Case Study: Operator mobility

"Real Time Loop checks"

The Challenge:

With competitive pressure mounting in 2013 and a recent recapitalization of the company, executive management wanted to improve Turn Around (TA) efficiency and routine maintenance scheduling, while bringing a critically important new de-hydro catalyst unit online; on time and under budget.

The Houston Based chemical plant approached us with a need to establish a wireless infrastructure on an area of their site to facilitate the execution of these activities. 

In addition to enabling operations with a rugged, certified and easily portable tablet, we were charged with engineering and designing the wireless infrastructure needed to support such a network ensuring reliable communications regardless of where the operations personnel may work from as well as ensuring the network remained reliable throughout the area even in situations where specific turn around activities may have shut down portions of the unit.

The Solution:

I²oT Solutions’ team of experienced personnel performed a detailed wireless engineering design that allowed key locations to install meshed Access Points while considering key factors of performance, throughput and reliability. This required a cost-effective deployment strategy that ensured the network could be extended to the remaining site while being fully integrated.

I²oT Solutions engineers maintained ownership of the engineered solution from start to finish with continuous direct feedback to customer.

The Obstacles:

As with any deployment there are always challenges and considerations to be made and this was not an exception for this site, which included;

·       Engineering a solution while major construction was ongoing.

·       Evaluating locations based on current and planned infrastructure.

·       Working safely on a site with an abundance of other contractors and activities going on.

What sets us up for success and is our extensive experience of working on an industrial site, knowing the first priority is working safely and collaboratively with others as we perform our activities. In addition, we worked closely with site personnel with knowledge of the area we are working to ensure our design will meet the current and future needs.

The Results:

The deployment was successfully completed on time and within budget however, and most importantly, we enabled the site with a secure WiFi mesh network giving the chemical plant the ability to collaborate and communicate in real-time with current information.

The plant was able to increase their loop check efficiency by 8X which significantly helped save time and deliver a major capital project, and execute the commissioning process of the de-hydro catalyst faster with an estimated productivity gain between $2-2.5m.

The site is now evaluating the justification for a full site wireless deployment with integration of other solutions to support their operations as well as Safety and Security needs.

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