A full range of Hirschmann WLAN products was used to build the wireless infrastructure for the process control system at the recently completed Ethylene Cracker Complex in Singapore for Shell Eastern Petroleum.
With this breakthrough application, Hirschmann has demonstrated that it offers a complete solution for scalable, redundant LAN and WLAN architectures for process industries.
This application is also one of the earliest instances in the Oil & Gas industry of wireless technology being deployed to get mobile access to the process control system.
When planning the project, Shell wanted to get mobile access to all process data via WLAN at defined places in the refinery to drive efficiencies.
According to Peter Beerepoot, who was responsible for Instrumentation Process Control of the entire project for Shell Eastern Petroleum, having realised the benefits of wireless technology, they considered substitution of local panels, which would bring them advantages in terms of cost reduction and increased efficiency.
Tsjoi Tsim, Consultant Wireless Technologies, who acted on behalf of Shell Global Solutions International (SGSI) adds that it was essential to identify the right partners to create a wireless plant and Belden was selected based on their capability to deliver the right solution.
Yokogawa was appointed as the main automation contractor for the project.
Peter Roodenburg, Project Manager at Yokogawa says that they contracted Belden to design and deliver the wireless infrastructure, which acts as an interface to the process control systems.
Belden assumed responsibility for the design and building of a complete WLAN solution consisting of a wireless distribution system incorporating 90 Hirschmann access points (BAT54-F X2) linked across a redundant, fibre ring backbone.
It was important for all relevant parts of the solution to be suitable for the challenging environmental conditions and they had to be properly certified accordingly to comply with ATEX/IEC60079 requirements.
HaJo Finkbeiner, Belden Senior Consultant says that they were able to provide Shell and their partner, Yokogawa with a one-stop-shop solution for WLAN and firewall technology featuring a redundant backbone structure.
The solution comprised of hardware and software as well as a full range of services including consulting, planning, maintenance, site survey, training and configuration of all devices, to the commissioning and testing of the entire system at various stages, prior to handing over the system to Shell.
Key components of the wireless solution:
- Hirschmann WLAN products including outdoor access points, modular MICE switches, accessories, antennas, switches, media converters and surge arrestors
- EAGLE firewall was used at the demarcation point to the customer’s process LAN for enhanced security
- Belden’s copper and fibre optic cables were used to build the backbone
- Lumberg Automation Ethernet M12 connectors were used for all Ethernet devices
- Wireless point-to-point links were installed at locations where wired LAN access was difficult
Significant benefits of the fully functional wireless infrastructure at the Shell plant include:
- Improved overall efficiency from faster commissioning time for the petrochemical process control system
- Improved maintenance efficiency
- Overall system cost reduction due to fewer indicator units being needed
With the installation, Belden has proved its expertise in successfully employing WLAN solutions in harsh environments.
DAANET is the Australian Distributor for Hirschmann Industrial Ethernet.