Modernizing Data Management

When modernizing your automation systems to take advantage of the digital technologies today’s systems offer, you need to also take a look at the historical data you may have been collecting over the life of the system.

Recently Emerson’s Clarence Presha presented a paper with a customer who looked at how to take 10 years of historical data collected by the Biles AIM historian and move it to OSIsoft PI System. The driver was that this data is the foundation for production reporting, process troubleshooting, and process improvement. Over this period of time, quite a bit of reporting and visualization tools have been built including using Excel spreadsheets for basic graphics, and Excel macros for reporting functions. This solution built over the years had limited capacity, slow frequency data (60 sec scan rate), and had custom code that was difficult to maintain and improve.

Clarence and the team identified more than 10,000 tags that needed to be converted. The agreed upon approach was to take a thin slice to demonstrate the proposed data management modernization solution. For this thin slice phase, sample PI tags were created with simulated history. Performance equations were added replacing the existing AIMcalcs. PI ProcessBook displays with a proposed graphics standard were created to improve visualization. Some existing production reports with custom Excel macros were updated standard PI functions. Finally, RtPortal was used to show plant information which could be made available to engineering, operations, and management via web browser.

Clarence and the Emerson data management experts provided design, configuration, data migration, testing, training of the operations, technical, maintenance, and engineering staff, and on-site deployment services for this project.

Some of the key results cited in this presentation were better visualization tools for real-time and historical information for the operators to analyze what was going on in the process. Also some newer equipment that had not been added to the legacy data management solution could now be added extending the operators’ view. The web-based view into the key process parameters opened up more parts of the organization to what was occurring in the process. This view was combined with information from other business systems including the MRP, scheduling, and plant maintenance systems.

Posted Tuesday, October 24th, 2006 under Data Management.

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