This week on the Process Automation Usability Project-- #PAutoUP

The process automation community has begun to define a new standard in usability for the next generation of process automation technology. Ranging from Planning to Security to Maintenance, highlights of this week's ongoing discussions are summarized below.

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Advanced Control: Half of Implemented Projects Out of Commission

In this week's Usability Project poll, a full 24% of respondents indicate that their advanced control loops are out of commission due to poor maintenance and/or operator distrust. Another 50% indicate some loops are out of commission. Only a quarter indicate that their advanced control investments continue to pay off. What's the situation at your plant? Visit the Usability Project home page to register your vote.

Planning Forum: Lessons Learned from Hot Cut-Over Projects

Writes one forum contributor: "Modernizing automation systems while the plant continues to run requires a heck of a lot of planning. If you've been through one or several of these hot cut-overs, what's the biggest lesson learned you'd offer others?" Share your story today.

Design Forum: How Can We Make Late Change Orders Less Painful?

"Inevitably, after a project has been handed off from the front-end engineering and design (FEED) stage to detailed design and engineering (DDE), there are late modifications that result in expensive and time-consuming change orders. How can we better manage/minimize the expense of these changes and their impact on project schedule?" Share your thoughts.

Implementation Forum: Do Grayscale Operator Graphics Help?

"A lot of modernization customers are looking for the latest and greatest in HMI. One of the topics that always comes up is a move to grayscale graphics, with abnormal conditions in bright color. Is grayscale really the way to go? To what extent?" Share your experiences.

Operations Forum: How Many Alarms Do Your Operators Deal with in a Day?

One forum contributor asks: "For plant engineers going into the control room, how many unacknowledged and acknowledged alarms do you typically see?" Another responds: "Just out of curiosity, I looked at the statistics for two different days (the plant was running fairly normal on both days). There were 56 alarms of which three were active/unacknowledged lower priority alarms (approximately 95% acknowledgment rate). The numbers were slightly different the second day, but comparable. Just to give a sense of the sizes, the system has about 3000 Instrument Signal Tags. Do these numbers compare with other industries? What about the days on which there are process upsets?" Share your thoughts.

Got an Idea? Win a New Apple iPod touch!

Submit an idea for how to improve the usability of process automation technology using Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, or one of our Usability Forums. Best suggestion of the week wins an Apple iPod touch! » Visit the Process Automation Usability Project.

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