EC: PlantTriage v11.0
Software - Diagnostics: PlantTriage diagnoses process and control issues, prioritizes them, and provides the tools to resolve the issues immediately. This is a Control Engineering 2013 Engineers' Choice Award winner.
PlantTriage version 11 has added built-in tools to help users resolve issues quickly. The software, now in its 10th year of production, has always provided on-line monitoring and analysis of process and control information. Now it adds more capability to immediately solve in-plant problems.
First, PlantTriage has added "Drag and Drop Tuning." This feature, included in the thin-client web browser, allows users to tune control loops from almost any form of bump test. This is especially useful, because bump tests don't always go as planned. Users often struggle to produce a clean step or pulse test. Drag and Drop Tuning works with open-loop and closed-loop tests.
Second, PlantTriage now has a fully-integrated system to manage follow-up corrective actions. The Action Ticket system lets users assign and track corrective actions, such as instrument calibrations, valve repairs, and loop tuning. The system has an integrated reporting system that provides automated emails. Expanding on ExperTune's long history of making it easy to tune even complex systems, PlantTriage now supports single-bump cascade tuning. This means that both inner and outer loops of a cascade scheme can be tuned with a single bump test. This greatly simplifies the tuning process, and makes it accessible to those with limited knowledge of cascades.
Many additional features expand PlantTriage's underlying capabilities to make it easier to solve problems quickly. This includes extended trending features, additional dashboarding capability, and the ability to analyze long-term interactions within or between plants.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.