How to monitor Noise Levels digitally

How to monitor Noise Levels digitally

July 14, 2020

How can we make this world a better, smarter place? How can we harness our digital achievements to ensure well-being?  On plants, there are many different noise sources. A too high noise level can have fatal consequences for the human ear. Noisy work environments require measures such as limited work hours and the use of earplugs so that workers do not suffer hearing loss. It is crucial that the noise levels are measured correctly. As written in the sustainable development goals, “good health and well-being” is one of the goals which we try to achieve with our daily work and innovations. But how can you measure noise levels adequately? What is the status quo? I’d like to invite you to follow me on my journey.

How do you monitor noise levels?

In 2016, the common method of measuring noise levels was as follows: Handheld sound level meters were being brought into plants to regularly measure noise levels at different locations. Actual noise levels could vary significantly between the points in time when these manual readings are made, depending on factors such as the status of the plant equipment and the time of day. To facilitate protective measures such as the creation of appropriate work schedules, there was an urgent need for a solution that could continuously gather and analyze data in realtime. The solution should use readings from multiple locations throughout a plant. But how can we gather real-time data?

Motivated by this challenge, we started co-innovating with Equinor ASA Norway, one of the world’s largest offshore oil and gas companies.  The goal was to develop jointly an online system that monitors noise levels in real-time. We used our field wireless technology expertise and Equinor’s extensive plant operations knowledge to develop the wireless noise surveillance system.

We acquired a license from Equinor and began manufacturing and selling this system to customers.

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How the wireless noise surveillance system works

 

Noise levels

The heart and soul of the Wireless Noise Surveillance System are the WN100 wireless noise meter and the WN30 noise mapping software.
Compliant with the ISA100 Wireless*2 network protocol, WN100 sensors can be installed at many locations throughout a plant to measure noise levels.  They transmit this data in real-time to servers via gateway devices such as the Yokogawa YFGW410 field wireless management station. What happens from this data? The WN30 software can then construct in real-time a noise map and superimposes this onto an actual map of the plant. Computers in the central control room and other key locations can then display these graphics via an Ethernet connection in a web browser.

*2: A network protocol based on the ISA100.11a wireless communication standard for industrial automation.  It was developed by the International Society of Automation (ISA), and the applications necessary for its implementation. This was approved as the IEC62734 international standard by IEC in October 2014. The ISA100 Wireless system is fast and reliable.  A huge advantage is that it can link devices that are scattered over a wide area.

*3. WN100 and YFGW510 (or YFGW520) are installed in the plant field.
Both YFGW510 and YFGW520 are available for Field Wireless Access Points for WN100.
(Zoom Image: WN100 Wireless Sound Level Meter )

 

Advantages of the wireless noise surveillance system

Noise levels WINOS

Wireless noise surveillance system at SPE Offshore exhibition 2019

Why should you choose the wireless noise surveillance system? These are the advantages:

1.The health of the workers
By viewing noise maps before heading to the worksite, workers can find out in real-time what the noise levels will be at that location.  Provided with the necessary information,  they can take necessary precautions such as bringing earplugs or earmuffs that are designed for the anticipated sound levels.  It’s also possible to estimate how long they can stay in that location without experiencing hearing loss.

2. Organization of work plans
Occupational safety-related laws and guidelines in each country help to prevent hearing loss by limiting the number of hours personnel can be exposed to specific noise levels. Noise maps can be used to design appropriate work schedules.

3. Reduced wiring costs
This system employs ISA100 Wireless technology. If you compare it to conventional wired systems, this system is better suited for applications where sensors must be installed over a wide area in often difficult-to-wire locations. Installation costs are lower, also for systems that are equipped with many sensors.

Positive impact on society

“In 2017 Yokogawa established three sustainability goals, one of which is to ensure the well-being of all. This wireless noise surveillance system is beneficial in helping to ensure worker health. At Yokogawa, we will keep supporting people’s health and prosperity through our business activities.”

(Kenji Hasegawa, Yokogawa Vice President IA Products and Service Business)

It was a journey with ups and downs, but we succeeded. Ensuring the well-being of humans is definitely worth the effort, don’t you think? The wireless noise surveillance system is ready to be implemented in your plant.

Are you curious? Please contact us directly via our contact page.


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