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Security Regulations Launch BASF Plant Infrastructure Improvements

March 30, 2015

US Coast Guard video surveillance requirements gave BASF the business case it needed to justify installing plant-wide outdoor wireless coverage.

Large process manufacturing plants can often be canyons of metal that are difficult and costly to cover with a site-wide wireless network. For this reason, even though there may be myriad benefits to a Wi-Fi infrastructure, managers need a strong business case to justify undertaking such a project.

For BASF, that business case came in the form of a United States Coast Guard Maritime Security (MARSEC) system requirement for video surveillance at their Freeport, Texas, site. BASF determined that, given the MARSEC mandate, a new wireless network was the most economical way to achieve compliance.

Mustering Application Typical Operator Interface. Source: Apprion

BASF management knew that there would be many other benefits to plant-wide Wi-Fi, but the business value was not easily quantified. Chris Witte, Senior VP of BASF for the Freeport complex, likened it to a decision made decades earlier to put a PC on every engineer’s desk, “People knew they were going to see gains from it, even though the gains could not be precisely quantified at the time.”

Based on their successful experiences working with industrial wireless application systems provider Apprion, BASF decided to have them tackle this new project as well.

Now, more than a year later, BASF has indeed seen benefits from their new wireless network with an electronic mustering application for personnel safety that leverages the plan’s earlier investment.

Learn more about this project and BASF’s plans for future personnel tracking applications in two ARC case studies:

BASF to Treat Wireless as Basic Infrastructure

Technology for Greater Personnel Safety at BASF Freeport