SCADA systems: Easier to deploy and operate than before

SCADA systems are easier to deploy and operate now, which is good because they're being called on to manage ever larger and more widely distributed process applications.

Jim Montague
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The downside of being responsible for everything is obvious—even more so when jobs and jurisdictions swell in size and scope. However, just like responsible parents, plant operators and their supervisory control systems don't walk away from their duties when stressed or tired out. Luckily, just as moms and dads are spelled by relatives, babysitters and daycare providers, better supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) tools are arriving to help users and supervisory systems cope even as they take on new and bigger jobs. And, as usual, wireless, tablet PCs and the cloud are getting in on the act. For instance, Solvay Chemicals' trona ore mine and refinery in…

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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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    Not much seems to change on the temperature front. Thermodynamics are physical laws, after all, and not guidelines or suggestions. Processes get hot and cold, and they're measured by thermocouples, RTDs, thermistors and other instruments just as they've been for decades. What's different and…

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  • SCADA systems: Easier to deploy and operate than before

    By Jim Montague

    The downside of being responsible for everything is obvious—even more so when jobs and jurisdictions swell in size and scope. However, just like responsible parents, plant operators and their supervisory control systems don't walk away from their duties when stressed or tired out. Luckily, just…

    Full Story
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