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State-based Control Case Study at AFPM Summit

At the 2019 AFPM Operations & Technology Summit, Emerson’s Dustin Beebe teamed with a professional with a global chemical producer. Their presentation was case study was on applying state-based control on one of their production processes.

Procedural automation addresses the various states in which a continuous process resides. Some examples include startup, upset recovery, planned shutdown, and emergency shutdown.

Procedure automation includes operational procedures and the automation of aspects of these operational procedures, typically at a unit operation scope. The operational procedure includes administrative control, a formal sequence of instructions executed by the process operators. This sequence of instructions is task oriented and helps to reduce the likelihood of human error.

Here’s an example of how the informational flow for an operational procedure when incorporated into procedure automation. Continue Reading

Cloud-based IIoT Heat Exchanger Fouling Monitoring

Emerson's Marcio DonnangeloAt the AFPM Operations & Process Technology Summit, Emerson’s Marcio Donnangelo teamed with a leader of a major refiner to present their experiences with cloud-based IIoT heat exchanger optimization and how it improved process performance.

Today, maintenance on heat exchangers has been performed on a schedule every 1-5 years or during scheduled turnarounds. Technology has now enabled a better way—a predictive approach. Wireless temperature monitoring on both the primary and secondary inlet and outlets can help determine how much fouling has occurred. Manual rounds could miss big changes that have occurred between measurements.

Traditional ways to provide continuous temperature monitoring were to shut down the heat exchangers, install the thermowells and add temperature transmitters at the inlets and outlets. Not only is downtime to do this installation a concern, but also leaks may develop over time.

The solution presented was to use clamp on, non-intrusive, wireless transmitters. These Rosemount X-well transmitters measure the external pipe temperature. Calculations based on the temperature gradient from the pipe away from the pipe coupled with thermodynamic equations accurately estimate the internal fluid temperature. Continue Reading

Cloud-based Air Separation Plant Monitoring

At the AFPM Operations & Process Technology Summit, Emerson’s Pete Sharpe teamed with an air separation plant company leader on a presentation, Bringing Smart Manufacturing to the Masses. Here’s their abstract:

The Smart Manufacturing Institute has won a $70M grant from the Department of Energy to build a prototype of the Smart Manufacturing (SM) Platform and implement a number of test bed projects. The ambitious program covers a broad range of technologies, including digital twins, cloud-based advanced control, and data analytics applications…

Pete opened the presentation noting that the Smart Manufacturing Institute is America’s version of Europe’s Industry 4.0. CESMII is the United States’ national institute on Smart Manufacturing, driving cultural and digital transformation and secure industrial technologies as national imperatives.

The U.S. Department of Energy funds this initiative. The goal is to create a smart manufacturing ecosystem (open, cloud-based marketplace) to create applications to improve operational performance. Continue Reading

AFPM Summit Cybersecurity and IIoT

Emerson's Marcio Donnangelo

Marcelo Donnangelo

At the AFPM Operations & Process Technology Summit, Emerson’s Eric Braun and Marcio Donnangelo presented on cybersecurity considerations in implementing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based architectures.

Marcio opened noting that the opportunity to improve operational performance globally for manufacturers and producers is valued at $1 Trillion USD per year. Easy to install and use Industrial Internet of Things-based sensors enable more data to be collected to improve areas outside of traditional process control. These areas include personnel safety, reliability, energy efficiency and personnel productivity.

These increased sources of data coupled with operational analytics provide information to inform better decisions to made to improve these operational performance areas. Marcio noted that today clipboards for manual data collection is still the predominant work process for the industry.

WirelessHART provides an effective form of sensor communications for low power, low data rate applications. Sensors can monitor safety showers, rotating machinery vibration, sounds for relief valve releases and steam trap leaks, and many more. Continue Reading

Navigating your Career with the 5 V’s

Emerson's Meha JhaThe transition continues across many industries as Baby Boomers retire and new professionals come into the manufacturing & production industries. That’s true for refiners and petrochemical producers. Here in San Antonio, Texas, at the AFPM Operations & Process Technology Summit, an Emerging Leaders panel explored the issues surrounding this transition.

Emerson’s Meha Jha joined this panel with other young leaders from producers across North America. Meha opened the session describing the five V’s for managing your career. The five V’s—vitality, visibility, variety, value, and vision.

Vitality is the strengths that guide the individual and the organization’s vital signs and make sure there is some common overlap to fit. There should be opportunities to stretch your capabilities to continue to grow your skills and experience. Continue Reading