Focus on India
Each year, FieldComm Group receives fantastic applications for the Plant of the Year award from companies located in India, and in fact two of the recent winners were from India. This year was no exception, as once again there was a great application from SRF, which deserves a special commendation. It’s a company that we just might be hearing more about in the future.
SRF is an Indian, international, multi-product industrial group. Its Dahej, Gujarat, facility produces specialty chemicals including technical textiles, relying on more than 40,000 FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART and WirelessHART devices. In the 1990s, the site embraced the Total Quality Management (TQM) methodology for quality improvement, with FieldComm Group technologies strongly contributing to all TQM phases.
Jagdish Pranami, associate vice president for electrical instrumentation and advanced IoT at the Dahej facility, is responsible for innovative projects, designing concepts, project management and maintenance initiatives as part of SRF’s digital transformation journey. A passionate advocate of his team’s work, two areas in particular are worth highlighting.
SRF’s WirelessHART technology adoption is upper quartile. Some examples covering process, reliability and safety illustrate the company’s TQM methodology of “monitor, analyze, act” being applied to WirelessHART.
In a trial, four steam traps were monitored using WirelessHART technology and SRF’s in-house algorithm. Analysis of the business benefits of these trials resulted in the deployment of WirelessHART technology on 400 steam traps across the facility. Another worthy example is WirelessHART monitoring vibrations on four troublesome vacuum pumps, which reduced their historical 16 failures per year down to zero. Online monitoring of ethylene and CO2 gases at remote sites for personnel safety, resulting in a 30% productivity improvement in personnel deployment. With more than 1,000 WirelessHART devices on 100 WirelessHART gateways connected to the plant’s 13 Emerson and Honeywell control systems, WirelessHART technology is delivering business benefits helped by SRF’s TQM approach.
HART and SOUL in the organization
Also commendable is SRF’s incorporation of FieldComm Group’s FOUNDATION Fieldbus, HART and WirelessHART technologies into its organization and personnel development programs. These initiatives include:
- The necessary technology knowledge and skills identified for specific job roles from technicians up to managers.
- A structured training curriculum defined to develop appropriate knowledge and skills from “working knowledge”’ to “subject matter expert” according to job roles.
- Incorporation into the SRF Online University of Learning (SOUL), which is SRF’s digital platform for learning and development that provides management overview, training metrics and deployment efficiencies.
- An annual budget for training ensures that SRF staff can continuously improve TQM initiatives.
There's no doubt we’ll hear more in the future from Pranami and SRF on their digital transformation journey with FieldComm Group technologies.