2009

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  • Video Helps in a Tough Economy

    With the economy slowing down on a global basis, managers are reluctant to spend money or move forward on prior plans. Indeed, many companies are postponing or cancelling projects and many have begun “cost cutting measures” that almost always mean “job eliminations.”Reducing costs is a responsible management action; the goal is to protect the return on the investors’ equity. Video can provide a solution to many of the issues that remain, even when people are laid off or factories are closed.

    Steve Rubin, President & CEO, Longwatch
    03/12/2009
  • Ethernet: Convergence, Choices, Complexities

    Ethernet is penetrating ever deeper into distributed control systems to provide real-time control with direct connectivity to a wider range of devices while the insatiable demand for speed (e.g. 10/40/100G) from commercial applications are driving continual advancements in Ethernet technologies.

    This expanded deployment of Ethernet in manufacturing has triggered convergence of disparate network technologies over a single Ethernet-based infrastructure, and this trend has left the controls engineer with new and more choices regarding how to specify and install the necessary network physical infrastructure. It becomes clear that network convergence continues unabated, thereby generating new and expanded network physical infrastructure options.

    Shawn Adams, PANDUIT Global Solutions Manager
    02/09/2009
  • Surface Acoustic Wave Technology-Based Temperature Monitoring of High Voltage and High Current Switchgear Boxes

    Safety is a big concern when it comes to managing power distribution systems. High voltage and high current switchgear boxes serve an important role in establishing points of control within the power distribution system. The high voltages and current flowing through switchgear boxes greatly increase the probability of electric arcing and arc blasts. An arc blast is characterized by intense amounts of heat, pressure, shrapnel and molten copper. Great strides have been made in building arc resistant switchgears, nevertheless accidents have happened and the state of technology is far from completely eliminating them. One solution to this problem is to monitor the temperature of switchgear boxes to elicit early warning signs of imminent failure. Conventional methods of monitoring switchgear temperature are expensive and not entirely effective. Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology can provide a passively powered (battery-less), wireless temperature measurement solution that is suited for switchgears. This application note explores how a SAW based solution can provide a reliable, safe and cost-effective means of monitoring switchgear temperature.

    SenGenuity
    05/27/2009
  • SNMP – A New Paradigm for SCADA

    This white paper describes how SNMP is applied to asset management and transportation of "shadow data," information on equipment maintenance and security within the SCADA system. Since SNMP has emerged as a very efficient vehicle for transportation of this information, it is feasible for addition to existing systems. The white paper includes descriptions of smart function blocks, which significantly reduce programming efforts when used with Semaphore's T-BOX RTU and Kingfisher RTU product lines.

    Semaphore, Vishal Prakash and Robert Casey
    01/15/2009
  • Managing Previously Unmanaged Assets

    How Wireless Remote Monitoring Enables Low-Cost Data Logging and Control

    Economically meeting requirements for monitoring of mobile assets and remote processes always presents project engineers a considerable challenge. While the initial requirements are reasonable, complexityinvariably emerges when the needs of all interested parties are assessed.

    This is particularly the case when the asset or process consists of a small number of monitoring points. The requirements can be regulatory or economically-driven. For example, monitoring of combined sewage overflow (CSO) by water utilities meets a regulatory requirement. Compliance with mandates from agencies such as the EPA calls for monitoring of remote locations in which only a single measurement, flow or level, is taken per site.

    Monitoring of vendor-managed inventory, such as a chemical level in a tank, is an economically-driven example. Again, only a single measurement, tank level or pressure, is required. Economic goals include customer satisfaction and operation of the delivery/service fleet in the most efficient manner.

    Leased generators and pumps exemplify mobile assets in which, at minimum, one or two measurements are recorded. In those cases, however, requirements could grow to dozens of measurements. Customer satisfaction and optimal management and maintenance of the asset inventory are the goals.

    Semaphore
    04/06/2009
  • Real-Time Energy Measurement and Empowerment

    Business leaders in today’s manufacturing industries are facing a key issue, lack of visibility into plant business performance in real-time. Thus, real-time information for plant costs, production value, and contribution margin are generally not available to key decision-makers within the operation. Energy management is a key area where the lack of real-time information has a significant impact. Most companies still do not have a clear understanding of the relationship between energy consumption and the impact on real-time costs. This lack of critical information makes it difficult to make informed decisions as energy-related pricing and costs change frequently, affecting manufacturing business performance. Energy prices comprise a large percentage of variable costs in most operations. The dynamic nature of their impact on the business further confounds the situation owing to factors such as:

    - New green energy sources
    - Complex and fast changing energy market rates and metering dynamics
    - Multiple fuel-burning choices
    - New and changing environmental requirements

    During these difficult economic times, this problem is magnified and presents a significant challenge to improving efficiencies and managing environmental responsibilities. Today’s business world requires better business information of the manufacturing environment, propagated to all relevant people within the organization to enable and empower better decision-making to improve business performance. Invensys Process Systems (IPS) Real-Time Energy Measurement and Real-Time Energy Empowerment are an effective solution to this problem.

