Improving Control System Alarm Effectiveness for Operators

During the week of July 29 through August 3, I’ll be attending the Ovation Users’ Group Conference in Pittsburgh. This users’ group is composed of people working in the power, water and wastewater industries. If you’re in one of these industries and an Ovation distributed control system user, I look forward to seeing you there.

Emerson's Ben Poskie


Emerson's Dustin Beebe


One of the critical parts of an effective control strategy is to get the alarm design right. Flooding operators with alarms in abnormal situations can worsen these situations and delay finding the root cause and solution. At this year’s conference, Emerson’s Ben Poskie and Dustin Beebe will present, Simplifying Alarm Management in Your Plant. Dustin joined Emerson as part of the Prosys acquisition where he served as president.

I’ll highlight a few things that Ben presented at last year’s Ovation Users’ Group conference regarding alarm management to give some flavor for what you might see—and in case you can’t join us. His presentation covered the key objectives of alarm management, the alarm management process, alarm terminology, EEMUA 191 alarm system benchmarks, alarm design, and the Ovation Alarm Health Advisor.

There are many key objectives in effective alarm management. Some include building operator confidence and trust, reducing and eliminating non-value alarms, organizing/classifying/prioritizing alarms, eliminating chattering and frequent alarms, and managing alarm floods and root-cause data. Continue Reading

Dynamic Simulation for Successful Modernization Project

Switching from a legacy control system to a modern one requires careful planning and execution, especially if done as a hot cutover–the switch happening while the process continues to run.

One element that must be carefully planned should be the training of the operators on the new system. By including dynamic simulation development for testing and operator training, the skills required to operate the process can be built before the new control system is completely in operation.

In this quick 1:39 YouTube video, Control System Modernization with Mimic Simulation Software from Emerson, it shows a plant with a greater than 30-year-old control system in need of an upgrade. For this plant, the engineers wanted two weeks of downtime for the cutover, but operations wanted less to meet their production goals. Continue Reading

AVENTICS Acquisition Enhances Emerson’s ability to support discrete and hybrid automation applications

Emerson's Manish BhandariAuthor: Manish Bhandari, Group President – Fluid & Motion Control at Emerson

Emerson is a world leader in fluid automation technologies for process and industrial applications, and to strengthen our ability to provide solutions within discrete and hybrid automation markets, the company has acquired AVENTICS, itself a global leader, and a provider of smart pneumatic technologies for powering machine and factory automation applications.

Customers are increasingly seeking partners who can keep pace with evolving technology to help them find an edge in increasingly competitive end markets. As such, technologies that used to reside within fluid control or pneumatics markets independently have begun to converge, bringing a need for greater innovation.

Supporting customers across process, hybrid and discrete automation markets is extremely important to Emerson, highlighted by the investment we have made in our new, world-class product development center at Florham Park, USA or the numerous product innovations such as the ASCO Series 580 CHARM, IO-Link enabled valves or 500-series valve manifold with G3 electronic fieldbus. Emerson helps companies within these industries, not only simplifying commissioning processes, but also by delivering actionable data, that can help increase machine availability and performance. Continue Reading

LNG Custody Transfer Calibration and Measurement

Emerson's Marc Buttler


In many parts of the world, technologies to open shale formations for oil and gas production have yielded vast quantities of natural gas. The liquefaction process makes it practical to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) across the globe.

In a SmartBrief article, Emerson’s Buttler outlines the importance of calibration and measurement in growth of LNG market, Emerson’s Marc Buttler discussed the requirements for precise measurement for the transfer of LNG between parties. These measurements require calibration to assure continued accuracy over time.

Marc explained the importance of traceable calibration for the cryogenic LNG liquid:

By being able to demonstrate that our calibration in our factory laboratory that is just on water at room temperature conditions is accurate when they put it into an LNG traceable lab gives people the comfort and the confidence they need to be able to use our factory calibrations that are provided with each meter to measure both LNG and natural gas.

While traditionally level measurement technologies have been used for bulk LNG custody transfers, sales quantities are becoming smaller requiring technologies such as Micro Motion Coriolis mass flow measurement to provide the level of accuracy required. Continue Reading

Digitally Transforming Subsurface and Surface Oil and Gas Production

Big data is not just a phenomenon on the surface of oil & gas production producing areas. It’s growing rapidly below the surface as well.

Emerson's Hassane Kassouf


In an article from the 2018 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) show daily, Facing the Digital Deluge (p19), Emerson’s Hassane Kassouf describes how this reservoir data and analytics-driven intelligence is driving a new, digital operations model.

He opens noting that IT programs and digital processes on existing approaches leads to “digital sugarcoating” rather than a digital transformation towards safer, more reliable and more efficient operations.

Well completions and artificial lift inefficiencies are sources of financial improvement opportunities that a digital transformation strategy can unlock. Continue Reading