Voices: McMillan & Weiner

What You Need to Know about Starting Up a Plant or System

Planning, Communication and Keeping Track of the Details Are the Secret Sauce

By Greg McMillan, Stan Weiner

*Stan:* As instrument engineers for Monsanto, Greg and I got to check out and start up all of our projects. In this follow-through that was part of our job description, we learned what worked and didn’t work. Before smart instruments, we had to be smarter in order to calibrate and check out the instruments. Pneumatic controllers, transmitters and positioners were a special trip because they were frequently out of alignment and calibration just from being handled and installed.

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More from this voice

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15 case-in-points of common control myths

In a time-proven tradition of subjecting everything to scrutiny and ridicule, columnists McMillan and Weiner offer up the following 15 examples used to help illustrate and demystify control mythology.

04/18/2006

The Bad Hall of Fame

Control Talk columnists McMillan and Weiner induct some really bad instruments, final control elements, and systems into the Bad Hall of Fame, then proffer the Top 10 signs your life is like a Reality TV show.

03/20/2006

Resolutions are made to be broken

Control Talk columnists McMillan and Weiner provide their unique brand of commentary on process trends and dynamics, then offer up some humor with their Top 10 broken New Year’s resolutions.

02/13/2006

Five rules for helping a middle-aged engineer

Control Talk columnists McMillan and Weiner provide their unique brand of commentary on the handling of cascade loops, then offer up some humor with the Top 10 reasons you should migrate to a new DCS.

01/16/2006

Are you grounded in reality?

Control Talk columnists McMillan and Weiner get an insightful reply as to why a plant instrument engineer said the control schemes and instruments successfully used at other locations won't work in his plant.

12/23/2005

Daytime talk is a hoot and a holler

McMillan and Weiner imagine a transcript of a control engineer on a daytime talk show and offer up the Top 10 reasons why you won’t find a model-based control text book anywhere in today’s college classroom.

11/06/2005

Top 10 signs your software is over the (leading) edge

Control Talk columnists McMillan and Weiner discuss standard mixing design practices for neutralization control and offer up the Top Ten Signs you are over the edge with your leading-edge software.

10/19/2005

Top ten signs you're an endangered species

Why is the instrument engineer such a rare find? The answers may be in the standard dialog on the causes of endangerment. Here are the Top Ten Signs you are an Endangered Species.

09/11/2005

Intrinsically wicked

Control Talk columnists McMillan and Weiner rustle up answers to why an electrode changed when it was inserted, then provide a bit of humor with a Top Ten list of reasons not to retire.

08/22/2005

Top 10 signs a startup has gone wrong

Control Talk columnists Greg McMillan and Stan Weiner, PE, offer up a bit of humor regarding startups, and how Stan avoided being fired despite a recent Monday morning hangover.

07/01/2005

Bonkers vortex meter spells double trouble

Control Talk columnists Greg McMillan and Stan Weiner offer up a bit of humor along with the answer to April's Puzzler on why a vortex meter measuring toothpaste went bonkers.

06/05/2005