    Watch this video
    New Information and Resources on Real-Time Energy Management Solutions Now Available From IPS
    Learn how real-time energy management can reduce energy costs and consumption.

    Russ Barr, Invensys Process Systems
    04/28/2009
  • Process Safety in Specialty Chemicals: Turning Industry Challenges Into Opportunities

    The need: Lower life cycle costs and better information flow. The solution: New standards offer more choices for integrating safety and process control

    The specialty chemical industry is facing a number of difficult challenges, including increasingly stringent safety and compliance mandates, higher energy and feedstock prices, and aging plants and equipment – all intensified by global competition. Compounding these challenges is the expanding breadth of specialty chemical product categories, forcing manufacturers to dedicate major resources and continuously innovate to maintain market share and capitalize on new opportunities.

    Despite the size of the industry and the increase in worldwide demand for all types of specialty chemicals, margins must be managed closely due to rising costs, more demanding customers, and the fact that all products – no matter how innovative – eventually go off-patent and face stiff competition. While operating a chemical plant is tough business, opportunities exist for companies to optimize their investments and improve both productivity and their financial performance.

    Risks prevail wherever people store, process or handle hazardous or toxic materials. In the specialty chemical industry, these risks are compounded because the hazard has the potential to impact a numerous of people. A spill of a toxic agent or explosion could be hazardous to a population within a plant or the surrounding area. One growing area of focus in recent years is the critical value of safety in protecting people, and helping safeguard the environment and plant assets, as well as reducing lifecycle costs.

    This paper explores how changes in industry standards and technology developments are expanding how safety systems are applied in specialty chemical applications. It also examines the operational and competitive advantages driving the trend toward separate yet interoperable safety and process control platforms with common development tools. These benefits include reduced life cycle costs, expanded access to process data and improved plant-wide integration.

    Rockwell Automation
    04/17/2009
  • Advantages of a PC Based HART Communicator

    It's now time to upgrade to a new HART Communicator. Your old hand held HART Communicator is obsolete and receives limited support. You shop around and find that it costs between $3000 and $7000 for a new hand held HART Communicator. A Google search reveals a PC based alternative. Will the PC alternative perform as required? What should you look for?

    The PC based HART Communicator has been around for many years, but until recently it has not been able to replace the hand held HART communicator. The main reason is that it could not communicate at the DD level with all the devices in the DD library. Recent developments have eliminated that problem and now is a good time to review the capabilities of a PC based HART Communicator.

    ProComSol
    12/01/2009
  • Risk Control Hierarchy Clarifies Electrical Safety

    A clear and realistic set of objectives goes a long way in driving continuous improvements in electrical safety. Resources can be allocated and priorities can be defined once objectives are set. The risk control hierarchy (RCH) in the ANSI-Z10 standard provides electrical safety professionals with an excellent roadmap for setting the right safety objectives that result in the reduction of electrical risks. RCH helps improve a plant electrical safety program and inspires manufactures to improve their electrical equipment designs. RCH provides a mean to measure the effectiveness of an electrical safety initiative much the same way a project management uses financial measurements to evaluate a project.

    Phil Allen the President of Grace Engineered Products Inc.
    03/16/2009
  • Key Performance Indicators

    KPIs are an excellent performance measurement tool that businesses in many different sectors employ to improve performance. The key to KPIs is finding a way to quickly gather and simply distribute the key business information without becoming beholden to large, complex databases and applications. The problem is that somewhere along the line the burden imparted by gathering and compiling month-end KPIs has become greater than the value these sometimes “outdated” numbers represent. How much effort, custom coding, and cost must go into compiling and communicating these measures?

    OSIsoft, Inc.
    03/12/2009
  • What Portals Can Do For You

    Portal technology is invigorating today’s corporate environments. The business world began to take portal technology seriously when the price to acquire start-up portal sites, such as My Space and Flickr, exceeded all anticipated market values. Today, portals are big business. Corporations ranging from SAP to Microsoft are investing millions of dollars in portal technology. New technology frameworks and architecture have changed the direction of portal solutions from recreational portals to the enterprise. Networking technology enables users to access portal-based web sites from anywhere and through any device that can connect to the internet. The purpose of this paper is to help you determine how your company can benefit from a portal environment, and from the OSIsoft suite of visualization components. For the first time, you can combine data stored in PI with enterprise systems and other data sources into easily accessible information, visible to individuals, teams, sites, and the enterprise.

    OSIsoft, Inc.
    03/12/2009
  • Accelerate Six Sigma Success

    Manufacturers are under extreme pressure to increase operational efficiency as a means to increase reliability and maintain margins. Six Sigma is providing a powerful means for companies to improve performance. The use of this methodical, statistics-based approach is increasing across a range of industries. Those in the process industries are discovering the PI System can provide critical support to Six Sigma teams at every step of their effort. This paper discusses how to the PI System can support a Six Sigma initiative. QNI, an Australian minerals resource company, serves as an example.

