GSK tests wireless water monitoring at API plant

Sustainability-minded GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) is simultaneously testing two technologies to enhance water use in an API manufacturing operation. The drug giant has combined wireless networking with pressure and flow transmitters at its plant in Cork, Ireland.

The transmitters from Emerson Process Management's Smart Wireless platform are attached to two new storage tanks connected with the facility's water system. The tanks were added when the API operation outgrew its water storage facility. Via the new tanks, the transmitters monitor data throughout the plant and send it to GSK engineers. In addition to studying water usage, the engineers are testing the wireless technology in hopes of being able to create a network that allows for additional process instrumentation, according to an Emerson Process Management case study.

The network currently has 10 Smart Wireless devices: 6 pressure transmitters, two flow transmitters and two level transmitters. Flow data are transmitted every 30 seconds and pressure and level data every 300 seconds to a Smart Wireless Gateway on the roof of the plant's control room building. The wireless system is integrated with GSK's DeltaV utility-control automation system, where it can be accessed by plant operators.  

- here's the case study

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