Brought to you by ControlGlobal.com and Putman Media
September 21, 2008
Headlines from Today’s Activities
- Sustainable Performance Anchors Invensys Client Conference
- ExxonMobil, Invensys Team Up on Hurricane Ike Recovery
- Immersive Simulator Extends Training Scope with "Augmented" Reality
- Teamwork, Procedures Enabled Miracle of Flight 1549
- PODCAST: Avantis.PRO 5.0 Asset Management Tool
Features Improved User Productivity, Collaboration
- Simplicity and Scalability Driving I/A Series Roadmap
- Taking Care of Users Tops Triconex Priority List
Sustainable Performance Anchors Invensys Client Conference
"Achieving sustainable performance," began Steve Blair, president of Invensys Operations Management’s business in North America, "was chosen as the theme of this year’s conference because the global economic climate demands a high priority on sustaining the value of assets." As Blair kicked off the company's North America Client Conference this week at the Hilton Americas hotel in Houston, he thanked the nearly 600 in attendance––a significant increase over last year.
Sustainability isn’t just about the environment; it’s about economic power, Blair stressed. "And to be most effective, we need to actively seek out existing successes, repeat and enhance," he explained. Companies need agility, and they need the ability to be productive while adapting to the new. "It’s not about delivering one goal, but about delivering consistent performance," he added.
Blair highlighted a range of new Invensys technology offerings on display at the conference that are designed to do just that-ranging from new cybersecurity and control–in–the–field offerings to an immersive, three–dimensional, virtual reality simulator and the latest version of its Avantis.PRO enterprise asset management software. This is the first in a series of ControlGlobal.com e-newsletters that will offer highlights on these and other conference developments over the next three days.
"Sustainable performance is achievable for those who lead. And we intend to lead." Invensys Operations Management’s Steve Blair pledged the company’s commitment to helping its clients stay productive while enabling them to respond to evolving business, regulatory and societal demands.
However, there are a few unassuming, but stalwart forces that may be even stronger. Chief among these is the unparalleled teamwork and devotion demonstrated by the engineers, technicians, operators and managers at ExxonMobil’s multi–unit chemical facility in Beaumont, Texas, as they worked to repair and rebuild from the devastation of Hurricane Ike’s almost direct hit at 12 midnight on Sept. 12, 2008.
In his keynote address to the Invensys North America Client Conference this week, Ken Anderson, ExxonMobil process control manager, described his colleagues’ amazingly fast, well–defined and efficient preparations for and recovery from the third–most–destructive storm ever to hit the United States.
"Your plant is full." ExxonMobil’s Ken Anderson related the inauspicious words from the ride–out crew that marked the start of a heroic effort to restore operations at the company’s Beaumont, Texas, plant after its levees succumbed to Hurricane Ike.
Immersive Simulator Extends Training Scope with "Augmented" Reality
Armed with 3D glasses and a joystick, Marizio Rovaglio deftly maneuvered through the virtual process plant, closing valves, conjuring work orders and putting out simulated fires. Despite the hotel conference room setting at this week’s Invensys Client Conference, it was easy to be transported by this immersive, game–style simulator that for the first time marries first–principle simulation with "augmented" reality to enable engineers and operators to see and safely interact with the plant and the processes they control.
Called EYEsim, the system extends the scope of traditional simulator training to include not only the control room, but the field as well, explains Rovaglio, Invensys Operations Management group leader for innovation technologies and emerging services. Control room operators, as well as field operators and maintenance technicians, can now be trained in tandem, interactively solving problems over walkie–talkie under trainer supervision, he explained.
"The increasing complexity of plants, combined with a changing workforce, demands next-generation tools that can safely and interactively train new operators and engineers without putting them, the community or the environment at risk," added Tobias Scheele, vice president, advanced applications, Invensys Operations Management.
"Augmented" reality describes the ability of EYEsim users to call up parts diagrams, work orders and even peer into process vessels while immersed in the training simulator environment. Trainers can introduce abnormal situations such as this fire, requiring field operators to interact with control room operators to troubleshoot conditions that would be unsafe to recreate in actuality.
