Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Emerson wireless transmitters monitor gas plants in Argentina

November 26, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Emerson's Smart Wireless network helps improve profitability and environmental compliance at Tecpetrol natural gas facilities in Argentina.Emerson Process Management’s Smart Wireless solutions, the company says, are improving profitability and environmental compliance for Tecpetrol by making new measurements at three of its natural gas compression and delivery facilities in Argentina.

Smart Wireless was a cost-effective solution for Tecpetrol, which quickly needed to collect real-time gas flow data. The continuous data helps the company track gas venting, comply with environmental regulations, measure gas sold to third parties, and perform AGA3 calculations needed for economic balancing of its three facilities.

“The wireless applications saved us a total of $34,000 in installation costs compared to installing a wired solution, a 27-percent savings,” said Odin Fernández, automation and energy head at Tecpetrol. “We preferred Smart Wireless because it’s a secure, robust, self-organizing network. It’s reliable and easy to install, expand and use.”

Ten each of Emerson’s Rosemount wireless pressure, DP and temperature, transmitters are installed in the orifice plates at gas well heads across these facilities. The devices transmit data every 15 seconds to Smart Wireless Gateways installed at each facility that forward the data to the company’s DeltaV digital automation system.


The wireless network monitors the gas balance of the treatment plants, including dew point, primary separation, compression stages contracted, consumption and plant venting. Some of the data points tapped had never been monitored before. Other points had been checked manually by staff reading local gauges.

“We needed to closely watch our gas balance because excessive gas venting can impact our company’s bottom line through lost product and because our gas venting levels must comply with environmental regulations,” Fernández said.

Installation of the equipment took one day.The devices were easy to configure and have performed perfectly with no data loss since commissioning, despite these areas being heavily congested with pipes and equipment. Smart Wireless has eliminated the need for clipboard rounds.

“One of the advantages in using this equipment is that our process is very variable and involves piping modifications, compressor layouts and primary separation, among others,” Fernández said. “We can move the measurement points when we need to and do not depend on pipes, cabling, etc.”

Tecpetrol plans to expand its Smart Wireless use to include test measurements during well drilling.

In addition to the Smart Wireless solutions already installed at Tecpetrol, Emerson offers a wide range of wireless field instrumentation and plant operations equipment, including Fisher position monitors,  Rosemount analytical and Machinery Health Management devices, native wireless interface to AMS Suite predictive maintenance software and SmartStart Services.

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