Impacts of Wireless Instrumentation in Production, Operations, Maintenance, and Projects

I found in my RSS search feeds news of some Emerson interactive web seminars on wireless and digital technologies. Quoting from the news:

The global webinar program runs from Tuesday, June 28 to Friday, July 1. Each webinar is in English and repeated at different times during the day to accommodate multiple locations and time zones.

The sessions each day occur at the following times: 8am Paris– 2pm Singapore, 11am Paris – 5pm Singapore, 4pm Paris – 10am New York. There are four topics: June 28 -Safer and Leaner (Operations), June 29 – Fast and Flexible (Projects), June 30 – Visibility and Efficiency (Production), July 1 – At Last, Maintenance Without Downtime (Maintenance).

I connected with the team to see if I could share a preview from one of the sessions. Emerson’s Ann Robin, who will be hosting the sessions, shared some project perspectives with me that will be a part of the Fast and Flexible session.

Typical process automation capital projects go through stages, which include conceptual design, detailed design, planning and construction, and commissioning and startup. The pressure is also on the project team to manage the risks and uncertainties along the way to keep the project on schedule and on budget. Changes occur all along the project timeline including process changes, instrumentation changes, control system I/O database changes, packaged skid & equipment changes, and human error by the project team along the way.

Unfortunately, these changes become more expensive in cost and time the later they occur in a project. In the Fast and Flexible seminar session, the team shows a comparative example between a wired instrumentation project and a wireless instrumentation project. The comparison is done from the perspectives of instrument & gateway costs, installation materials, installation labor, terminations, and engineering. From a total project perspective, the savings in labor and materials is more than 2 times the incremental cost difference between the wireless instrumentation and gateways versus conventional wired instrumentation.

For a 60,000+ man-hour project example, labor savings exceeded 30% for the wireless case. The savings came in automatic sensing and configuration, testing and validation, and faster time to startup.

The Fast and Flexible web seminar shows way that project uncertainties are reduced across each phase of the project lifecycle. It also highlights cases on the impact changes in project data have at various phases in the project. For instance, if a change in the process I/O occurs after the I/O cabinets have been built, time and cost must be added for cabinet layout review, marshalling wire review, cable/junction box allocation, cabinet rewiring, and control strategy modification. These additional steps are not required in a wireless installation.

The other webinars take similar comparative looks at the impacts on business performance in production, operations, and maintenance. Visit the “Doing More with Less with Wireless” registration page if you’d like to sign up for one or more of these sessions.

Posted Monday, June 20th, 2011 under Project Services, Wireless.

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