Teamwork, Procedures Enabled Miracle of Flight 1549
Training, teamwork and procedures can make the possible seem miraculous. That was the message offered by Jeff Skiles, co–pilot of US Airways Flight 1549, which landed safely in the Hudson River after losing both its engines in an encounter with a flock of Canada geese at 3,200 ft. on Jan. 15. Skiles spoke at the opening session of the Invensys North America Client Conference this week in Houston.
"Faced with a challenging situation, several hundred people banded together and did their jobs," said Skiles, who cited a lifetime of training and standardized procedures as additional keys to the successful landing on the Hudson. "It was a chain that led to salvation. Each person involved was a link in that chain. Not one link failed. It speaks to the incredible power of what people can accomplish when they work together to accomplish a common goal. For me, that’s always going to be the real story of Flight 1549."
"They sounded like hail hitting the airplane, and then both engines immediately rolled back to idle." Jeff Skiles, co–pilot of US Airways flight 1549, described the plane’s encounter with a flock of Canada geese that three minutes later resulted in their dramatic water landing in the Hudson River.
PODCAST: Avantis.PRO 5.0 Asset Management Tool
Features Improved User Productivity, Collaboration
Invensys Operations Management’s new Avantis.PRO 5.0 is on display for the first time at the company’s North America Client Conference this week in Houston. Control editor–in–chief Walt Boyes and Paul Studebaker, editor–in–chief of Plant Services, got a sneak peek at the how the new enterprise asset management (EAM) software improves asset reliability and lowers operating costs while simultaneously making those benefits easier for users to realize. Walt and Paul talked with Kim Custeau, director of product marketing. Listen to the podcast interview.
"Our Avantis.PRO 5.0 software is a comprehensive EAM solution that allows our clients to organize, track and understand asset utilization, performance and availability, as well as to manage maintenance activity and costs over time," said Custeau. "The updated solution enables role-based, online collaboration and features Microsoft Click–Once Technology and other enhancements that will help clients manage the complexities of their business, improve their asset reliability and reduce their overall operating costs."
"The Avantis.PRO 5.0 solution has the architecture and infrastructure to be our next–generation enterprise operations management tool." Scott Lampe, Hendrick Motorsports’ CFO, is bullish on the potential of the Avantis.PRO 5.0 EAM solution to help execute the team’s business strategy.
Simplicity and Scalability Driving I/A Series Roadmap
Invensys Operations Management demonstrated its commitment to interoperability and consistency across all brands, a simplified and scalable product line and strategic partnerships with best–in–class suppliers at the 2009 Invensys North American Client Conference in Houston.
Betty Naylor–McDevitt, director, DCS business, Invensys Operations Management, explained how the company’s I/A Series distributed control system is designed to improve productivity for all plant personnel, citing ongoing emphases on engineering, operations and maintenance, cybersecurity, fieldbus integration, Foundation fieldbus initiatives, 100 Series I/O migration, life–cycle management and competitive migration.
"Product line simplification means fewer products to support and maintain," she said. "It’s a journey. We’re not going to be there overnight. InFusion View will be our only HMI. InFusion Historian will be our only historian. InFusion System Manager will be our only system manager. It’ll take us a few years to get there, but that’s our journey."
"We want to focus on being the best controls company." Invensys’ Betty Naylor–McDevitt outlined the company’s plans to continue to streamline and simplify its automation platform offering toward the ultimate goal of improved user productivity.
Taking Care of Users Tops Triconex Priority List
"Triconex still acts like the little company that could, even though we’ve long been part of our larger Invensys organization," said Joseph Scalia, control system architect, Invensys Operations Management. "And while Triconex isn’t going anywhere, we are retooling because the needs of our users are being retooled. We’ve reinvested to deliver the technologies that our users say they need. We've also continued to honor our users' commitment to Triconex by keeping our form factor the same and by providing a migration path for application software. This ensures an attractive path forward for our users’ current SIS (safety instrumented system) technology.
Scalia and Alejandro Fung, Triconex's safety systems marketing manager, presented and presided over the "Triconex Update and Roadmap" brand session this week at the 2009 Invensys North America Client Conference.
"You make a lot of pieces, but what about some software to tie it to together?" Invensys’ Joseph Scalia on the company’s intention to broaden its Triconex safety system offering with management software.