Modern HMI puts 'human' front and center

Situational awareness focuses on undoing decades of data overload that's potentially costing billions of dollars in lost profitability

Steve Diogo
SchDay3 SA

Studies show that poorly performing alarm systems and poorly designed human machine interfaces (HMIs) are contributing factors to major accidents and poor operating performance. Speaking this week at the Schneider Electrica 2015 Global Automation Conference in Dallas, Barbara Martinez, principal solutions architect, explained the real cost of this problem and delivered a presentation on the ways that using color, shapes and data in context can deliver the most effective, reliable and safe means of operations management. "Data is not information," Martinez said. "Information is data in context. For years, we have been throwing more and more data at operators—too much…

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Timeless Resources

Beginner's guide to differential pressure level transmitters

By David W. Spitzer

The importance of level measurement cannot be overstated. Incorrect or inappropriate measurements can cause  levels in vessels to be excessively higher or lower than their measured values. Low levels can cause pumping problems and damage the pump, while high levels can cause vessels to overflow and potentially create safety and environmental problems. Vessels operating at incorrect intermediate levels can result in poor operating conditions and affect the accounting of material. Learn more.

Controllers: Direct vs. reverse-acting control

By Bela Liptak

Valve failure position is determined by safety considerations. If, in case of failure, you want your column to go on full reflux, your selection where the reflux control valve is fail-open, and net overhead control valve is fail-close, is right. Assuming that the valve actuators are spring-operated pneumatic ones, and assuming that you define "failure" as the loss of air supply, the spring will act to open a fail-open (FO) valve and to close a fail-closed (FC) valve, regardless what the controller actions are. Read more.

Voices: Ask The Experts

Blowdown percentages to consider for pressure relief valves and interface level in oil separators

Our experts offer practical suggestions for solving these tricky problems.

By Bela Liptak

Q: Relief Valve Blowdown I want to know about blowdown percentage we should consider for pressure relief valves in liquid, gas, vapor services. Is there any reference which gives the percentage of blowdown for different services? Medhi Poormehdipoor.mehdi@gmail.com A: Blowdown (blowback) is the…

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Control Talk Blog

Good Tuning Rule of 5 Tips

Most of the control literature focuses on minimizing the integrated absolute error (IAE) for a step disturbance, often in a linear system. In the process industry, there are many other objectives and complications that require special attention. Here we quickly review when and how to achieve minimum IAE and see how a rule of 5 comes into play for applications with different challenges.

Control Talk Blog

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  • Modern HMI puts 'human' front and center

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    Studies show that poorly performing alarm systems and poorly designed human machine interfaces (HMIs) are contributing factors to major accidents and poor operating performance. Speaking this week at the Schneider Electrica 2015 Global Automation Conference in Dallas, Barbara Martinez, principal…

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