Emerson Automation Experts - Page 3 of 535 - Connecting with the People behind the Technologies and Expertise - Emerson Automation Experts

Suppressing Plant Alarms

Since the early days of distributed control systems, much work has been done to improve alarm management and prevent alarms from flooding operators to prevent them from properly diagnosing and correcting abnormal situations. The ANSI/ISA 18.2 alarm management standard began development back in 2003 and built off of the work of other alarm management initiatives. It published as ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009 Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries (ISA-18.2) in 2009.

In a 2019 Ovation Users’ Group Conference presentation, Suppressing Alarms in Your Plant, Emerson’s Benjamin Poskie reviewed the ISA-18.2 standard and highlighted the alarm management functionality in the Ovation distributed control system that helps power, water and wastewater plants meet this standard. He discussed nuisance alarms and identifying & releasing suppressed alarms.

Two key performance metrics in the 18.2 standard are to have less than 10 standing alarms and less than 10 alarms in a 10-minute alarm flood for acceptable performance. Highlights of Ovation alarms include on-line parameter tuning, triple redundant alarm icons, suppression by design, manual suppression (shelving) and an alarm suppression log.

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Ovation Compact Controller Update

As renewable energy supplied to electrical grids continues to grow, the need for more scalable options to control these additional sources of energy. In a 2019 Ovation Users’ Group conference presentation on the Ovation Compact Controller (OCC), Emerson’s Tom Snowdon shared an update on the OCC, the use of 3rd party I/O and engineering tool options.

Tom opened defining a standalone as one controller, connected I/O and potentially 3rd party I/O. It can be configured with the regular Ovation configuration tools. Tom explained that a standalone remote station to configure. A standalone engineering tool will be available that can be used which can run on a laptop. The standalone engineering tool is identical to the existing Ovation engineering tools. Continue Reading

Gas Turbine Control Enhancements

Emerson's Felipe Londono and Laurence O'TooleEmerson’s Laurence O’Toole and Felipe Londono were joined by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS)’s Michael Glover to present on gas turbine control enhancements at the 2019 Ovation Users’ Group conference.

MHPS and Emerson formed an alliance in 2008 to provide state of the art turbine and controls solutions. The solutions include balance of plant (BOP) controls, generator excitation, process control devices and instrumentation, and MHPS Engineering supports control settings and logic development.

The needs of the power industry are changing, and these changes affect gas turbine controls. Fast start options are required to meet dispatch times in areas with high intermittent renewable energy supplies. Flexibility is critical to meet the dynamic conditions in starting and stopping these turbines.

Michael shared some examples of projects that have been executed. In these projects, MHPS and Emerson jointly presented proposals instead of independently submitting proposals. Total scope integration includes fuel skid integration, control software, auxiliaries, control system, documentation and commissioning.

MHPS partners with OSIsoft, IBM’s Watson, Emerson, sparkcognition, Exele and more for advanced analytics. 3 key steps to developing valuable analytics include determining the use case – What are historical or future problems? Second, identifying necessary data sources and determine what’s available and what’s missing. And third, find the right software partner to collaborate with to develop the platform & applications customized for the requirements of the projects. Continue Reading

Digital Transformation for Utilities

Emerson's Juan PanamaEmerson’s Juan Panama and Mark Jordan presented on building the utility of tomorrow, today at the 2019 Ovation Users’ Group conference. The focus was on how to start down the path to digital transformation. It begins with a solid business case.

For instance, in a combined cycle unit, typical fixed operating and maintenance costs can be reduced by eliminating maintenance practices that result in unnecessary work and high labor costs, gaining insight into the “right” asset performance & health data, connecting unorganized and siloed data, automating procedures and processes, and transitioning the workforce from lower value to higher value add activities.

To successfully implement digital transformation strategies, it’s critical to make technology decisions based on the intended business outcome. Ask what’s the economic return? What am I trying to solve here?

The technology decision can be small. For instance, it could be a problem with a pump or a problem with corrosion in the facility or even knowing where plant personnel are located. It can be a variety approaches or a very simple place to start where you can then potentially scale it.

The second element is to take a scalable approach to these investments. These decisions should be guided by an overall vision, but those who try to implement all at once are bound to be disappointed by the results. Finally, all technology investment should also be viewed as an investment in people. Enabling them to add more value and creating a better, more engaging work environment.

One area to consider digital transformation is around digital inspection. Routine manual collection of maintenance, reliability, and integrity data with portable testers or time-consuming interpretation can be significantly reduced or eliminated. Data is collected automatically, transmitted digitally, and analyzed by software to detect early signs of problems. This drives maintenance.

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Ovation Turbine Overspeed Protection

At the 2019 Ovation Users’ Group conference, Emerson’s Sam Onuska and Greg Lieb provided an update on turbine overspeed protection in Ovation distributed control systems. Sam opened discussing the purpose of turbine overspeed protection. It’s required for personnel safety and machinery protection against overspeed condition.

Overspeed protection is applied to steam turbines, boiler feed pump turbines, combustion turbines and hydro turbines. The components common to all overspeed protection systems are a method of measuring shaft rotational speed, fast decision-making capability, action taken based on the decision, and a result in reducing turbine rotational velocity.

Mechanical overspeed protection systems have eccentric weight retained in the turbine shaft by a preset spring force. When the rotation speed exceeds the spring force the eccentric weight extends from the shaft, striking a trip lever, trip lever rotates, releasing a spring-loaded plunger, opening a hydraulic connection to atmosphere, depressurizing a hydraulic header – which typically closes valves. Continue Reading