Embedded diagnostics in smart instrumentation has played a role in safer, more efficient and reliable plants for decades in the process industries. As the power of the microcontrollers at the heart of these intelligent devices grows, so do the reliability, accuracy and diagnostic coverage grow.
A new whitepaper, 7 Ways to Improve Productivity and Process Operations with Pressure Instrumentation, provides practical examples of putting the accuracy, reliability, diagnostic coverage to effective use.
I’ll briefly share the seven ways and invite you to request a copy of the whitepaper. The first way is to use the diagnostic coverage to increase uptime. We shared one example how in an earlier post, Early Detection of Distillation Column Flooding Conditions.
The second way is to simplify process connections to improve reliability. Differential pressure (DP) flow and level measurement are great examples where this can be done. We discussed this in a post, Eliminating Temperature Effects in DP Level Measurement.
The third way is to eliminate heat tracing to increase accuracy and reduce costs. We described one way how in a post, Avoiding Cold Climate Measurement Challenges.
The fourth way is to easily and economically add measurement points to increase process insight. For many plants and production facilities the challenge and cost of running wires to add the measurement has been a limiting factor. As a result, measurement devices were minimized to what was needed to control the process. Wireless devices now make it possible to add measurements to improve energy usage, monitor rotating assets, and much more.
The fifth way is to compensate flow measurement to protect profits. Flow is a fundamental fiscal measurement in custody transfer applications. We highlighted this opportunity in a post, Assuring Accuracy in Fiscal Measurement and Custody Transfer.
The sixth way is to operate closer to set point to control for process variability. This was one of the points made in a recent webinar on blending operations for refiners. With extremely tight sulfur limits in transportation fuels, accurate and reliable measurements allow the blend recipes to move the process controls closer to the specification limits without exceeding the limits.
The final way described in the whitepaper was to have the ability to standardize on a common instrument platform to optimize budget. Standardization affects many areas including design, procurement, installation, commissioning as well as training and maintenance procedures.