Manage plant paperwork for efficiency, knowledge transfer and profit

New tools are available to help mine the vast quantities of useful plant information that have accumulated over the years

Dan Hebert, PE
CG1506 CovStry

It takes a lot of drawings and documents to run a process plant. Unfortunately, much of this information is stored in different and seemingly incompatible ways, such as on paper, in photographs, in proprietary CAD and other databases, and in legacy systems. Furthermore, the documentation is not always up-to-date, organized or complete. Getting it into usable shape can be a daunting job, and in most process plants, nobody has the time to do it anyway. But companies that master the art of document management find themselves ahead of the game in terms of efficiency and productivity. The first step in building a solid document management system is getting good data into the…

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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

Robot pilots? Improving level detection reliability

Flying with a robot at the controls could be a tough sell; How many level gauges do you need for an accurate measurement?

By Bela Liptak

Q: Pilots or robots in the cockpit? You have written many times about the potentials of automation in improving air transportation safety and efficiency. Besides writing your columns, have you done anything about that? Is ISA, NASA or anybody else taking advantage of our automation and control…

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Control Talk Blog

Essential Feedforward Control and Operator Interface Tips

All feedforward control systems can be reduced to a common form that enables a better understanding and recognition that leads to the best performance and the best interface for the operator. For “smart controls” to be fully appreciated and utilized, the operator needs to know what is going on and how to participate. Here we show how to make the advantages of feedforward control more achievable and recognizable.

Control Talk Blog

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  • Manage plant paperwork for efficiency, knowledge transfer and profit

    By Dan Hebert, PE

    It takes a lot of drawings and documents to run a process plant. Unfortunately, much of this information is stored in different and seemingly incompatible ways, such as on paper, in photographs, in proprietary CAD and other databases, and in legacy systems. Furthermore, the documentation is not…

    Full Story
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