At one refinery, the savings from using wirelessHART and analytical software were dramatic:

  • Before wireless process monitoring devices were installed, rounds took a total of 8,760 hours annually. Since wirelessHART process monitoring devices have been installed, rounds at the same facility have been reduced to 1100 hours annually — a savings of 87 percent, or 7,660 operator hours.
  • Better water chemistry reduced chemical costs. That, in addition to lower blowdowns (e.g., lower water use), reduced chemical costs by 20 percent, or $150,000 per month, resulting in a savings of $1.8 million per year.
  • With the wirelessHART technologies in place, the enterprise asset management (EAM) alerts give early warning of failure. This allows the mechanical department to schedule repairs before they fail, cutting costs by $4.8 million.
  • Reduced process slowdowns from cooling tower cell shutdowns have saved, on average, $350,000 per year in lost production.
  • Reduced downtime due to cooling tower failures in the alkylation plant eliminated losses that totaled as much as 2587 BPD, or $5.9 million.
  • Wireless monitoring improved process efficiency of the cooling towers between 10 and 15 percent.

The refinery estimates that the wireless monitoring system for one cooling unit paid for itself in a little over two weeks. The company that owns the refinery is proceeding to install similar systems at other facilities.

See the related feature article, "WirelessHART Automates Cooling Tower Operations," to learn how wireless instrumentation and an asset-management system reduce chemical, maintenance, lost production and repair costs at manufacturing facilities.