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I was blindsided this morning by a request that I show up at the Division Awards Luncheon...read more
The speedup of a plant’s response can cause loops to go from a smooth to an oscillatory response. In actual plants, the faster rate of change of a process variable important for product quality such a temperature or composition occurs for various changes in operating conditions. Principal sources of speed up in an actual plant are a smaller mass due to minimization of inventory or at the start of fed-batch operations, an increase in heat transfer coefficient from a cleaner surface or higher fluid flow, and an increase in catalyst activity from fresh catalyst or higher fluid flow. In virtual plants, an increase in integration step size in first principle models is used for simulation speedup so scenarios take minutes instead of hours to complete. This speedup of simulations is essential for training operators and developing/prototyping control strategies. The bottom line is that the product of two terms can be used to detect and prevent instability in plant speed up.read more
The October 2013 issue of IEEE Computer magazine has an article titles “Does security trump reliability?” The question of security vs reliability/safety is a critical one for industrial control systems (ICSs). For ICSs, security and reliability are NOT equals - reliability and safety MUST win or the system doesn’t work and the hackers have won without even trying. The real question is how close can the trade-off be made between reliability and security. The question of security vs reliability/safety really goes to the heart of one the major differences between and IT and ICSs and must be correctly answered if lights are to remain on, water flowing, etc.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
Though data on the HART/IP protocol is still difficult to come by – unless you want to shell out a membership or purchase the specifications for just under $1000. The need for the HART/IP protocol was for the backhaul network between WirelessHart gateways and the control system to provide access to the configuration and diagnostics information in the underlying WirelessHart transmitters, not just the process variable in a single environment. Until the HART/IP gateways are available and the protocol is ported to the associated Control systems, Users will continue to have to map parameters to other protocols such as Modbus/TCP or Ethernet/IP via the gateway access point.read more
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