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By Gregory Hale
It wasn’t too long ago when the Flint Hills Pine Bend refinery in Minnesota kept suffering from pumps leaking and then catching fire.

Refinery officials knew it was bad enough the pumps would leak, but the resulting fires would just escalate the safety issue that much more. They had to prevent the vapor cloud release when the pumps failed.

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After jumping into action, the refinery was able to utilize essential asset monitoring to measure the seal for gas leaks of essential pumps throughout their operation. They were able to monitor and know which pumps needed service.

As a result, because of early detection, there were no pump fires in the five years since.

Cyber Security

That was pervasive sensing in action. That was also one of the applications introduced by Emerson Chief Strategic Officer Peter Zornio Tuesday at the Emerson Global Users Exchange 2014, in Orlando, FL.

In addition to updating the pervasive sensing initiative launched last year, the industry giant added new, or enhanced existing, products to its lineup card. “Security is on everyone’s mind,” said Zornio at the Emerson Global Users Exchange 2014, in Orlando, FL, Tuesday.

With pervasive sensing, it is clear the more the user can sense, the more they are able to solve. It is also easy to improve the process, increase reliability, boost energy savings and add to safety and security, he said.

Zornio was thinking about some big numbers as he talked about challenges facing manufacturers today.

One number was 36 percent, which represented the amount of a typical refinery maintenance budget spent on corrosion remediation and repairs. Also, 50 percent, which was the potential improvement in the industrial sector’s lifecycle energy use. In addition, he said the annual investment in safety, health and environment by the U.S. chemical industry was $16 billion and one last number was the $1.6 billion in environmental expenditures toward remediation and spills spent annually.

He talked about pervasive sensing applications with a heat exchanger at Conoco Phillips that gained efficiency in energy savings at $55,000 per year, per exchanger.

Talking about new products, Emerson released version 13 of its DeltaV system. When it comes to security, the system complies with national and international standards. DeltaV v13 added security features including workstation hardening, extension of DeltaV smart switch technology above the area control network to ensure up-to-date and effective response to today’s evolving cyber security threats.

Emerson also released the Rosemount 8700M Magnetic Flowmeter line which provides enhanced safety for hazardous area applications along with intelligent diagnostics.

The company also released a version of its Rosemount 5400 series of non-contacting radar level transmitters aimed at demanding bulk solids level measurement applications.

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