Boise Inc. has enhanced safety response capability at its paper mill in St. Helens, Ore., by implementing Smart Wireless products from Emerson Process Management to monitor its eye wash and safety shower stations.

When one of the eight eye wash or safety shower stations at the mill is turned on, Emerson’s Rosemount wireless discrete transmitters in the self-organizing Smart Wireless field network immediately communicate with the mill’s operating system to activate an alarm in the facility’s control room. This allows operators to quickly dispatch assistance to the station and investigate for possible injuries.

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Photo 1. Safety shower at Boise Inc. paper mill in St. Helens, Ore.

Prior to utilizing Emerson’s Smart Wireless solution, the plant did not have a monitoring network for its safety stations and instead relied upon individual radio communications to alert the control room.

“We have numerous people at our mill – including drivers who are unloading chemicals who don’t have an avenue to directly communicate with the operators,” said Jeff Taylor of Boise Inc. “Although we use lots of radios at the plant, none of the contractors and only some of the employees have them.”

The estimated cost to use hard-wired monitors at the stations was $40,000.

“We had looked into installing a wired network monitoring system, but it was cost prohibitive to do so,” Taylor said. “By installing a wireless network instead of a traditional wired network, we were able to save about 60 percent in installation costs.”

The switches and Smart Wireless Gateway were easy to install and commission, according to Taylor. Some of the switches are as far as 200 feet from the gateway. The gateway interfaces with an OPC server which delivers reliable data to the mill’s operating system. The robust wireless network monitors the switches every 15 seconds.

“Because we have established this wireless network infrastructure, we anticipate that for low cost we can easily add additional transmitters at our mill for use with other applications,” Taylor said.

Boise Inc., headquartered in Boise, Idaho, manufactures packaging products and papers including corrugated containers, containerboard, label and release and flexible packaging papers, imaging papers for the office and home, printing and converting papers, newsprint, and market pulp.

Emerson Process Management (www.emersonprocess.com), an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, mining and metals, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries. The company combines superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Its brands include PlantWeb, DeltaV, Fisher, Micro Motion, Rosemount, Daniel, Ovation and AMS Suite.

Emerson, based in St. Louis, is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.