Preventing Expensive Shutdowns Through Wireless Solutions
Maintaining the operating efficiency of plant assets can be expensive. Most process manufacturing plants still rely on reactive maintenance practices even though these practices reduce the availability of plant assets. Proactive wireless solutions can help a company develop predictive maintenance practices to reduce equipment failures and increase plant throughput.
Smart Wireless products from Emerson Process Management have helped a major petrochemical company in India avoid expensive shutdowns at one of its polyethylene plants.
In producing polyethylene, polymerization of ethylene is carried out in a fluidized bed reactor. The customer’s plant in western India has two fluidized bed reactors, each 34 meters high. During the reaction process, agglomerate formation occurs on the inner surface of these reactors due to temperature fluctuations. The temperature was very difficult to monitor over the length of the reactor with conventional wired sensors, and was usually detected at a very late stage, after a grid temperature fluctuation.
The formation of lumps on the interior surface of a reactor results in an emergency shutdown. Owing to toxic gases often being trapped with the lumps, the removal of the "lumps" is very risky and creates potential health, safety and environment (HSE) incidences which require emergency shutdowns. Unplanned shutdowns lead to increased downtime, production losses and reduction in overall plant availability.
Emerson Process Management’s Smart Wireless technology came to the company’s rescue by providing a robust and reliable wireless network comprising Rosemount 648 temperature transmitters, Smart Wireless gateways and a SCADA package. This optimal solution provided predictive tracking and prevention of agglomerate formation inside the reactor. Monitoring the temperature profile of the reactor with Smart Wireless temperature sensors creates an early warning system that provides the operator better control of the process, avoiding costly unplanned shutdowns. This also resulted in increased plant availability and increased HSE compliance. It was the first wireless installation in the company.
Since the first Smart Wireless system as installed in 2007, four shutdowns have been prevented, translating to a total cost savings of USD 2.7 million for the company.
To learn more about how Emerson’s Smart Wireless solution enabled a petrochemical plant in India drive energy efficiency, click here. To learn more about Emerson Process Management’s Smart Wireless offerings, click here.