There is now yet another generation of instruments on the market-wireless! The developments in instruments are faster than what a traditional chemicals manufacturing plant was used to. First we had pneumatic/hydraulic & mechanical instruments, then analog instruments, then digital “smart” instruments, fieldbuses and now wireless. However, in this case these may prove to be very useful for safety monitoring.
How? Recall that in most plants, safety valves and rupture disks are devices that are not monitored remotely (except perhaps if there are CCTV cameras installed around them). Thus other than a bang (when the rupture disk goes off), there is no apparent indication. If you cannot hear it, nothing can be done.
There is now however a way, with the advent of wireless safety relief valves and wireless rupture disks. These devices have a small wireless transmitter mounted inside them, so that you can remotely monitor their status in far-away control rooms;suddenly they are now visible on a plant’s DCS or a SCADA system.
Isn’t that great? Coupled with some newer instruments that can be mounted on safety showers and eyewash fountains (that transmit a digital signal wirelessly when operated), it will lead to a greater degree of safety, even in older plants (as presumably one can retrofit the older relief devices and showers with these wireless transmitters).
Have any of you any experience in such a wireless safety instrument implementation? We will be glad to hear from you about your actual experiences. Please respond through the comments form (look for the link near the title of this post).