Machines Don’t Panic, and They Always Do What They’re Told, but They Can’t React to Situations for Which They Have not Been Programmed. Which Do You Want to Depend on When your Life Depends on It?
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The Highest Value Added Products Use Batch Operations. Batches Can Take Days to Complete and Be Worth Millions of Dollars. In Many Cases Bad Batches Cannot Be Fixed Downstream. There Are Many Techniques for Making Batches More Repeatable and Faster by Better Monitoring and Control.
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The highest value added products use batch operations. Batches can take days to complete and be worth millions of dollars. In many cases bad batches cannot be fixed downstream. Bad batches must be avoided. There are many techniques for making batches more repeatable and faster by better monitoring and control. Essential are an appreciation of automation and an understanding of the non-self-regulation inherent in a batch process and the implications in terms of control strategy and controller tuning.read more
August 19th, I spent a day with the NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Version 5 Drafting team working on one of the NERC CIP Standards. The focus was on boundary protection, not on the actual control system devices and serial communications which were explicitly excluded. What do they think the hackers will do or do they even care?read more
It has been a busy summer. For the last couple of months I have had the pleasure of pretending to be a venture capitalist. Earlier this year I joined a local organization called the IT Entrepreneurs Network (ITEN) as a mentor. This is a local organization that exists to help startups in the local area move from the concept stage to securing funding for their business. I am in St. Louis, not silicon valley of the MIT corridor or the Pacific Northwest, and access to resources such as venture capitalists, advisors, and programming skills is not as easy as it is in those locations, hence the need for a networking forum for would-be innovators. One of the mentor roles is serving on a panel of mock angel investors. We meet with and critique the pitches from startups as they present their business plans to us as though we were potential investors. This has given me some new insight into the innovative process.read more
All of us are conscious that international standards play an important role in the design and implementation of automation and control systems as these are the areas in which we are most closely aligned. However in addition to automation standards the IEC and ISO also develop a wide range of documents across the full spectrum of engineering and in many cases it is useful to know what they are. Fortunately, both organizations publish regular newsletters to share new developments, trends and successes.read more
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