Using HART communication for proactive and predictive maintenance

We pride ourselves in helping our customers achieve their goals. We occasionally like to brag about about these successes and we are still celebrating one of our key customers and their achievement of being name HART plant of the year in 2012.

Monsanto’s chemical manufacturing plant in Muscantine, IA has integrated over 600 HART-enabled devices in to their control systems, CMMS (SAP) and daily work processes help to reduce costs and improve plant operations. Monsanto is the manufacturer of Roundup (which you may have in your garage or shed at home) and this plant produces over 70% what is sold in North America.

HART (which is an  acronym for Highway Addressable Remote Transducer) is a way of sending and receiving digital information across analog wires between smart devices and host systems. It’s basically the same technology that allows caller ID to work on your landline (assuming you still have one of those). A host can be any software application from a technician’s hand-held device or laptop to a plant’s process control, asset management, safety or other system using any control platform. 

This allows for information such as gas concentration, sensor integrity and sensor degradation (indicating nearing end of life) and help plan a predictive maintenance schedule. This helps to avoid having to run around making repairs after a sensor has failed which could slow or stop production.

According to Joel Holmes, Monsanto Site Electrical Reliability Engineer, “by implementing conditioned based monitoring techniques, we can effectively identify, diagnose, troubleshoot, and ultimately repair issues prior to their effects negatively impacting production. We were able to identify the bad actors (devices) and save the operation between $800 thousand and $1.6 million dollars in cost avoidance per year through our reliability program efforts.”

These are the types of numbers that make people sit up and take notice. Congratulations to Monsanto.

To see the full article on Monsanto’s award: http://www.hartcomm.org/hcf/news/whats_new/monsanto.html

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