Combining the Elements to Prepare for the Future Workforce

Emerson’s Marc Troy co-presented with a project manager with a major speciality chemical manufacturer. Their abstract:

This presentation will discuss the challenges of an upcoming retiring work force and how a company can posture itself to be ready for those changes. Existing Emerson and Emerson partnership technology, applications, and solutions will be discussed as well as exploring cutting edge technology like Amulet. With appropriate planning, the retiring work force does not have to become an interruption to production, but can actually help a company achieve greater productivity, safer operation, and faster information transfer to better enable business decisions.

Key points are to modernize the control system and establish global standards. Involved the experienced senior operators in graphics development, review the control strategies and participate in the acceptance testing to check the strategies.

For the global standards, consider HMIs, configuration modules, batch systems, safety instrumented systems, sequential code, and alarm handling. The process of rationalizing alarms by reducing nuisance alarms to help operators respond quicker. Alarms should be reduced to only those that require action. Anything else is a nuisance.

The global standards included human centered design concepts to have a neutral operating environment with alarms becoming visually pronounced to draw the operators’ attention for action.

In terms of personnel, wireless is important where you can add measurements to spots in the process that required manual rounds. As expertise is lost to retirement, moving more readings online gives the operators a more complete view of the process.

As plants run leaner, having remote monitoring through iOps helps provides round the clock support. While having the traditional support through local support is very important to solve the tougher challenges, having the round-the-clock remote support can fill in the gaps to solve issues that occur and connect subject matter experts with the local team.

Key results achieved included the reduction and/or elimination of business interuptions, cross-functional use of operators, improved realtime data availability, and faster informed decisions by leadership.

Posted Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 under Emerson Exchange, Modernization.

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