Articles & Case Studies

Emerson Smart Wireless Transmitters Monitor River Water Temperatures at Lenzing Fibers

Posted: Monday 8th June 2009

Wireless transmitters enable low cost compliance with local environmental regulations.

Emerson Process Management has successfully applied its Smart Wireless solution to monitor river water temperature at the Lenzing Fibers mill in Heiligenkreuz, Austria. Installation of the wireless temperature transmitters in Emerson’s self-organising wireless network provides a cost effective and highly reliable solution, enabling the company to meet local government regulations related to the temperature of water discharged into rivers and watercourses.

“The Emerson technology was both easy to install and integrate and has been extremely reliable in terms of data transfer. When all the transmitters were in place the network offered us a communications reliability of 100%, which is very impressive,” said Wolfgang Gotzi, Head of Automation and Maintenance Department, Lenzing Fibers. “We are currently looking at other applications where Smart Wireless can be applied.”

Lenzing Fibers, winner of the European Awards for the Environment, is the world’s largest producer of Tencel® fibers. The Heiligenkreuz fibers plant uses water drawn from a local river for cooling purposes. Local environmental regulations require that the water returned to the river must not be more than 3 degrees Celsius higher than the water extracted. The regulations also stipulate that the company must maintain a constant check and record of the water temperature at both inlet and outlet points.

“Because of the distance of the River Lafnitz from the control room and the fact that people are free to walk by the river, we would have had to dig a trench for the cabling and this would have been very expensive,” said Gotzi. The cost of installing wireless is much lower and has made this project possible.”

Prior to the regulation being introduced, Lenzing was already monitoring the water temperatures manually, involving daily visits to the river. However tomeet the environmental regulationthere was a need to improve the reliability of the results and for these measurements to be easily stored and be made readily available for inspection. By implementing a solution that enabled online measurements,Lenzing Fibers were presented with an opportunity to reduce operations costs by eliminating the number of trips to the river and to streamline the reporting

The temperature of the water extracted from the river is transmitted wirelessly via Emerson’s Rosemount® wireless temperature transmitter, to a Smart Wireless Gateway. The gateway is positioned on an external wall of the pump station control room, 200 metres away. A second wireless transmitter is installed where water is returned to the river, and a third transmitter is 200 metres downstream where it measures the temperature of the remixed waterafter the return point.

A fourth transmitter is currently used as a weather station and is situated by a nearby lake that is used as a cooling water reserve. This device acts as a repeater and provides additional paths for the self-organising network ensuring the highest possible communication reliability.

Emerson’sAMS®Suite: Intelligent Device Manager is used to manage the new Smart Wireless devices, enabling the technicians to configure the devices, run diagnostic checks and monitor alarms and alerts.AMSSuite is also used to manage and store calibration information.

The Smart Wireless network is integrated into Lenzing Fibers’ existing control system and the temperature information is stored in a data historian in order to meet the requirements of the environmental regulations.

Emerson’s self-organising technology delivers the highest communications reliability and makes addition of more measurement devices easy. Each wireless device can act as a router for other nearby devices, passing messages along until they reach their destination. If there is an obstruction, transmissions are simply re-routed along the network until a clear path to the Smart Wireless Gateway is found. As conditions change the wireless network simply reorganises and finds a way to get its signals through.

Smart Wireless products and technology are an extension of Emerson’s PlantWeb® digital plant architecture.

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