Monitoring Plant Asset and Automation System Health

As process manufacturers lose experienced automation professionals to retirement and/or turnover, the need to maintain reliable operations remains. Emerson’s Tinh Phan provides a look at system health monitoring from the field devices, through the asset and control systems, to the IT network connections and interactions.

Emerson's Tinh PhanAs a control system engineer, I use to typically look at the plant intelligent device assets from the control system (DCS) point of view. I look at the device level, control strategies, Fieldbus/HART/Profibus/DeviceNet and other digital communications technologies, etc.

One thing I tend to forget is the outer layer of monitoring. These are the network switches, firewall switch, DCS/PLC hardware communication components, printers, etc. The plant IT department typically monitors, maintains, and controls this layer.

System health monitoring in the DeltaV system and AMS Suite provides monitoring for every component of your plant automation and control system for personal from the IT, operations, and maintenance groups to the plant manager.

DeltaV System Health Monitoring
System Health Monitoring is a service that helps process manufacturers maintain their entire control system. The service cyclically monitors DeltaV controllers and workstations, non-DeltaV controllers, Ethernet switches, firewalls, and UPSs. When a health condition is detected, it sends an email alert to the Remote Monitoring Center located at the Global Service Center (GSC).

The GSC will analyze the alert for likely root causes, and then notify the process manufacturer’s local service provider about the issue. The local service provider, who has additional knowledge and experience with the system, will further analyze and diagnose the alert before collaborating with the process manufacturer on a resolution.

The key to this monitoring is proactive detection, with timestamped data to support root cause analysis and event notifications.

Process manufacturers that have retiring work force expertise, need increased production uptime, require lower IT and maintenance support costs, or more defined roles and boundaries between organizations might augment their inhouse expertise with Emerson professionals. The objective is to improved availability and performance, reduce unexpected and disruptive events, and streamline maintenance efforts through proactive detection in the control system and smart field devices.