InTech

MAR-APR 2018

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28 INTECH MARCH/APRIL 2018 WWW.ISA.ORG SYSTEM INTEGRATION the early phases. They gained confi- dence as they became familiar with the technology. Experienced end users have now expanded into safety and reli - ability applications. Interestingly, at ISA100 wireless stan- dards committee meetings between 2007–2009, the then ISA100 commit- tee co-chairman Wayne Manges, PhD, from Oak Ridge National Laboratory repeatedly predicted that the future of wireless was low-cost "lick and stick" sensors. Manges saw a future of ubiq- uitous low-cost sensing/instrumen- tation, Internet of Things (IoT), and useful, not-yet-invented applications fueled by wireless enablement. This year, the ISA100 Wireless Com- pliance Institute awarded its Excellence in Automation Award to Alcoa, whose ap plication of wireless technology seems to bear out many predictions made by Manges, including ubiquitous wireless connectivity, lower-cost sensors, and wireless closed-loop control. Alcoa was rec- ognized for its vi- sionary work with wireless technol- ogy. In 2014, Alcoa made ISA100 Wire- less technology its global standard across refinery op- erations. The com- pany established engineering stan- dards, installed wireless infrastructure and monitoring equipment, and de- veloped wireless training modules and support processes. In 2015 Alcoa formed a wireless advisory board to provide corporate governance for wireless technology implementation and developed instru- mentation selection criteria. From 2016 to 2018, it has worked with its vendor to develop new ISA100 Wire- less instruments for its specific needs, including a lower-cost, lightweight wireless pressure transmitter; a wireless safety shower panic button; a multiuse wireless push button; and an ISA100 Wireless serial interface for use on in- house specialty analyzers. Additionally, the company enabled Wi-Fi in the pro- cess area, supporting a global, connect- ed worker initiative. Alcoa's objectives in selecting ISA100 Wireless as an enabling technology were to: l provide an engineered, secured, man- aged, and integrated wireless network in alumina refinery process areas l support mobile operators using handheld devices l allow wireless connectivity of pro- cess control system or EHM equip - ment that is either remote or mobile l enable IIoT and IoT in the future The adoption and implementation of ISA100 Wireless has reduced capital ex- penditure related to installation of pro- cess/condition monitoring instruments, increased deployment speeds, facili- tated troubleshooting via mobile and temporary sensors, and extended moni- toring applications to moving equip- ment. The complete presentation of Alcoa's work is on the WCI website (https://isa100wci.org/en-US/Learn- ing-Center/Presentations). With 100 percent wireless coverage at operating sites, Alcoa has reduced the time to instrument a process from 3–6 months using wired sensors to three days or less using wireless sensors. This capability provides a huge return on investment (ROI), especially for quickly analyzing processes for optimization or temporarily troubleshooting an as- set or process. Based upon ISA100 Wireless, Alcoa is now learning to apply wireless to closed-loop control in a noncritical application for water tower level man- agement. Over time, Alcoa expects to expand wireless into more critical pro- cess control applications. Wireless has been making big in- roads in safety applications. The Draeger GS01 wireless gas sensor was implemented in a SIL-2 certified safety loop (the full loop is SIL-2, not just the gas sensor), and end users are find - ing wireless to be extremely useful for alarm monitoring. Alcoa has added wireless alarms to all safety wash- down stations, notifying the safety staff of the location of any wash station that was triggered. ISA100 Wireless technol - ogy conferences during 2017 focused on wireless for reliability and safety applications. Presentations from the October 2017 Taipei event contain de - scriptions of ISA100 Wireless applica- tions supporting safety and improved reliability for plant operations. "Heat map" showing typical Alcoa operating area coverage using wireless technology. We use our wireless infrastructure to fill data gap rapidly Innovation cycle: use plant data, identify new opportunities, test ideas and implement From installing wireless device on process to having process data : duration one day Plantwide wireless mesh y agi y Summary of Alcoa wireless results

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