Planning and Integrating Reliability for Top Performance

Innovations-Process-Control-Fall-2015The autumn edition of Innovations in Process Control is now published. It is also available in German, Italian, Spanish and French.

This edition contains articles on:

  • Reliability management consulting
  • Reliability value chain
  • Improved engineering efficiency drives reliability
  • Process reliability starts in the basement
  • Keeping a close eye on corrosion
  • Innovative technologies

Emerson Process Management Europe president, Roel Van Doren opens noting:

In an in-depth study Solomon Associates, a leading benchmarking company, quantifies the significance of top-quartile performance versus lower performers. The key to lifting performance into the top-quartile is a planned, integrated approach to all activities and technologies monitoring plant assets and workflows in order to standardise reliability practices.

The first four articles address aspects of this planned, integrated approach to reliability. Robert DiStefano notes that downtime in the oil & gas, chemical, refining and power industry routinely suffers around 5 to 7% downtime due to poor maintenance practices. He cites Solomon research: Continue Reading

Final Preparations for the Denver Emerson Exchange Conference

Emerson-Exchange-SchedulerIt’s a busy week as we ready for next week’s Emerson Exchange conference in Denver. If you’re going, are you working on your schedule yet of the workshops, short courses, educational courses and other activities? Here is the myExchange Tool to help you plan your week. Plan now and use your Emerson Exchange Mobile App to guide you around next week.

I’m still early in the week in my planning and need to fill out Wednesday through Friday. So much to see and so little time!

Look for the blog posts to come fast and furious as I try to capture as many Emerson experts as I can during the week.

We’ll also have a Live page in the Emerson Exchange 365 community where you can see the news, tweets and pictures as events unfold.

The questions are starting to come in for the Friday Meet the Experts panel on process control and optimization. Get your questions addressed by submitting them here.

Here is where to sign up for a daily summary of news from the Emerson Exchange conference.

Here is also where you can watch the keynote sessions on Monday, October 12 streamed live from 10am-12:40 EDT.

Hopefully, this gives you a flavor for some of the ways to experience the conference if you can’t be with us in person.

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Position Feedback for Refinery Manually Operated Valves

Sometimes a good discussion occurs among experts in a collaboration application within the Emerson firewall. Today’s post is an example.

Emerson’s Jonas Berge was asking the global community of consultants and interested parties in refining about the manually operated valves in tank farms. He was seeking information on which ones operators would like to see valve position feedback where they may not have it today.

Michael Calaway responded:

Emerson's Michael Calaway

Based on my experience one of the biggest problems in tank farms are the line-ups. There are valves that must be opened and closed to get product into different tanks. The worst is when a finished product goes into the wrong tank and must be reprocessed. Many refineries try to make these valves automatic but there are still a number of sites that are still fully manual which opens up the problem of operator error. So, when you ask which valves we want position feedback on I would say any valve that is critical in a tank line up.

Tim Olsen added: Continue Reading

Improving Data Management, Analytics and Flexibility in Life Sciences

Pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical manufacturers are challenged on many fronts, such as managing regulatory requirements, operating efficiency, and maintaining the right data required as part of the medicines and products produced.

Emerson's Michalle Adkins

Emerson’s Michalle Adkins was recently at a Life Science Symposium Update session in Europe attended by more than 50 pharmaceutical and biotech company representatives. This symposium addressed three key areas challenging the industry:

  • Managing Data Through Product Life Cycle
  • Process Intelligence & Analytics
  • Flexible Facilities and Single-Use Technologies

Michalle led the session on improving ways to manage data across the lifecycle. The session provided an opportunity for these manufacturers to share their perspectives on the various challenges affecting the industry now and into the future. It provided an opportunity to discuss technologies, applications and best practices outside of the traditional scope of instrumentation, process control and automation.

This open discussion also help identify areas where technology advances would help to improve this data management, analytics, and increased flexibility to support the changing business requirements.

Emerson Global Users ExchangeWith the October 12-16 Emerson Exchange conference in Denver rapidly approaching, Michalle noted that the Life Sciences / Pharmaceuticals Industry Forum will focus on automation innovation from research and development through manufacturing based on ISA88 batch control guidelines. Here’s the abstract for the session: Continue Reading

Optimizing Oil and Gas Liquids Trucking Operations

One of the byproducts of the shale oil & gas revolution in the United States has been the need for trucking of crude oil where pipelines do not yet exist.

Emerson's Al Majek

In an August E&P magazine article, Automation optimizes trucking operations, Emerson’s Joey Raskie and Al Majek teamed with local business partner Ricky Strong of Vinson Process Controls and Apache Corp.’s Brad Long and Gerald Price to tell a great story of improving safety and increasing efficiency.

Automated-Trucking-OperatioThis story takes place in the Texas Panhandle, the liquids removal process from production areas meant that truck drivers:

…performed a manual gauging operation that required climbing to the top of a crude oil tank. A sample was taken to determine the water content and the beginning tank level measured. Fluid loading would be executed using a pump mounted on the truck along with a sight glass or flowmeter.

After loading the truck:

…the driver would make a second trip to the top of the tank top to gauge the haul closing level. A load ticket would be manually created, with a copy left for the operating company. Field pumper personnel would pick up the tickets within a 24-hour to 48-hour period during their normal rounds.

To improve this inefficient and potentially dangerous operation given the sometimes-harsh weather in this part of Texas, a central tank battery (CTB) was created. This facility included: Continue Reading