Natural Gas Distributor Saves $1 Million with Wireless while Keeping User Experience Seamless

Pictures of wireless softwareUsing the latest technology to make things look the same – that was the challenge for Emerson’s wireless experts when they began working with a particular large natural gas distribution company. With the ever-increasing thirst for natural gas, metering stations must be upgraded across the fleet to meet demand, and companies are faced with finding ways to improve and modernize for higher capacity, while reducing installation costs and protecting from transients and other environmental elements. At the same time, the company did not want to have to force all its operators and users to deal with new technology with a new look, feel, and operating procedure, even if it saves money. Emerson needed to move this company to wireless while making it look wired.

Like so many companies in gas metering, this firm uses Emerson’s Fisher FloBoss 107 flow computer, which provides the functions required for various field automation applications delivering accurate AGA [American Gas Association] calculations. The Emerson team, therefore, worked closely with the customer to integrate the traditional FloBoss architecture with WirelessHART® through Modbus.

The flexibility of the Emerson WirelessHART 1410 Gateway protocol in both inputs and alarm points made this integration not only possible, but straightforward. The team was able to create a seamless integration into the FloBoss, enabling gas control with the same “look and feel” as the wired devices – but offering so much more. In turn, the Emerson 1410D Wireless Gateway provided the user with a self-organizing network capable of supporting 100 field devices. The Emerson gateway offers a built-in web browser, multiple communication ports, multiple protocols, and more, giving a much-needed upgrade to performance with minimum impact on operators.

The seamless transition to wireless was furthered by Emerson’s industry-leading wireless measurement devices, the wireless pressure gauge, wireless “check” flowmeter, and wireless temperature transmitter. The ease of installation and operation as well as the advanced performance features of these devices meant the company could actually improve operations without the need for costly wired installation. In addition, all the devices provide extensive diagnostics available to the user through AMS Wireless Configurator, which enables field service technicians to remotely monitor site instrument health and significantly reduce maintenance hours.

This natural gas distribution company plans to update 60 sites in the near future. By using WirelessHART technology it estimates it will save between $20K to $40K per site depending on site size, for an annual savings over $1,000,000.00. Best of all, it’s able to achieve these savings while keeping the user experience virtually seamless, thanks to the flexibility of Emerson wireless technology.

More information on the Emerson Wireless Gateway can be found here.

How could your company benefit from the flexibility of Emerson wireless technology? Comment below.