Get smart with controls

Think Again: I didn’t see the movie “Get Smart” yet, but I remember how agent Maxwell Smart in the campy TV series managed to come out on top with a combination of technology, luck, and help from friends, despite bungling. Fortunately, in automation, controls, and instrumentation, plenty of smart applications of advanced technologies are helping smart people do great things together.

09/01/2008


ONLINE extra

How to get smarter with controls - click here or scroll down

 

I didn’t see the movie “Get Smart” yet, but I remember how agent Maxwell Smart in the campy TV series managed to come out on top with a combination of technology, luck, and help from friends, despite bungling. Fortunately, in automation, controls, and instrumentation, plenty of smart applications of advanced technologies are helping smart people do great things together. Here are a couple examples:

 

DTE Energy , formerly Detroit Edison, operates a 24/7 integrated controls and technology center, providing performance visibility to help optimize 11,000 MW of generating assets for 2.1 million customers. Sumanth Makunur, lead engineer for process controls and technology and a Six Sigma black belt, says expert systems, dashboards, Web tools, process controls, sensors, and other applications are integrated to create controllable performance indicators. SmartSignal software combined with OSIsoft PI historian, for example, identifies tiny deviations and helps predict when failures will occur.

 

Martin P. Catka, who interacts with DTE Energy operators, says a critical motor would have failed in summer 2006 and cost $100,000 or more to fix (not counting replacement power) without the early diagnostic capability. Catka had to earn the trust of operators, showing them how the system works. “Operators were skeptical at first,” he admits, “but tracking equipment degradation helps make their jobs easier. Before, it was like driving without a speedometer.”

In another application...

 

Bayer CropScience worked with Innovative Controls Inc . to replace six, vintage human-machine interface systems in Bayer’s Woodbine, GA, plant that were generating mysterious process trips, data conflicts, and 10 to 20 ghost alarms daily.

 

Disparate systems complicated training and documentation and increased reliance on third-party support, says William (Clyde) Johnson, control systems engineering for Bayer CropScience. In addition, limited flexibility made batch restarts difficult. Integration of a new Siemens Simatic Batch PCS7 system and new hardware enabled consistent improvement in average production by two batches, faster start-ups, and the freeing up of two maintenance persons, among other benefits.

 

“We’ll beat a four-to-five-year estimated payback by at least a couple of years,” Johnson says.

 

How much smarter is higher throughput and an extra $100,000?

 

MHoske@cfemedia.com

ONLINE extra - how to get smarter with controls
For more details on how to get smarter with controls, also read...
2,000 power assets use predictive software to foresee failures; ROI is 6-9 months .

Upgrading Control: Migration or Evolution? When a process control platform needs upgrading , the answer can be an incremental change, a system-wide rip and replace, or anything in between. Users have more options than ever.

 



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2015 Top Plant: Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa.; 2015 Best Practices: Automation, Electrical Safety, Electrical Systems, Pneumatics, Material Handling, Mechanical Systems
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Migrating industrial networks; Tracking HMI advances; Making the right automation changes
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design

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.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.