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Improved maintenance at gas compression facility

26 April 2010

Petrobras has applied Emerson’s Smart Wireless solution, an extension of its PlantWeb digital plant architecture, to automate the collection of pressure, temperature, and vibration data from compressors at its Sao Mateus gas compression facility in north eastern Brazil.

Improved maintenance at gas compression facility in Brazil
Improved maintenance at gas compression facility in Brazil

Emerson’s 56 transmitters and a single Smart Wireless Gateway, automate data collection on two of the seven compressors at the facility, feeding round-the-clock information to the plant’s DeltaV digital automation system.

The WirelessHart installation, in an environment where high cost and occasional flooding made a wired approach impractical, was much faster and is performing very well. Petrobras saved €145,000 by using a wireless solution as compared to a wired installation.

In the past, Petrobras staff made clipboard rounds to the compressors every three hours, 24 hours a day, to check local readings and record the data by hand on spreadsheets. The company needed a more efficient data collection method that would provide the information directly to its operating system.

"We now have online access to real-time data about the compressors’ operation, and can review historical data and trends," said Gabriel Lopes, Petrobras Sao Mateus maintenance operator. "Alarms are generated when problems occur, enabling staff to take fast action in an abnormal situation."

"Connecting the existing monitors on the compressors to the central control system with cables was not financially feasible because of installation and maintenance costs," continued Lopes. "Adding to this, because the installation is in a flood prone area, a wired installation would be less reliable and require extra maintenance."

It took Petrobras only four days to install all 56 devices. The application includes 24 Rosemount 3051S wireless pressure transmitters, 26 Rosemount 648 temperature transmitters, and six CSI 9420 wireless vibration transmitters. All devices communicate using the WirelessHart standard. Emerson’s AMS Suite predictive maintenance software is used to manage the new devices. All devices send data to a single Smart Wireless Gateway installed in the control room which integrates the wireless network with the existing DeltaV digital automation system.

"The installation went easily and the network was up and running much quicker than if we had installed a wired network," Lopes summarised. "The system has been performing well. We now would like to use Smart Wireless discrete input and output switches on these two compressors and establish identical networks on the additional five compressors so we can activate and deactivate some of our pumps and motors using all wireless."

In addition to the Smart Wireless solutions already installed at Petrobras, Emerson offers a wide range of wireless field instrumentation and plant operations equipment, including Fisher position monitors, Rosemount analytical devices, and wireless SmartStart services.

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