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Cybersecurity at the Emerson Exchange Conference

As control systems and other elements within a plant’s automation architecture moved to commercial off-the-shelf and open source technologies, the need for cybersecurity strategies and practices has grown significantly.

For users with Emerson automation technologies, the September 23-27 Emerson Exchange conference in Nashville is the place to be for a wide range of educational courses, expert sessions, presentations and roundtables.

Visit the Cybersecurity at Emerson Exchange page for a current view of the scheduled sessions. Beginning in early August, the times and locations will be available for you to be able to add the sessions of interest to your personal schedule.

Take a look, register by August 15 to get the Early Bird rate, and we’ll see you in Nashville!

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Globe Valve Basics

If you’re new to the process industries and have responsibilities including a safe, reliable and efficient production process, then you likely need to understand how control valves work. And, one of the best sources for learning is the Control Valve Handbook.

For instance, if you need to learn about globe valves, section 3.1.1 of the handbook includes information on single-port valve bodies, post- and port-guided valve bodies, cage-style valve bodies, double-ported valve bodies, and three-way valve bodies.

The section opens with a hyperlink to a 3-minute video, What are the Components of a Globe Valve? This educational video shares the basic body styles, trim components, and bonnet styles that make up a globe valve. It’s really the best place to begin before exploring the various body styles.

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In-House or Cloud-Based Asset Monitoring

Asset condition monitoring versus performance monitoring—what’s the difference? And, analyzing and forming decisions on the data from this monitoring—should it be done within the company or in the cloud?

Control Engineering: Should assets be monitored in-house or in the cloud?These questions are the subject of a Control Engineering magazine article, Should assets be monitored in-house or in the cloud? Emerson’s Brian Joe opens the article describing how Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based sensors have made monitoring both for asset condition and performance more doable than was previously possible.

With the example of a pressure relief valve (PRV), Brian defines asset condition monitoring and performance monitoring.

Condition monitoring looks for valves leaking slowly without closing fully.

Performance monitoring:

…evaluates the frequency and duration of releases.

Both type of monitoring can provide a significant return on investment from operating improvements and regulatory fine reductions for manufacturers and producers. Continue Reading

Reducing Level Detector Proof Testing Complexity

Whitepaper: Reducing the Complexity of Proof-Testing with New Generation Point Level DetectorsEach safety instrumented function (SIF) including its sensor, logic solver and final control element must be periodically tested to make sure it will perform as designed in the event of a safety demand. These “proof tests” help to uncover and failure conditions which may have developed since the last proof test or safety demand.

A new whitepaper, Reducing the Complexity of Proof-Testing with New Generation Point Level Detectors, compares the traditional and modern approaches for proof-testing critical point level and overfill prevention instrumentation.

In the whitepaper, proof tests are defined as:

…operational tests conducted in accordance with the safety manual of an individual installed device to evaluate its ability to perform its safety function and to uncover random hardware failures. These are failures that prevent the device from performing its primary function and which would otherwise remain undetected by its built-in diagnostics during normal operation.

Global safety standards such as API 2350 for overfill prevention and IEC 61511 for safety instrumented systems (SISs):

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Avoiding Low Voltage Electrical Asset Outages

Early in my career as a freshly-minted electrical engineer in the mid-1980s, I worked on projects on offshore oil & gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. These platforms required turbine or reciprocating engine gas generators with diesel engine backup for when gas was not available from the production stream.

Low voltage (LV) distribution systems, typically at 480VAC were used to power the pumps, compressors, motor control centers, lighting, communications and other electrical needs for the platform. The corrosive moist and salty air from the Gulf caused failures in the distribution systems every so often.

I mention all this because of a Power Magazine article, Temperature Monitoring Protects Low-Voltage Assets, by Emerson’s Jay Ganson. Technology has come a long way from back then and continuous monitoring is now available to help avoid electrical failures. Jay opened the article noting:

LV electrical distribution has a history of under-investment, which leaves companies exposed to an ever-increasing risk of failures and unplanned outages—events that could be prevented with available monitoring technologies. Asset failures always prove costly to operators and are far costlier than implementing technology to provide continuous monitoring.

Costs of unplanned outages not only includes financial costs, but:

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