunities for improvement. It can improve response time to safety incidents, minimize emissions, and help protect the environment. It can help expand proactive maintenance, and extend the life of assets.

"Wireless measurement technology will help users see and control more of what happens in their plants. Besides huge savings in installation costs, this will drive fundamental process and automation improvements that are not possible with wired measurements. That is what makes this the most fundamental improvement in process automation in decades," commented industry analyst Harry Forbes of ARC Advisory Group. "ARC believes there is pent-up demand for wireless in both new and existing applications. That demand will be realized quickly once end-users are confident that new products meet their application requirements. Emerson has collaborated extensively with end-users during their development process and has engaged end-users for extensive field trials. Emerson’s strong brand and leading market position validates that the era of wireless measurement has arrived."

"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,” commented 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. Smart Wireless technology for in-plant mainstream applications changes that paradigm. . . In [customer field] trials, we’ve seen customers quickly discover and remedy problems that would have gone undetected."

Overall, Emerson wireless trial customers have experienced 99.9 percent network reliability, extremely easy deployment, industrial strength security, long battery life, and as much as 90 percent less installed cost.

What about wireless standards?

Emerson is united with its customers on the need for standards that support mainstream user needs. The company is actively collaborating in the standards development process and is bringing its field trial experience to the standards organizations. Emerson is guaranteeing complete support and investment in industrial wireless standards, plus an easy upgrade path for compliance with the industry standard when it is completed.

To make it easier for customers to reach the next level of business improvement, Emerson is introducing the Smart Pack starter kit, consisting of: Smart Start services; from 5 to 100 wireless Rosemount flow, pressure, level, or temperature transmitters; wireless gateway; and a 25-tag AMS Intelligent Device Manager software application for predictive information access with a native wireless gateway. Completely pre-engineered, checked out and configured, the network will form right out of the box, with no additional user input or setup, according to the company.

Technical documentation, online tools and additional information about the Smart Wireless portfolio are available at www.emersonprocess.com/SmartWireless. In November, Emerson’s on-line PlantWeb University will add more than two dozen 15-minute courses that present a practical introduction to the technology and applications of in-plant wireless for operators, engineers and management.

Also within the next few months, Emerson will start an in-plant Smart Wireless design contest aimed at inspiring process engineers to unleash their imaginations and creative engineering spirit by submitting innovative applications they have found where wireless technology delivered new insight and business benefits. Their experiences, insights and tips will form a foundation to speed wireless usage and benefits in the new age of wireless.

The in-plant Smart Wireless solutions for 900 MHz applications can be ordered now in North America, and will be available in Latin America in early 2007. The 2.4 GHz solutions will launch in Europe and Asia in early 2007, and will also be available then in Latin America.

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