Emerson Automation Experts - Page 3 of 542 - Connecting with the People behind the Technologies and Expertise - Emerson Automation Experts

Common Pitfalls in Alarm Management and Rationalization

Emerson’s Milton Pollard, Darwin Logerot & Vinay BhaskerEmerson’s Milton Pollard, Darwin Logerot & Vinay Bhasker shared common misconceptions and pitfalls in alarm management and rationalization at the 2019 Emerson Exchange conference.

Vinay opened with addressing the why’s of alarm management. With DCSs, adding alarms is very easy. Often sufficient planning is not properly performed when it comes to alarms. Too many alarms are more harmful than helpful. The 5 keywords for alarm rationalization are abnormal, actionable, consequence, relevant and unique.

Since plant operations are dynamic with many operating states such as startup, running and shutdown, alarm configuration should be relevant for the states that they are in. Alarm configurations are customized to detect the operating states and be set accordingly.

The ISA 18.2 alarm performance standard sets limits for effective performance. Average alarm rate should be less than 1 alarm per 10 minutes. Maximum alarm rate should be less than 10 alarms per 10 minutes. And, the percentage of time alarm rate is outside the limit is less than 1%. Continue Reading

Maximizing Combustion Efficiency

Emerson’s Andrew Smith and Jesse Sumstad presented “Tune into Savings by Maximizing Your Combustion Efficiency” at the 2019 Emerson Exchange conference. Here is the abstract of their session:

Emerson's Andrew SmithEmerson's Jesse SumstadThere are two major, competing theories to fired equipment control: maximizing fuel savings and efficiency or prioritizing consistent operation at a high level of excess oxygen and lower efficiency. In order to achieve safe operation, while maximizing cost savings, users can undertake a process called boiler trim. There are several strategies users can employ to trim their boilers, process heaters and kilns including, adding CO measurement and redundant measurements. This session seeks to educate users on ways to improve efficiency without compromising safety using products and options for the Rosemount Combustion Portfolio.

Andrew opened with an overview of combustion. Excess oxygen is one of the most effective measurement for combustion. 1% reduction in excess oxygen can provide large savings. A dangerous condition is when there is excess fuel. The optimum point of the combustion curve is in the area of 2-5% excess oxygen before the efficiency curve falls off with more oxygen.

Too much oxygen increases NOx emissions. Andrew highlighted 3 oxygen transmitters CX1100, 6888 OXT, OCX8800. The CX1100 is good for package boiler O2 measurement. The 6888 OXT is for traditional O2 measurements and the OCX8800 is for traditional multi-gas applications. These probes are used in process control to adjust the ratios of fuel to air to attain the right levels of oxygen. Continue Reading

Cost of DCS Modernization?

Emerson's Aaron Crews & Laurie BenEmerson’s Laurie Ben and Aaron Crews presented DCS Modernization—What Does it Cost?, at the 2019 Emerson Exchange conference. Laurie opened sharing the facts that over 5800 modernization projects have been performed since the 21st century began. Emerson provides pre-Front End Engineering Design (FEED) through commissioning and startup services for these projects.

The earlier planning begins, low the costs and risks to execute a project. Front end work in the project scope and conceptual engineering phases pays dividends in the design, implementation and startup phases. Best performers can see a 50% gain in project ROI and the worst performers a 40% decrease in ROI versus average performers according to an Independent Project Analysis (IPA) study.

Early partnering with key suppliers creates additional project efficiencies to streamline work processes and take advantages on new technologies not available with the existing control system. Most of the costs of a modernization project are outside the system and include the engineering and installations costs. More modern technologies can reduce these engineering and installation costs significantly. Continue Reading

Case Study on Valve Monitoring Connected Services

An Emerson local business partner’s Evelyn Rosales presented with a petrochemical producer, Maximize your Turnaround Efficiency using Connected Services at the 2019 Emerson Exchange conference.

This petrochemical producer began valve condition monitoring a year ago on over 100 valves. Diagnostic data is automatically connected weekend with a monthly valve health summary report delivered to the plant. The objective to move away from a reactive and scheduled maintenance approach to a proactive, condition-based approach. This will help avoid unnecessary disassembly of the valves during the turnaround project.

The diagnostics also help prioritize the work that needed to be performed on the valves during the turnaround. Parts could be pre-ordered and be onsite and ready to use. Continue Reading

Machine Automation Edge Control

Emerson's Kyle HableEmerson’s Kyle Hable provided an update on product developments in the Machine Automation Solutions part of the business at the 2019 Emerson Exchange conference. Kyle discussed the RX3i Edge Controllers, which combine the capabilities of traditional PLCs with the software and application flexibility of Industrial PCs to provide a broader range of control, analytic, and optimization capabilities close to the physical equipment. The RX3i provides high speed deterministic control for a broad range of standard and mission critical machine and unit control applications.

Kyle opened describing edge control. Edge runs the machine or process on the logic side and apps collect and analyze the data collected locally. The evolution of control leads to the edge. While PLCs started with ladder logic (based on relay control logic) to multilanguage support today including structured text or text-based programming. In the mid-1990s, co-processors came along that opened general purpose computing (PC-based) with the deterministic control in the PLC. This advancement enabled creative higher-level optimization and other hypervised control strategies.

The PLC-side supports extremely fast control strategies for machine-based applications such as bottling lines and other high-speed execution applications.

He described the addition of an OPC-UA Server in the PACSystem and on the PACEdge side a Linux-based Ubuntu server that enables an incredibly wide range of applications and connections to other systems through the manufacturing operation. The Linux operating system is embedded in the edge device, with Python as the scripting language, Apache as the web server for visualization application, SQLight for database storage, connections to cloud-based host providers and more.

Here’s an architecture diagram that Kyle showed: Continue Reading