Taking Advantage of Smart Plant Technology

At the Emerson Exchange conference in Austin, Emerson’s Doug White presented, Taking Advantage in “Smart Plant” Technology. His abstract:

Every day we see the continuing advances in sensor, automation, and communication technologies in our personal lives. Applying these technologies in the process industries can significantly improve operational safety, increase plant flexibility and improve operating margins. In combination they can lead to what is termed “The Smart Plant.” In this presentation, actual implementation case studies, recent advances in relevant technologies and probable trends are used to explore today’s “state of the art” and forecast likely future changes and their impact.

doug-white-smart-plantsDoug opened noting his first car had 5 sensors. Today in a modern automobile there are 30-40 sensors including parking assistance, lane position assistance, collision avoidance. Networks and wireless networks are present such as tire pressure readings. There is on the order of 100 million lines of code.

Artificial intelligence recently won 4 out of 5 games against the best Go player in the world. Heart pacemakers have continued to shrink in size to now be smaller than a US nickel. Computing power, cheaper data storage and faster communications inexorably continues. Technology is advancing rapidly and it is influencing our world of process instrumentation and automation.

Doug noted how these advancements impact a plant. A big area is moving from reaction to events to prediction of expected events. And experts that can analyze, decide and recommend action can be located anywhere and easily collaborate with the local staff. Continue Reading

Mitigating Cavitation and Outgassing Control Valve Damage

Emerson's Jonathan VanceAt the Emerson Exchange conference in Austin, Emerson’s Jonathan Vance presented Outgassing and Cavitation: Not So Good Vibrations. Here’s the abstract:

Outgassing and cavitation are two of the most common issues associated with control valves. Both phenomena often occur in high pressure drop applications and result in excessive vibration; however, the solutions to combat these critical applications vary greatly. This presentation will help control valve users differentiate between the two phenomena and introduce Emerson Process Management’s broad portfolio of products designed to combat these severe service applications. Proper control valve selection allows users to maximize product reliability thereby limiting unplanned downtime.

Jonathan opened with some of the challenges of the misapplication of control valves in outgassing or cavitation services. Cavitation is when the pressure falls below the liquid vapor pressure forming bubbles. As the pressure increases the bubbles implode causing energy to be released inside the valve. Cavitation can cause damage to the valve plug from pitting. Cavitation occurs in a single component fluid. Continue Reading

Reliability Consulting and Lifecycle Services

Emerson's Sean SimsAt the Emerson Exchange conference in Austin, Emerson’s Sean Sims and Will Goetz teamed up to give an update on the reliability consulting process and the host of lifecycle services to improve operational performance for process manufacturers and producers.

Sean opened describing the see-decide-act and how today’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) follow this model. Sensors measuring the process are no longer just for control, they are for monitoring for reliability, energy & emissions, and safety. As wireless technology and security has advanced these sensors are more easily added. These provide the “See” part of the model.

Analytical software and experts can evaluate this enriched data and make decisions on what actions should be taken to avoid abnormal situations and improve current operations. Through collaborative technologies including mobile communications apps the decisions made can be put into the hands of those who act to make the changes.

For DeltaV system users, Guardian Support enables remote experts, in an online or offline manner, to monitor the system to manage the lifecycle of the components and develop risk mitigation strategies to manage the system over time. Issues can often be spotted before they lead to problems.

From an instrumentation standpoint, similar lifecycle services are available. Sean shared an example of a steam trap monitoring application at an Asian refinery, where Emerson experts monitored the wireless steam traps and provided recommendations to the site on ones that needed maintenance work. Energy efficiency was improved by recognizing leaks much earlier than traditional maintenance rounds could provide.

Operational Certainty is the combination of digitally-enabled/mobile-connected workforce and integrated work practices and tools to improve safe work practices, reliability, emissions and energy efficiency, and production optimization.

Will described the importance of a well-designed condition monitoring program to provide early warning before problems with plan assets occur that can affect safe operations and production levels. Not only is the monitoring technology important, but so are the workflows to make sure resolution actions are performed in a timely matter.

He noted that most safety incidents occur in non-steady state conditions such as startups and shutdowns, so avoiding these states as much as possible through early detection reduces operational risks.

Here are links for more on Lifecycle Services and Reliability Consulting. You can also connect and interact with other lifecycle service experts in the Operate & Maintain group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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At the Emerson Exchange-Physically or Virtually

As we close the week before next week’s Emerson Exchange conference, I wanted to provide a couple of pointers whether you’re coming to join us, or not but want to peek in on the happenings.

At the Emerson Exchange

Emerson Exchange Mobile AppThe sheer number of workshops, short courses, educational services courses, expert sessions, industry forums, technology roundtables and roadmaps can be daunting. So much to see and so many choices. It’s well worth your time in advance of the conference start to plan your schedule with the myExchange Tool. I started yesterday and will complete it today. I find that scheduling everything on the PC and downloading the mobile app helps get me to the right sessions at the right time. You can even schedule early morning fun runs! The mobile app also has venue maps, interactions with experts during expert sessions, session ratings and more.

#EmrEx Social StreamsThe mobile app also integrates with the Emerson Exchange 365 community, Twitter and Instagram. For the latter two, it adds the conference hashtag #EmrEx automatically so you can share your experiences with your colleagues and those who could not be with us in Austin.

Technology exhibits will be Monday through Wednesday evening where you can find the latest technologies and experts behind their application. Here’s a map of the layout of the exhibit area.

We’ll have monitors around the event showing what people are sharing in Twitter and Instagram using the #EmrEx hashtag. Continue Reading

Gas Analyzer Applications

Monitoring the composition of what’s in an air mixture is important for many processes. Reasons may include detecting dangerous gasses for the safety of the plant personnel, getting the air-fuel ratio right for optimum combustion, or better understanding the mix of hydrocarbons in a gas stream to name a few.

Emerson's Kyle Stewart

At next week’s Emerson Exchange conference, Emerson’s Kyle Stewart is participating in a number of sessions sharing his expertise on applying gas analyzers. Here is a look at them.

Measure and Analyze Application Best Practices and Common Mistakes

Learn about best practices in specifying, installing, operating, and maintaining Rosemount Pressure, Temperature, and Analytical instrumentation. Talk to the panel of experts about your application and instrumentation questions. Learn about the most common installation mistakes that Rosemount engineers see from the field. Get a glimpse at new Rosemount technologies and how they can further address instrumentation challenges.

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