Results realized to date included reduction of daily pump inspections by 50%, process improvements and cost savings due to increased uptime and longer equipment lifetime.
Field operators in chemical and other process plants perform critical tasks, yet must do so with very little help from the information technology that has transformed office work processes. Many plant operations, even hazardous ones, are performed with only paper-based procedures. The major cause of this situation is that while office space is relatively easy to network, chemical plants that cover thousands of acres are not. Business applications today rely on the network, and have to be re-architected for situations where network service is intermittent or non-existent.
Many process manufacturers are willing to make substantial investments to re-architect their business applications in order to support mobile field operations. But this decision involves high costs and long project schedules, as well as substantial commitments from experts in operations and IT alike.
A recent project called “Project Zero” at a Huntsman Corporation site developed a new system for field operator assistance that substantially leverages the plant’s existing operating processes and procedures. Huntsman was able to deploy the system successfully because part of the project included the installation of a high-quality wireless network throughout the plant.
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