Lynn Craig: Is S88 a business model or an engineering implementation?

Lynn Craig, one of the Process Automation Hall of Fame inductees, and one of ISA's 50 greatest minds in automation, wants us to think about S88 in a different way. What is S88 all about? Basic control sets equipment to a desired state. That kind of thing has been common for a long time. S** doesn't define basic control- it organizes it so it can be commanded. It accepts what has been there for many years. So basic control can be commanded by procedures. These procedures sequence process staes to do a task. S88.01 is really about procedures and coordination, because I can't think of anything worse than having a bunch of procedures running all over each other. S88 defines concepts and structures, and provides abstract models and terminology-- which is certainly anathema to engineers. It aids definition of precedural control functionality, and links with Manufacturing Operations Management. I hate the term, "plant floor," he said. S88 focuses on a level between Manufacturing Opeations Management and basic control...it fits into that window. Who was S88 written for? It was intended to be an engineering tool. It is abstract enough to fit any process and any control system. It is a conceptual structure that fits most batch manufactruing with a set of terms taht allows engineers to communicate and it does that well. Bht there is a fequently overlooked byproduct. Suince it describes how a process shoud run, it has obvious operational value. It focuses on physical manufacturing operations. Now, there's the word to use instead of "plant floor"-- Physical Manufacturing Operations. It is in effect an operational model for that business level. Businesses have multiple levels-- all with different responsibilities. Top: CEO level- use money to make more money Enterprise level- provide services and activities to help make money
  • accounting
  • marketing
  • sales
  • etc.
Research and engineering- spend money to invent things Manufacturing Operations Management- figure out how best to make what sales has sold or will sell, and spend money to understand it and do it better and less expensively Physical Manufacturing Operations- people and equipment to do tasks Basic Control System. Raw Materials--->Equipment, Trained People, Automation-->Products and Tasks From the Equip, etc. you get manufacturing and product information. Manufacturing Operations Management provides teh Product Manufacturing Instructions and the Schedule and compiles the manufacturing and product information Classic Control-- Basic State and REgulatory. Above that is MOM (S95) And in between is the people-- Physical Manufacturing Operations-- which gets it all done by creating procedural operations and coordination of those procedures. This is where S88 lives. Why Bother to Name PMO? It is an important level firmly linked to MOM. But what is going on at that level is not management, and it can operate on its own for considerable periods. It has its own culture, customes and approaches that have been refined and optimized over time. IT IS A SOCIAL SYSTEM. There is more money invested in or used by it than the rest of the company combined. It is a level that directly impacts quality, capacity, reliability, yield, safety, and more. This is not new. Just look to a manual plant. You have a boss, a scheduler, a foreman, who assigns work or maintenance, until product is made, and then the information goes back. Here again is PMO. In the beginning we didn't make a distinction, the operators just did it. Operators directly manipulated the equipment. Then we added some control, but the operators manipulated settings and controls even though they were removed a bit from the process. Then came remote control with an interface to people, and operators could manipulate everything remotely. Then came automation and computer technology, and what was a simple batch process is now highly complex. All you need a computer. Wrong. The first attempts before S88 were sad. We had to learn to organize this new capability. Who was repsonsible for making this all work before automation? Operators knew how to carry out procedures. They work on a few major pieces of equipment at a time, and they knew how to make their part of a product. They manipulate basic control or equipment, by doing predefined process tasks or procedures by setting states in a sequence to carry out taks, and they do the tasks in another sequience specific to a product. They coordinate activities among themselves to avoid contention for resources and to keep things running somoothly. They usually have a foreman to coordinate and assign work, and to handle issues that span operator work assignments. The S88 matches both manual and automated processes.  "We wouldn't have gone to to t trouble to do S88 if the need for automation handn't driven us," Craig said. Manual plants have evolved for many years, and the organization of duties is very refined. Automation has a lot to learn from manual practices. Automation has a lot to learn from manual practiceds. A lot of people are involved, but there is a well established hierarchy that works, including management and workers. We engineers don't know enough. It is much easier to talk about this stuff, only in the technical domain. We were operating in our comfortable little cave and nobody understood what we were doing. Just give me a bucket of money and I'll do this. When we get into real operations, we might not know how to make things work, because we don't necessarily understand how it is supposed to work. We may not even know how it does work, but we're still responsible to make it work like it should. We must be working with the operations folks. Engineering Technology is valued but seldom understood by anyone other than engineers. Engineering technology is a barrier...the need for precision generates complication, and lots of hard to describe concepts and terms. Management and opeations people need to know what is being done, but don't understand a wealth of technical detail. They know what is happening, but the problem is the language barrier. What they understnad is business, and most parts of it-- but not in engineering terms. They need business models, not engineering models. S88.01 can be both-- it is unique. It is a business model and a basis for communications. None of us want a bunch of amateurs wanting them to tell us how to automate a process. Operations people don't want us telling them what the plant is supposed to be making, just how to do it. S88.01 as a business model... S88.01 models, terminology and concepts provide a structure for defining required functionality for both automation and manual control, where the goal is to make processes run the way they should. This means it provides tools to view the way a process runs and the way it can run. It gives you internally consistent terminology, models that define a tested structure, with sufficient abstraction so it can be applied to a wide range of manufacturing, without hindering innovation, but is still relatively easy to understand without engineering jargon and detail, and without a control engineering background. It MUST be kept easy to understand. It is a good operational and business model. It is an abstraction-- not an implementation, and it is more than an engineering tool. It is a vital business model. Oepations people need to help define how theyr plant should operate. We need to get rid of the technology barrier. Everyone understands equipment, everyone understands functionality. That's what S88 is based on.

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