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Monsanto Muscatine chemical plant named 2012 HART Plant of the Year

21 May 2013

The HART Communication Foundation has announced that the Monsanto chemical manufacturing plant located in Muscatine, Iowa, USA, has been given the 2012 HART Plant of the Year Award, which showcases end users who have demonstrated ingenuity in the application of HART Communication for real-time operational improvements.

Monsanto engineers used the full capabilities of HART Communication to integrate the intelligent information from more than 600 HART-enabled devices into their control systems, CMMS (SAP) and daily work processes. Using this intelligent device information has significantly reduced costs and improved plant operations as it enabled the transition from reactive to proactive and predictive maintenance.

Joel Holmes, Monsanto site electrical reliability engineer, said: “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.”

According to Holmes, HART Communication helped the company realise benefits and savings throughout plant operations:

* Embraced the asset optimisation process in assigning criticality measures to over 14,000 pieces of equipment and instrumentation encompassing the plant.

* Incorporated an asset management system into their site reliability workflow practices, to
leverage and share reliability results and document return on investment (ROI).

* Analysed their data to quantify predictive versus reactive work by generating a ‘bad actor’ list that shows how much ‘cost avoidance’ the reliability program is providing.

“HART-enabled measurement devices and smart valve positioners are at the core of this achievement,” continued Holmes. “I consider the asset management system to be a smart handheld on steroids! Now management is asking the reliability group to identify what we want to do next.”

Monsanto is expanding its use of HART Communication through the application of WirelessHART technology which is currently installed at its waste treatment facility and was recently added to one of its Acetanilide herbicide manufacturing units with the addition of six level instruments for pump seal pots. Five additional WirelessHART gateways have been purchased for installation in the near future and will provide wireless network coverage for the entire facility.

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