Bayer’s Steven Scherich, Experitec’s Ty Murphy, and PROCONEX’s Maury Bayer presented Thousands of Pages Gone. Digital Workflow and Testing with ProofCheck, one year Later at the 2023 Emerson Exchange Immerse Conference. Here is their presentation abstract.
Paper & inked signatures are often used to test, document, and perform manual workflow, safety/equipment validation, printing, executing, and maintaining procedures is costly. Executing in short timeframes, is the information trusted with certainty? Were mistakes made? Something heard wrong on radio / wrong value read? Given the manual, and time constrained nature of the work, mistakes can happen. Bayer Kansas City’s Site 4 performs annual checks on 1,160 interlock actions including 696 sensors and 821 actors. ProofCheck provides a single source of truth repository for all checks. This session discusses our journey to ProofCheck, approach to project, challenges, and the continual transformation of our manual workflows at site. ProofCheck eliminated 1,000+ page documents in 1 year.
After opening introductions, Steve opened by sharing the background of their sites in the Crop Sciences part of the business. Types of manufactured products include herbicides, fungicides, and more. The site includes multiple DeltaV and DeltaV SIS systems. Annual checks are done on more than 1100 interlock actions. The PCT technicians perform the tests to verify the performance of the protections work as designed.
Their old process for proof-checking safety instrumented functions and control system interlocks was largely manual documentation, which was time-consuming and inefficient. Tests were performed from printed sheets and clipboards. The process was error-prone, with many opportunities for mistakes. There was no verification of the system response, and it relies on manual entries on a log sheet. They needed a new way to do this to be more accurate and efficient. Thousands of pages are now electronically accessed on a tablet in the field. These electronic pages include instrument spec sheets, PHA documents, SIF requirements and SIL certifications, device manuals, and loop sheets.
ProofCheck software by Emerson addresses commissioning, inspections, and workflows. It’s essential to have complete standard operating procedures, pictures, and manuals when testing the device in the field. Having the system highlight the exceptions is essential in collecting all this information.
ProofCheck guides users through procedures collecting both manually entered data and full SOP/pictures/manuals. It reads and writes OPC values into the control & safety systems, reads OPC values from the SIS system, reads values and fixes outputs of devices and documents, validates and automatically reports highlighting any issues uncovered.
Some of the applications for Proofcheck include:
- DeltaV SIS Safety Applications
- Basic Process Control System (BPCS) Interlocks Maintenance
- Workflow Operations
- Manual Data Entry Operator Rounds
The overall goals of using ProofCheck were to reduce test time, be repeatable & reliable, and automate the recording process by automatically validating when possible. Inputs for the software include standard operating procedures and technician information requirements to validate the responses from the technicians.
The application will grab whatever required information that it can get electronically from the control system. And importantly, all devices must be put back into operational mode, out of the test and bypass mode it was in. Some lessons learned are to pilot in the field some actual tests with the people using the application, collect feedback, and make iterations to improve. Do an upfront simulation to identify loops outside the standards to ensure everything works as it should and not as it theoretically should.
Steve closed the presentation by noting that 1000s of printed pages are now gone. Testing execution time is cut by 80%, cutting days of turnaround schedules using fewer people and is more accurate than the prior manual methods. Interlocks are automatically reset to put the plant back in proper operating condition.
Visit the Proofcheck application page on Emerson.com for more on how this application can streamline your commissioning and ongoing testing activities.