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Severstal Wheeling has expanded its use of Emerson Process Management’s Smart Wireless technology to improve process, fire safety and environmental monitoring at its hot strip mill in Ohio.

Emerson’s Smart Wireless solutions, initially employed by Severstal Wheeling to monitor production, prevented roll failures and improved mill efficiency.

The steel producer has decided to deploy three additional Emerson wireless networks to further fine-tune process control and to monitor its fire safety system and oil storage tanks.

One of the additional applications uses Rosemount wireless temperature transmitters to check bearing lubricant on backup rolls in the plant’s finishing mill, reducing maintenance costs and downtime.

‘Since we installed the wireless network, we’ve not needed to replace backup rolls because of overheating bearings and damaged rolls,’ said Gary Borham, Severstal Wheeling engineering manager.

‘We can now see when the bearing temperatures rise and can shut down to perform maintenance, which only takes an hour,’ he added.

A second application uses Rosemount wireless pressure transmitters to monitor the water pressure of the fire safety system protecting the plant’s oil cellar.

The network has detected two water leaks, enabling quick repairs that returned water pressure to a safe level.

Severstal Wheeling was also able to discontinue clipboard rounds once made to check the system, which extends 450m through a series of tunnels.

The company had to upgrade its fire safety system to comply with insurance requirements, but estimated it would cost EUR40,000 (GBP36,770) to EUR70,000 to install a hard-wired monitoring network.

‘The cost of installing the wireless network was 60 per cent less than a hard-wired solution,’ said Borham.

In the third Smart Wireless application, the company installed Rosemount wireless transmitters on 11 oil storage tanks located inside and outside its facility.

The devices are connected to, and convert the 4-20mA signals from, existing hard-wired pressure transmitters that measure tank levels.

Environmental managers are alerted if oil levels are high or if a spill occurs.

‘If there is a spill, we know exactly which tank it is and what time it occurred,’ said Borham.

‘We can immediately work to contain it.

‘We can also use the level data to monitor when to order more oil,’ he added.

Two Smart Wireless gateways receive data sent continuously from these self-organising networks and relay it to the plant’s Pi historian.

Some transmitters are located as far as 180m away from a gateway.

The devices have transmitted data reliably despite harsh conditions, particularly in the processing areas, even though the transmitters are installed in areas where they are separated by walls and equipment.

‘We’ve lost no data and had no problems with any of our wireless networks,’ said Borham.

‘It’s so simple to expand networks to get new points and any kind of process data we want,’ he added.

Installation and commissioning were easy and some took only a few hours to get up and running.

Severstal Wheeling’s technicians and automation engineers performed the work with assistance from Emerson.

In addition to the Smart Wireless solutions already installed at Severstal Wheeling, Emerson offers a wide range of wireless field instrumentation and plant operations equipment.

This includes Fisher position monitors, Rosemount Analytical and machinery health management devices, as well as native wireless interfaces to AMS Suite predictive maintenance software, DeltaV digital automation systems and Smartstart Services.

Emerson Process Management

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