SCADA software has gotten out of control. What if there was a better way to manage control systems? See how web-based software, open standards technology, and unlimited usage licensing are being used to transform the SCADA / control system software landscape. Ignition by Inductive Automation is being used around the world to create HMI, SCADA and MES applications.
Featured speaker Ed Michel, Reliability Manager at Frito-Lay, offers a unique look at how Frito-Lay is discovering new ways to improve productivity and sustainability by focusing on asset reliability. Ed explains how efforts have led to reduced downtime and less packaging material scrap.
More process control engineers are recognizing that operational errors cause most process slowdowns and shutdowns. The March 2011 cover article explores how some innovative users are preventing these user-based problems. Executive editor Jim Montague interviews ARC's senior process analyst Dave Woll to comment on the users' preventative measures.
Executive editor Jim Montague presents the results of Control's 2011 survey on level measurement technologies, compares this year's results with responses to the same survey in 2009, and then examines some of the up and downs over the past two years -- such as the emergence of WirelessHART.
Since 1978, Meurer Research Inc. in Golden, Colo., has researched, developed and manufactured water and wastewater treatment systems used by municipalities around the world. Among MRI's most successful products are plate settlers, which are used in water and wastewater treatment plants as a method of pretreatment before the water enters the membrane filtration system. By separating and removing heavy solids that can clog filters, the plate settlers help extend membrane life, minimize cleaning requirements and reduce operating costs. To help ensure these systems deliver maximum reliability, MRI sought to redesign and upgrade the control equipment on one of its 10 pilot units. The control system previously employed on the pilot unit included a mix of control products from multiple vendors, which hindered interoperability and limited connectivity between all of the automation equipment on a given machine. MRI worked with Rockwell Automation to ease the integration of components by working with a single-source supplier that could provide a control system easily integrated as a unified and more reliable system. In addition to improving reliability, performance and ease of use, MRI also wanted to equip the system with remote-monitoring capabilities. This would allow MRI to evaluate system performance and troubleshoot problems without traveling to the test site.
Serving customers in a variety of plastics industries, including consumer packaged goods, chemical, automotive and dairy, R&B Plastics Machinery in Saline, Mich., provides customers with solutions for machine, mold, trimming and tooling systems. This machine builder focuses on continuous extrusion blow-molding and offers a wide selection of custom options that help its customers secure a competitive advantage.
R&B Plastics sought flexibility for its blow-molding machines via programmable automation controllers to accommodate quick product changeovers, ease of use -- from a single integrated control and information platform, and reliable and ongoing support from global distributors to help customers reduce the risk of downtime. R&B Plastics also works with Rockwell Automation to offer users scalable solutions for parison-control retrofits. This approach leaves all other machine control systems in place.
The slick, convenient, user-friendly tablets and smart phones that are so popular on the home front are making inroads into the workplace. In this podcast, Ralph Rio of ARC Advisory Group and Control's managing editor, Nancy Bartels, discuss the trend, the vision of real-time process information on demand everywhere all the time, and the reality of making it happen in the process environment.
New DOT regulations demand significant changes to the way pipeline operators approach supervisory control and data acquisition. Invensys, a global leader in SCADA automation solutions, has assembled some of the company's best knowledge resources in this archive to help you through your planning and decision process.
Most people think of ethanol as an alternative fuel designed only for specialized flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). While this is partly true -- the more than six million FFVs on the road today are designed to run on E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline -- in reality, ethanol is a much more commonly used product. Seventy percent of the gasoline sold in America contains some amount of ethanol. Most ethanol production facilities, such as Golden Triangle Energy Cooperative (GTEC) in Craig, Mo., generate little to no waste throughout the manufacturing process. With $50 million in gross annual revenue, GTEC operates on a continuous basis, manufacturing approximately 20 million gallons of ethanol and over 160,000 tons of wet livestock feed every year. The entire production process is run by just three operators, and until a few years ago, controlled using a distributed control system (DCS) that was installed when the plant was built in 2001. However, just a few years after the plant opened, Roger Hill, General Manager at GTEC, and his colleagues learned from the DCS manufacturer that their system was obsolete. The DCS manufacturer would no longer manufacture replacement parts and GTEC needed to find a replacement provider. They contracted Bachelor Controls Inc. (BCI) of Sabetha, Kan., a Rockwell Automation Solution Provider to replace their now obsolete systems. BCI is a best-in-class systems integrators who provide industry and applications expertise in delivering automation and information solutions to manufacturing companies globally, to replace their now obsolete systems.
