Key Criteria for Mobile HMIs

Smart phones and tablets have been a revolution for connecting us to other people and information more quickly, efficiently, and effectively than was possible prior to their arrival. For manufacturers and producers, one example is the control system human machine interfaces (HMIs) that have arrived in this mobile environment.

In a Control Engineering article, Five essential criteria for effective mobile HMIs, Emerson’s Mariana Dionisio, Camilo Fadul and Cindy Scott share criteria for secure, easy to use, and collaborative mobile HMIs.

Mariana, Camilo and Cindy open noting the balance between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) requirements.

To select the right combination of technologies and tools, organizations need to consider essential criteria such as security, ease of use, level of access and detail, and collaboration. An effective mobile human-machine interface (HMI) strategy evaluates how to bring HMI interfaces from the control room to the plant via web browsers on phones, tablets, or rugged laptops.

The five criteria they highlight include: Continue Reading

Upskilling Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions

Digital transformation can’t happen without carefully planning the people side of the equation and the new skills and practices which will be required. Having the skills to effectively use the digital technology enablers is critical.

Flow Control: Q&A: Offering the latest training on automation technologies helps upskill the workforceIn a Flow Control article, Q&A: Offering the latest training on automation technologies helps upskill the workforce, Emerson’s Mike Brouse about the these challenges and opportunities to address them. I’ll highlight two of the questions the Flow Control staff asked and invite you to read the article for the rest.

The first question for Mike was about the current challenges surrounding the skills gap. Mike responded: Continue Reading

Simplifying Pressure Relief Valve Lifecycle Management

Proven RFID technology has been widely used in supply chain applications and has now found application in the manufacturing and production industries. I highlighted how it being used to better plan and streamline valve maintenance in a post, Improving Valve Maintenance and Planning with RFID Technology.

This RFID technology is now also available for pressure relief valves (PRVs). In this quick, 2:36 YouTube video, Asset Management Tags (RFID) on Pressure Relief Valves, Emerson’s Marcelo Dultra discusses how these asset management tags help improve performance in maintenance and operations. Continue Reading

IIoT Sensors and Analytics for Machine Safety

Machine safety is paramount in discrete and hybrid manufacturing operations. What role can the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) play in improving safe operations?

In a Plant Engineering article, Pneumatic safety technology and the IIoT, Emerson’s Jeff Welker and Enrico De Carolis share how these IIoT technologies used in pneumatic components can help drive safer and more efficient operations. Continue Reading

Upgrading Boiler Burner Management and Combustion Control Systems

Authors: Bob Sabin, Peter Kline

The Emerson Industrial Energy consulting team assisted a Northeastern U.S. specialty chemical manufacturer with modernizing the controls on two 1960’s vintage Combustion Engineering “D” Type process steam boilers. These units are critical to site operation as they supply steam to a common header that feeds processes throughout the production facility.

For each boiler, the existing controls consisted of hardwired relays for Burner Management System (BMS) functions and standalone single loop controllers for Combustion Control System (CCS) purposes.

Over years of operation, boiler field wiring had fallen into disarray and the hardwired BMS panels had always been very difficult to troubleshoot. The CCS loop controllers had provided good service for many years, but they were limited in functionality and had reached the end of their useful life. All these created challenges for plant personnel in maintaining reliable and optimal utility plant operation. This drove the development of a boiler controls improvement project.

The Industrial Energy consultants and project team helped the client start the modernization effort by engaging in a holistic approach to control modernization. This process began with a site survey that examined the condition of the boilers and reviewed the instrumentation and field devices that were in place. The team conducted a review of the overall boiler processes and their devices for compliance with the latest NFPA codes and recommended practices. In addition, the team interviewed plant personnel to understand their project objectives, issues that needed to be resolved, and ideas for achieving optimal utility area performance. Continue Reading