Value from Monitoring Control Valves

As staff in process manufacturing and production facilities shrink due to economic or demographic conditions, on-site engineers, operations and maintenance personnel must increase their breadth of skills at the expense of skill depth.

Valve Condition MonitoringIn a recent post, Monitoring Control Valves with Remote Expertise, we described how remote expertise could help augment local staff in the area of valve monitoring and maintenance.

In this 4:47 YouTube video, Control Valve Condition Monitoring Prevents Unplanned Shutdowns, an end user, Kory Chance with the City of Ames (Iowa) municipal power plant, describes how he benefits from being notified before a valve failure condition occurs. This notification also provides time to get the parts required onsite and maintenance activity scheduled instead of reacting to an unplanned event. Continue Reading

Online Pressure Regulator CAD Drawing Resource

For process manufacturers and producers, regulating pressure throughout the process is important for safety, efficiency and reliability. We’ve highlighted the important role of pressure regulators in numerous posts.

During the front end engineering design phase of a project, having good CAD (computer-aided design) drawings are important in determining the best regulator for the application given piping configurations, fluid flow properties & characteristics and pressure regulator requirements.

Emerson's Ashley Holley

Emerson’s Ashley Holley shared a great online resource of CAD drawings of pressure regulators.

Pressure-Regulator-CADThese include regulators used in Air, Liquids, LP-Gas (Propane), Natural Gas, Oil & Gas, Process Gases, Sanitary, Steam and Tank Blanketing & Recovery applications.

Let’s look at an example. The basic process is to step through the criteria in the selection process. For the Type 1190 Tank Blanketing Valve, I chose a number of selections based on materials of construction, body sizes, application pressure ranges, internal seal materials, CAD drawing viewing angle and more.

The selections are saved on the web page as they are made and the CAD drawing can be downloaded in many CAD formats (DWG, DXF, XML, etc.) as well as picture-based formats.

These can be imported into the project design documents to make sure the mechanical specifications meet the intended application.

Some pressure regulators require only a few selections and others require numerous selections to provide the CAD drawing information you require. Continue Reading

WirelessHART Security Update

In recent weeks, there have been third party reports regarding security vulnerabilities of WirelessHART® systems. Emerson’s security experts have investigated and evaluated these claims. There are no known instances of successful security breaches in a customer setting to date and Emerson is doing everything possible to ensure that this remains the case. The vulnerabilities involved individuals who had physical access to the systems and disassembled the transmitter, to extract memory contents with specialized tools, in order to look for encryption keys. These concerns do not apply to manufacturers and producers with proper physical and network security practices in place.

Emerson has always suggested that customers implement the following security best practices to mitigate any potential security risk associated with the WirelessHART systems:

  • Control physical access
  • Change join keys
  • Use an Access Control List

Emerson's Melissa Stiegler

I spoke with Emerson’s Melissa Stiegler, Senior Global Wireless Product Manager, and she emphasized that Emerson is committed to designing, delivering and maintaining robust and secure products. Protecting our products against security threats is a top priority and is why we have a dedicated security staff to continuously monitor, analyze and respond to any potential security issue and offer mitigations if and when necessary.

“We’re working with Emerson security experts, as well as engaging third party experts to help design and maintain the robust security of our products. Emerson is committed to reviewing threats as they become known, issuing notifications when necessary, and providing mitigations and solutions in a timely manner. We use opportunities like these to consistently deliver more secure products to our users,” said Melissa. Continue Reading

Collaborating through the Social Networks

There are many great conferences where process manufacturers and producers can share best practices and exchange knowledge with their peers. Our Emerson Exchange conferences—coming April 14-16 in Brussels and October 24-28 here in Austin—are but one example.

Another great example is the ARC Advisory Group’s Industry Forum next week in Orlando. Many big topics will be discussed including the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Smart Manufacturing, Industrie 4.0, Digitization, and the Connected Enterprise.

I had the honor to speak at the ARC Industry Forum several years ago. My message was about the shared interest for process manufacturers and producers and their suppliers to take advantage of the social networks to more closely connect together to solve the problems at hand in making plants safer, more efficient and more reliable.

Although the video recording of this presentation [presentation slides] goes back four years, the message is even truer today than it was then.

I appreciate any comments and perspectives on collaboration through the social networks!

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Life Experiences Shape Consulting Translation Skills

Emerson's Michalle Adkins

Author: Michalle Adkins

Before the holidays, I wrote a blog post, Life Experiences from a Woman in STEM, in the Emerson Exchange 365 Women in Stem group. I talked about growing up on a farm where I gained some early experiences with animals, vitamins, medications, pumps, controllers, and valves.

I don’t think I realized it at the time, but this coupled with my high school math teacher’s encouragement to go into engineering had an influence on my choice to study chemical engineering and ultimately have an interest in both the Pharmaceutical/Biotech and the Automation world. It’s funny but as I look back over the experiences of my life, I can see how it all fits together – each experience building the bridges on the road that I have taken to where I am today.

Upon farther reflection, I can see more of those bridges. When I was in high school, my family hosted an exchange student and I also went to Costa Rica as an exchange student. This gave me the opportunity to realize that I love interacting with and learning from different people and different cultures. Continue Reading