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Lothar Lang, from Lyondell Chemical Company gave a second keynote this morning on Critical Condition Management. What made his talk very different from most is that he's talking about doing it on a corporate scale. "It is very important that the top management is aware and supportive of critical condition management." Operations & Control Systems Best Practice Team Motivation: a challenge. Human factors and process control systems have a large impact on response to safety and critical condition monitoring. We went to NASA and the airlines. It is not uncommon to meet a retired airline pilot who has NEVER had an emergency in their entire career. What we found is that the airlines and aircraft vendors have a comprehensive approach for reducing human factors contributing to abnormal situations, with many parallels to our operations. Critical condition management addresses the HCI (human control interface); alarm management, control loop performance management and the operator advisory system. Software is standard company wide. KPIs are standard company wide. Sharing of best practices between facilities is mandated. The operator advisory system is still in development. WE need to figure out how to tell the operator how to react in the event of emergencies in a useful way. Success in Critical Condition Management is about empowerment, from the bottom up, and permission from the top down. Lang showed a DCS screen that was a jumble of stuff. "An operator with two years experience is just going to miss a lot of this information," Lang said. Then he showed an EEMA-style ASM-compliant DCS screen. "Instead of just looking at digital numbers, look at trends." We also have a new overview screen, he said. We should also be putting important KPIs on this kind of screen. We need to document best practice, focus attention on critical information, assess the situation at a glance, and use the systems company wide. And what's the bottom line? Tasks were completed 35%-48% faster. Failures were dealt with faster at least 28% of the time. The next step in Critical Condition Management is Alarm Management. Lang went through the process of rationalizing alarms and transitioning to continuous improvement of alarm management systems. The company uses the EEMUA guidelines as the company goals. We have found that we need to move the ownership of alarm management out of the control group into the manufacturing operations gorup-- we need a champion there who will take control and own this continuous process. And the next step is controlloop performance management. Again, Lang went though the process Lyondell uses to benchmark, assess, and establish baselines and KPIs. This is an external focus, he noted. Then they need to move into the continuous improvement phase, internally. Setting loop performance KPIs is not easy. This is what we look at:
  • % of loops not in normal operation more than 10% of the time
  • % of loops running more than 5% of the time at their limits (saturation)
  • % of loops that are oscillating
  • % of loops with valve issues.
An industry benchmark (2006) is that 80+% of loops are in normal operation. We are close to that average. There is also benefit in doing this. You design a plant to run at a specific rate. If you are forced by market conditions to run at a different rate, you are not optimized for energy savings. With continuous performance management we have been able to tune for these different production rates, and reduce our energy consumption considerably.
  • smoother operation
  • reduced operator input
  • reduced shutdown cost
  • improved basic for DMC applications
  • reduced upsets
Operator Data Overload is a huge problem. trends are valuable for operators to identify potential critical conditions the human brain gains insight more easily from visual representations like graphs So Lyondell is working on an Operator Advisory Interface. The advisor shows where to position the handles of the process to meet the process objectives and optimize the process economics. Path forward:
  • implement tools at all sites
  • establish KPI and baselines at the sites
  • drive with continuous improvement program
  • share best practices
  • establish OE standard
  • provide dynamic alarm management and enhanced knowledge based operator support systems
Success in CCM: accelerate implementation through the use of best practices

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