2009

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  • OSIsoft Helps MWRA Improve Real-Time Plant Performance, Aid Boston Harbor Cleanup

    A wastewater treatment organization in Massachusetts has been implementing OSIsoft’s PI System (PI) as the core of an enterprise-wide solution. With the help of the real-time data collected and distributed by PI, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) is able to achieve real-time notification of events to the employees who need to know; real-time pricing of power in order to determine the most cost-effective approach to on-site power usage; deliver accurate and timely compliance reporting to local and federal agencies; and, perhaps best of all, play a key role in improving the quality of the environment in Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay.

    OSIsoft
    05/15/2009
  • Public Service Electric and Gas Deploys PI System as Foundation for CMMS System

    Public Service Electric and Gas implemented the SAP PM (Plant Maintenance) system in 2000 to enhance the efficiency of its transmission and distribution equipment maintenance. While this application did improve maintenance systems, it did not provide the proactive, predictive approach to T&D maintenance that the company wanted.

    A special project was begun in 2001 to design and implement a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) that would allow PSE&G to monitor equipment status and handle maintenance procedures using a condition-based approach rather than a calendar-based system. The PI System from OSIsoft in San Leandro, Calif., is the foundation on which PSE&G’s engineering and IT staffs created their CMMS solution. The system proposal called for a full ROI by 2005, but the system was launched in early 2002 and began delivering cost savings in its first year. It also is extending the life of aging equipment through more efficient monitoring of performance.

    OSIsoft
    05/22/2009
  • QNI Uses the OSIsoft PI System to Control Refinery Operations and Gain 41 Percent IRR in 3.5 Years

    Until a few years ago, QNI’s cobalt/nickel refinery in Yabulu, Australia, used manual process-recording methods. Process engineers found it difficult to determine the influence of variables on product quality and to generate timely reports for management. Management was frustrated by the challenges of accounting for monthly reconciled recovery, determining where losses occurred and tracking quality by batch.

    To gain control over its operations and processes, QNI needed to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Though QNI already had a functioning ABB distributed control system, it couldn’t store process data for more than three weeks — not really long enough to track production records and monitor KPIs. Faced with ISO 9001 compliance and the need to implement Six Sigma in its manufacture of high-grade nickel and cobalt products, QNI chose OSIsoft’s solution to combine production data from its six business units with their total of eight separate control rooms.

    OSIsoft
    05/22/2009
  • OSIsoft Helps the Roche Group Employ Real-Time Performance Management and Increase Operational Efficiencies

    The Roche Group maintains three types of manufacturing facilities: chemical, biotech and galenical. To sustain growth in an increasingly competitive global business environment, the company sought a technically superior information platform that would enable operational improvements in efficiency, performance, quality and compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

    Roche considered the PI System to be the best foundation to gain visibility into operational performance and enable faster response time and analysis for more cost-effective actions. As a successful global initiative, PI allows management to make more effective business decisions based on reliable and current information. Local plant management can optimize process operations to respond to real-world product demand. Operators, engineers, chemists and managers can now plan better, improve production and increase efficiency.

    OSIsoft
    05/22/2009
  • Cutting the Cost of Flexible Operation in a Competitive Power Market

    Starting a power-generating unit involves bringing a plant from shutdown conditions to synchronization between the electrical generator and the transmission network or grid. Optimizing this process requires a careful balance which minimizes startup energy costs and limits plant damage. Traditionally, the startup of a coal-fired unit is performed manually by highly skilled operators. For RWE npower, however, an analysis of the startup methodology using the PI System from OSIsoft revealed significant variation in the company's techniques. Having identified the reasons for the variations, RWE npower then standardized and optimized the procedures to ensure that best practices were achieved for every startup.

    OSIsoft
    06/01/2009
  • The PI System Revolutionizes One Utility's Electric Transmission and Distribution Power System Data

    As with most electric transmission and distribution (T&D) companies, growth does not come without many challenges commonly faced by most large utility companies: diverse data sources in different locations with restricted access; numerous manual data retrieval processes with limited ability for people outside the control center to immediately observe what problems have occurred; and operating in an interactive environment.

    In 2003, one T&D utility implemented OSIsoft's PI System (PI) across all transmission and distribution operations. This decision dramatically changed the way the utility was able to access power system data and conduct business. Now operators, engineers, analysts, managers and executives are able to monitor real-time power system data using easy-to-configure displays with the ability to trend and analyze in real time or historical mode. PI gave the utility the ability to monitor transmission line status from the Emergency Operations Center when crises arise. Systems are now integrated, and data is provided to operations, management, planning, forecasting and regulatory compliance groups.

    OSIsoft
    06/01/2009
  • WiredCity Helps Westar Energy Keep the Network and the Power Flowing

    Westar Energy Inc. turned to WiredCity’s IT Monitor as its primary means of preventing network and system problems inside its power plant network. The decision was spurred on by Westar Energy's familiarity and satisfaction with WiredCity’s parent company, OSIsoft Inc., whose Real-time Performance Management (RtPM) Platform has had a successful track record in Westar Energy's power generation plants. In addition to improving the quality of network service and ensuring that power traders maintain critical Internet connectivity, Westar Energy discovered new uses for IT Monitor, including tracking down a virus and tuning an Oracle database, which saved a potentially costly upgrade.

    OSIsoft
    06/01/2009
  • Overcoming Concerns about Wireless PACs and I/O in Industrial Automation

    Industrial Automation Flirts with Wireless
    The automation industry increasingly finds wireless attractive, and for several reasons.
    - Running a wired network incurs significant labor and material costs, while wireless networks cost far less.
    - Wireless offers connectivity for remote areas or areas not currently served by wired networks.
    - Wireless controllers and I/O can manage devices and processes even in inaccessible areas, or areas where network wiring is difficult or impossible to install.
    - And wireless can offer a way to provide proof-of-concept for a new project before incurring the expense of a wired network.