Utilities Kingston, owned by the City of Kingston, Ontario, is an international leader in the wastewater treatment field. The $103 million CDN expansion of the Ravensview Wastewater Treatment Plant, located on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, uses state-of-the-art equipment and best practices that serve as a model to municipalities world-wide. By making the plant as efficient as possible, Utilities Kingston (UK) and the City of Kingston help protect the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Basin and communities downstream. The goals for the Ravensview plant were to increase effluent capacity, improve effluent, air and water quality, reduce noise and provide superior bio-solids handling, energy savings and efficiency. Utilities Kingston partnered with J.L. Richards (JLR), an engineering architect and planning company, to design the control system. They chose Rockwell Automation PlantPAx Process Automation System solution which included programmable automation controllers (PACs), intelligent motor control centers (MCCs) and variable frequency drives, as well as field services including Protection Plus Startup Services, Factory Acceptance Testing and TechConnectSM phone and online support, meeting the specified criteria needed for this project and delivering the best long-term value.
Just like distributed control, distributed safety is coming soon to a process plan near you--maybe your own. In this podcast, Barry Young of ARC Advisory Group and Control's executive editor, Jim Montague, discuss the reasons for distributed safetys recent evolution, types of applications where its emerging, and how its now being included at the design stage of many projects.
Temperature is one of the Big 4 control parameters that any process plant must monitor. However, it is sometimes a forgotten measurement because it often isn't as hard to do as the other three. Editor in chief Walt Boyes reviews the 2009 survey on temperature instrumentation and compares it to the 2011 survey findings. There are significant differences between the two surveys. Watch this report to find out.
Learn how to properly specify a PLCbased burner management system (BMS) compliant to today's industry safety standards (NFPA, API, ISA) as Siemens' Certified Functional Safety Expert Charles Fialkowski and Control Global's Editor in Chief Walt Boyes discuss whats new and relevant.
Don't take Siemens word for it, watch and listen to what Ryan Ashley, Four Roses Distillery, has to say about his distillery's migration from APACS+ to PCS 7. You may not laugh or cry, but you'll be impressed with how easy it was for him to upgrade using his existing I/O and field wiring.
Editor-in-chief Walt Boyes talks about the Coriolis mass flowmeter and how these have changed over time. The earliest flowmeters were volumetric in nature. They measured the volume of the liquid or the gas flowing inside them, but if the temperature, density, or viscosity changed, the flow reading would be less accurate. Watch this video report to learn how Coriolis flowmeters have changed over time.
There's a lot more to truly going green than efficiency, which is why experienced end users are scrambling to master process sustainability. In this podcast, Wil Chin of ARC Advisory Group and Control's executive editor, Jim Montague, discuss how process sustainability is evolving, types of applications where it's emerging, and where its going in the future.
Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) provides water, wastewater, gas, and electric services to customers in the Pikes Peak Region of Colorado. CSU was experiencing failures with a distributed control system and needed a new solution that would provide enhanced reliability, efficiency and sustainability. Unexpected plant outages were becoming a costly problem. The CSU water department had already migrated its legacy DCS system to a Rockwell Automation control system, so the utility decided to standardize all plant operations on Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture because they needed a single vendor capable of providing integrated hardware, software, and networking.
The new solution allowed CSU to remotely operate multiple gas, hydroelectric and power plants from a single central location. Operators can now perform maintenance and troubleshooting tasks at a plant onsite or online from a central facility to better meet customer demands, save time and reduce labor costs.
In this podcast Executive Editor Jim Montague talks with ARC's vice president of consulting and senior processing analyst, Dave Wolf, about staffing and knowledge management. Montague asks what a process automation system should be. Listen to this podcast to hear Wolf's answer.