Smart Field Systems Help Make Process Industries Safer and More Profitable

By Tim Shea

ARC Report Abstract


A session at the 2018 ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida focused on leveraging smart field systems to create value in process industries.  At this well-attended session, one end user presentation discussed employing radar tank level transmitters at a petroleum refinery in Malaysia; a second discussed deploying wireless instrument networks to reduce costs and support mobile operators in the process areas at an alumina refinery in the US.

ARC Advisory Group analysts provided a brief overview on leveraging smart field solutions, both wired and unwired, and discussed the benefits of the ISA 108 standard and intelligent device management in general. ARC discussed how smart connected devices relate to the emerging Industrial Internet of Things (Industrial IoT) and the increasing impact made by solutions, such as multiphase flowmeters and leak detection systems in oil & gas operations across the world. 

Improving Process Safety with Smart Tank Level Transmitters

Sharul Rashid, Principal Engineer, Instrument & Control at Petronas, presented an interesting and informative presentation on how upgrading to a dedicated SIL 3 instrumented protective function (IPF) PLC with new dedicated unguided wave radar transmitters from Endress+Hauser for level measurement helped improve tank overfill protection integrity at the tank farms at the Kertih Refinery (owned and operated by Petronas Penapisan Terengganu) in Malaysia.  Mr. Rashid provided some background on Petronas and its global fully integrated oil & gas operations as well as a brief overview of how unguided wave radar technology works.  To stress the importance of process safety and the need to follow safety standards he highlighted two previous safety incidents in which an overfill protection system failure or lack of an overfill protection system caused injuries and fatalities.

Typical Process Area Wireless Heat Map Coverage  w smart field devices tssfd1.PNG

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Keywords: Smart Field Systems, Petronas, Alcoa, Industrial IoT, Refinery, Wireless, ARC Advisory Group.

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