    OSIsoft Inc.
    03/12/2009
  • Energy Management as a Corporate Strategy

    Today’s businesses are struggling to find new channels for growth, improve operational efficiency, reduce the cost of energy, and provide a structure for timely decision-making. This paper proposes a framework from which management can develop an energy management strategy.

    OSIsoft Inc.
    03/24/2009
  • OSIsoft Helps Innovene Run More Efficiently: Analysis Framework Expands Analysis Capability

    In 2000, Innovene’s Sarralbe, France plant updated its antiquated legacy system infrastructure with the OSIsoft PI System to provide real-time and historical information. Next, the company wanted to increase operational and development efficiencies. They sought to avoid multiple manual inputs and to minimize custom application development.

    In 2004, the Innovene, Sarralbe site implemented OSIsoft’s Analysis Framework (AF) for faster application configuration to help employees analyze and optimize processes more efficiently. Innovene was impressed with the OSIsoft suite of products, and they were convinced that AF could effectively leverage the power of the new infrastructure.

    OSIsoft
    04/24/2009
  • Using Analysis Framework to Improve Decision Making and Optimize Production

    IPLOM, a privately held company, manufactures environmentally compatible fuel products. As a small player in a competitive market, IPLOM needed to manage and optimize production in a real-time environment. IPLOM also needed to demonstrate the consistency of the products in real-time in an easily accessible Web site to its customers.

    IPLOM first selected OSIsoft Sigmafine to provide mass balance yields. After one year, the company purchased the PI System and is now planning an RtWebParts implementation.

    OSIsoft
    04/24/2009
  • Integrating Manufacturing Data from the Plant Floor into SAP

    Like many companies, Janssen Pharmaceutical was implementing SAP as their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. In order to integrate manufacturing data from the plant floor into SAP, Janssen simultaneously installed the OSIsoft PI System. For the first time, financial people, who had never been able to link to the production floor, were now costing in real time. People in Operations, Engineering, Quality Assurance (QA), Environmental and Security were able to obtain multiple views from one data source, resulting in better operational visibility, process improvement and collaboration. The use of the PI System has led to better decisions and ongoing improvements such as: reduced cycle times, superior batch quality and releases, thorough incident investigations, decreased process variability, real-time costing, and better alarm management and security monitoring.

    Now, with the implementation of OSIsoft’s RtReports product, Janssen can provide QA with a tool that streamlines the validation process for faster and more accurate compliance monitoring and reporting. The reams of paper with sign-offs and manual inputs from production to QA have been replaced with a few targeted reports that include batch trends. Production is able to reduce cycle time with configurable, real-time batch performance reporting. Of significant importance to Janssen’s business evolution is that RtReports has become a major part of Janssen’s progression towards electronic batch records.

    OSIsoft
    04/24/2009
  • Using RtPortal iViews to Reduce Energy Management Costs and Meet Conservation Goals

    The Kodak Park, located in Rochester, N.Y., is over 100 years old. The site has 1300 acres, two utility power plants, two company-owned water and waste water treatment plants, 150 buildings and 11,000 employees. The Kodak Park utility power plants have enormous generation output and demand requirements including 2,000,000 pounds per hour steam load and a 125 MW electric load.

    The site also has 600 electric distribution meters, 600 additional non-electric distribution meters and many generation site meters. The utilities systems were operated and monitored by a group of disparate building automation systems and distributed control systems.

    With such a vast energy and management system, Kodak shares many of the same concerns as regional utility companies— conservation, optimization of resources and consolidation of data from various legacy systems. Any new technology solution added to this mix had to be compatible with our well-defined information architecture requirements.

    OSIsoft
    05/01/2009
  • Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. Monitors Environmental Emissions with the OSIsoft PI System

    Formed in 2001 as the result of a government initiative to create competitive subsidiaries in the power generation industry, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) needed to monitor different variables at its multiple nuclear power facilities. KHNP also wanted to actively manage the changing business conditions in Korea. There was increasing public and government concern about safety and the environmental impact of nuclear power. Residents in the towns surrounding the plants were demanding greater transparency of operations and systems. Additional requirements were to enhance the efficiency of information between facilities and integrate plant data with the company’s SAP Enterprise Resource Planning system. To solve information access and transparency problems, KNHP chose the PI System from OSIsoft.

    OSIsoft
    05/01/2009
  • PI System Helps Methanol Producer Improve Quality and Performance, Stay Competitive

    Since 1997, the Chilean-based operations of Methanex, the world’s largest producer and marketer of methanol, have been using the PI System from OSIsoft to improve product quality. With the success of using real-time data to improve operations, the company has recently begun to implement OSIsoft’s PI System as a strategic initiative to more fully integrate and distribute operations information throughout the company for better competitive advantages.

    OSIsoft
    05/15/2009
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