At last week’s ISA Expo 2007, Emerson’s Gary Law received the Douglas H. Annin award. This award is award is in recognition of Gary’s outstanding technical achievements in the design, development and application of automatic control systems. The ISA describes this award:
The Douglas H. Annin Award recognizes an outstanding achievement in the design, application, or development of the components in an automatic control system from the input measurement through the final control element. The award is in honor of Douglas H. Annin, a pioneer in modern-day control valve actuation and control valve body design.
I’ve known Gary for many years in our work advancing the DeltaV system. He is now a technologist with the DeltaV architecture team. He is responsible for the system architecture, and future developments of DeltaV system and PlantWeb architecture.
Gary was instrumental in the design and introduction of the DeltaV SIS (safety instrumented system.) He was a part of eight different patents for this development and holds more than a dozen overall through his career. This Douglas H. Annin award was recognition for this innovation. Specifically:
For design and development of a safety instrumented system logic solver that is built into a basic process control system input/output card.
DeltaV SIS was the first SIS to take advantage of smart instruments (sensors and final control elements) used in safety applications communicating via the HART communications protocol. The diagnostics from these instruments can be used to monitor continuously the health of each safety instrumented function (sensor + logic solver + final control element.)
In earlier posts, I’ve discussed some of these innovations and their application. These include performing partial stroke tests automatically within the safety instrumented function, separation between control and safety systems, and the ability to do complex safety shutdown sequences.
Scalability is another key aspect that was brought to safety instrumented systems with the design of DeltaV SIS. Logic solvers are added in small increments (16 I/O channels) for process manufacturers’ SIL 1-3 safety instrumented functions. The hardware, software, and communications running in the logic solvers are different from the DeltaV automation system, but the configuration software is the same. This design provides the separation proscribed by the IEC 61508 global safety standard.
Much of the innovations in the DeltaV hardware and its interactions with the configuration software are thanks to Gary’s efforts. You can see some of his enthusiasm in the digital bus videos created several years ago.
Congratulations to Gary for this recognition of his work to advance the state of technology in our world of process automation.