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Successfully Implementing State-Based Procedure Automation

Continuous processes still must go through startups, planned and unplanned shutdowns, upset recovery and other events. These operations have traditionally been performed manually.

At the October 14-16, 2019 AFPM Operations & Process Technology Summit in San Antonio, Texas, Emerson’s Courtney E. (Eddie) Lane will present with a Global Process Automation Technology Leader for a major chemical manufacturer. The subject of their presentation is State-Based Control of a Vinyl Acetate Monomer Production Process.

I’ll preview some key ideas in their presentation. Eddie and the technology leader will open their presentation defining procedure automation. Operational procedures are administrative-based control with formal sequences of instructions that are executed by process operators. This mode of operation is typically task oriented and can reduce the likelihood of human error.

Procedure automation automates aspects of operational procedures and typically have a unit operation-level scope. These procedures coordinate multiple unit operations, based upon ISA106, Procedure Automation for Continuous Process Operations. Continue Reading

Terminal Modernization in Turkey

I was in Europe at the end of last year meeting with many of our European subject matter experts. Two of whom were Emerson’s Ebru Yıldız and Maurizio De Francesco. They recently collaborated to share a great customer success story about the Poliport Kimya terminal in Turkey. The video, Emerson and Poliport Partnership, highlights the story of cooperation of Emerson Automation Solutions and Poliport in modernizing their process automation and terminal management. The video is in Turkish with English subtitles. Continue Reading

Beer Pipeline and Coriolis Flow Measurement Technology

With the end of summer and the beginning of fall comes football season here in the U.S. And what better way to start the season than a good success story about quality beer production.

In a Flow Control Magazine article, Coriolis Meters Keep the Beer Flowing, Emerson’s Christian Grossenbacher shares how a Belgium brewery installs the world’s first beer pipeline with critical flow measurements to assure quality.

Flow Control: Coriolis Meters Keep the Beer FlowingChristian opened highlighting a challenge this brewery faced:

A well-known and loved brewery, located in the center of historic Bruges for six generations, purchased a nearby bottling facility outside of town to meet increased production demands from soaring beer sales. However, they did not want to move the brewing facilities, nor did they want to transport beer in tankers through the busy town center, which would add to the traffic load on the old streets, as well as the expenses of either renting or owning the tankers, maintaining them and paying drivers.

A novel solution:

…the world’s first beer pipeline, was devised, but it required special equipment to make it work and keep the quality of the beer consistent. By installing underground piping that transported the beer from the brewery to the bottling plant 3.2 kilometers away, the transportation issue was solved.

Critical for this pipeline was a: Continue Reading

Internet of Things Documentation and Devices

One really good podcast and website about all things “Internet of Things” is Stacey Higginbotham’s Stacey on IoT. In a post, There are 3 different versions of the IoT, she highlights the three versions, consumer IoT, enterprise IoT, and industrial IoT. We spend quite a bit of time on the third one, IIoT.

From this post, she received several responses:

…ranging from thoughtful insights into the security implications of how I tried to break down each type to calls for even more categories.

In a follow up newsletter (link to email subscription), Stacey shared some of this feedback including some from Emerson’s Michael Lester and Mike Boudreaux. In the post, Stacey highlighted the importance of documentation in enterprise IoT. Michael shared:

I agree with your comments and will add this is evolving beyond documentation methods of the past and more toward the need for automated versions of device management that include audit trail and configuration management capabilities to ensure changes to the enterprise environment are quickly identified and assessed for risk. Larger enterprises will need to employ such automated tools to manage the associated cyber and operational risks. Provisioning and de-provisioning and lifecycle management of anything connected to your network are key to scalability and successful integration.

About Industrial IoT, Stacey wrote: Continue Reading

Wirelessly Monitoring Tank Thief Hatches to Avoid Regulatory Fines

Control: Use wireless to monitor thief hatchesI shared a great case study from the oil patch yesterday with time savings with wireless pressure monitoring at the well head. Today, let’s continue with another great case study from the oil patch with a Control magazine article, Use wireless to monitor thief hatches.

The article’s author opens describing what a thief hatch is. These devices are:

…installed on the top of low-pressure and atmospheric tanks in the oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, biogas, water treatment and other industries to allow access to the tank. They can be used to take samples of the tank’s contents and determine the level of the tank, and they protect the tank from overpressure and excessive vacuum.

When an overpressure or excessive vacuum event occurs:

…the hinged hatch cover will break its seal, lift and allow the pressure to escape to the atmosphere. When the pressure or vacuum is reduced to the setpoint, the seal is reseated by either spring, sealing the tank.

The challenge which may lead to regulatory fines? Continue Reading