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Apprion, Industrial Mobility and the Enterprise Mobility Solutions business of Motorola have announced they have completed work on one of their largest industrial wireless application networks.

The work was carried out at Huntsman Corporation’s facility in Port Neches, Texas.

Huntsman, a manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals, undertook an aggressive programme to eliminate injuries, product defects and environmental releases at the facility.

The Project Zero programme required a completely mobile solution to allow operations and maintenance personnel to capture defects, track work progress and make process and safety-related decisions in real-time.

To help deliver on the objectives of Project Zero, Huntsman partnered with Industrial Mobility, Apprion and Motorola.

Industrial Mobility contributed its Mobilops field mobility software that enables field operators to execute electronic ‘smart’ rounds and checklists, enter real-time defect elimination work requests in the field, monitor and control standard operating conditions (SOCs) for each piece of equipment, and access the most up-to-date standard operating procedures (SOPs) for execution in the field, including consequences of deviation (CODs) and corrective actions (CAs).

Huntsman believes it is crucial to centralise and manage safety-critical information in one place rather than building nested safety data into each round, checklist or procedure.

The Mobilops solution contains an SOC database engine that provides safety-critical data to operators and mechanics at the point of decision making in the field.

All field executable procedures, rounds and checklists pull their safety-critical data from this same central source.

Legacy information such as process and instrumentation diagrams, process flow diagrams, drawings, procedures, incident reports and so on, are also immediately available on demand in the field.

To ensure that Huntsman personnel have a reliable mobile platform to run Mobilops, as part of its Ion System, Apprion selected Motorola’s MC9090 rugged mobile computer.

Motorola’s MC9090 is said to provide mobile workforces with the reliability and performance for real-time visibility into business-critical information.

Designed to withstand the rigours of everyday use in the harshest environments, the MC9090 mobile computer offers rugged construction and support for multi-mode wireless connectivity to ensure maximum accessibility to personnel and business systems.

Using Motorola’s MC9090 mobile computers, Huntsman personnel connect anywhere throughout the four square mile plant via the Apprion Ion System – a Class 1, Div 2 rated wireless application network.

The Apprion’s Ion System provides wireless application deployment (applications include video, voice communications, energy efficiency and condition monitoring) and a centralised dashboard that brings together application data, wireless regional maps and equipment status and maintenance views and reports.

With real-time wireless tracking of the rounds activity at Huntsman, the number of pumps requiring daily inspection has been reduced by 50 per cent – allowing more time for other crucial inspection areas.

Defect elimination work requests are initiated in the field in real time.

The process automatically identifies redundancies, makes work planning more effective and will lead to significant reduction in the average ‘time to closure’ for each request.

Real-time monitoring of SOCs have led to process improvements and cost savings due to increased uptime and longer equipment lifetime.

‘By increasing the speed and effectiveness of our defect capture process, we are now able to see beyond the tip of the defect “iceberg”, said John Prows, vice-president of manufacturing excellence for Huntsman’s Performance Products division.

‘The operator scans the RFID tag with the hand-held, pulls down a defect pick list and punches the enter button.

‘Capturing and eliminating defects while they are small will drive down maintenance costs, eliminate redundant work, and ensure the Project Zero goal delivery, while the improvement in overall equipment effectiveness will increase both production quality and quantity.

‘Most importantly, Huntsman now has a tool that drives safe operating data to the personnel in the field, right at the very time they need the information, to ensure that the safest approach to each task is followed,’ he added.

The value provided to Huntsman by the Mobile Ops application and the solid coverage and reliable services delivered by the Apprion wireless network enable operators and maintenance personnel to rely on the information in the field.


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