    For all these reasons, automation engineers are beginning to seriously consider wireless solutions (specifically WLAN, wireless Ethernet, or Wi-Fi) for all or part of their applications.

    But with all these good reasons to use wireless, several concerns remain. Among them are security, network performance and reliability, availability and cost of I/O components, and the necessity of choosing between wired and wireless solutions up front.

    Opto22
    04/23/2009
  • OPC Bridging Transfers Data between Industrial Automation Systems

    Integrators frequently use OPC technology to connect one Industrial Automation system (PLC, DCS, SCADA, HVAC, etc) with another so data can be shared between the two systems. Because OPC technology is based on the Client/Server architecture, the challenge is that two OPC Servers cannot communicate with each other directly. A variety of vendors provide an intermediate software solution, generically called an “OPC Bridge,” to facilitate this sort of communication. This whitepaper discusses the concept of the OPC Bridge, the solution architecture, required software components, and various features to help Integrators differentiate between different OPC Bridge products.

    OPC Training Institute
    01/26/2009
  • Optimizing Solar Thermal Performance with Data Loggers

    This white paper discusses how solar thermal systems, with the help of portable data loggers, can be optimized to deliver the financial benefits residential and commercial users hope to achieve through their investments.

    Onset
    11/02/2009
  • Monitoring Geothermal Heat Pump Performance

    This paper discusses how portable data logging technology can be used to measure, record, and document the performance of geothermal heat pumps, and provides specific case study examples of how the technology is being applied in geothermal system monitoring applications.

    ONSET
    12/10/2009
  • Signal Isolators, Converters and Interfaces: The ‘Ins’ and ‘Outs’

    The white paper features extensive information on signal isolation and conversion, the instrument selection process, and effective applications. It includes pop-up “Isolator Selection Hints,” links to data sheets and to helpful areas on Moore Industries’ web site. The white paper has a tutorial on the basics of signal isolation and signal conversion. The guide moves through more complex topics such as area isolation and splitting a signal, and includes sections on HART isolators and multi-channel isolators. This document provides information on environmental factors to consider when selecting an isolator.

    Moore Industries-International, Inc.
    01/15/2009
  • High Slip Braking Software

    Applicable Product: V1000, A1000, E7, F7, G7, and P7
    (V/f Motor Control Method)

    The techniques for braking of high inertial loads to a stop traditionally involved either Dynamic Braking or DC Injection Braking technology.

    This article examines a new load-braking alternative called High-Slip Braking (HSB). We identify the different aspects of HSB, look at what it does, how it works, and how it is different from other braking methods. We also provide examples of “real world” successes, and discuss the new technology’s cost effectiveness.

    Mike Rucinski & Paul Avery, Yaskawa Electric America, Inc.
    04/02/2009
  • Safeguarding Your Plant Automation Systems with Change Management

    The increased use of plant floor automation to achieve production goals has created a dependency on PLCs, PC control systems and programmable automation. These devices and their logic programs are costly to develop but vital to the running of the plant, and are viewed by most companies as corporate assets. It is incumbent on plant and corporate management to insure that proper safeguards are in place to protect and manage change in these assets. This paper examines the sources and types of changes that take place in plant automation environments, and the considerations and approaches necessary to safeguard your automation systems through the effective use of a Change Management System (CMS).

    MDT Software, Gary Gillespie
    01/15/2009
  • OPC Technology Helps Maximize Return on Process Historian Assets

    Off-line analysis of historical process data is an integral part of process optimization and production tracking. OPC helps maximize return on process history investments. OPC not only provides a standardized mechanism for collection of real time process data, it also enables multi-vendor historical analysis solutions. OPC facilitates highly scalable multi-vendor distributed historian architectures. OPC Data Access (DA) and OPC Historical Data Access (HDA) are two specifications that can be combined to solve many of the process history problems.

    Matrikon OPC
    03/30/2009
  • Who Are Your Bandwidth Hogs

    As industrial Ethernet networks grow in number and importance, keeping the right traffic on – and off – the network becomes essential

    The use of Ethernet for industrial automation has grown dramatically. One of the main benefits of moving from legacy fieldbus to Ethernet is the ability to connect the front office to the manufacturing system. This is possible because Ethernet is not a proprietary communication protocol. The non-proprietary nature of Ethernet allows engineers to mix and match equipment from different vendors and get competitive bids. This combination of better office-factory communication and open standards helped industrial Ethernet gain recent widespread acceptance.

    But with these benefits come potential problems. As networks and the services they provide evolve and servers or user machines are replaced and upgraded, the likelihood of passing unwanted, often obsolete protocols within the network increases.

    Potentially more challenging is the existence of unknown protocols that may degrade the performance of the network. Unknown protocols are often caused by well-intended but uninformed employees who attach unauthorized devices, such as wireless access points, to the network. They can also be caused by traffic such as streaming audio from employees listening to Internet radio stations while working.

    Mara White, Fluke Networks
    04/28/2009
  • Cabling Requirements for Harsh Environments

    This white paper will explain the difference between traditional commercial controlled environments and harsh, industrial environments as well as the type of cabling and interconnectivity products to specify when designing networks for the later. Additionally this white paper includes information on the two popular standards for measuring and rating harsh environments, IP and NEMA.

    L-com
    03/30/2009
  • An Application of IEEE 1588 to Industrial Automation

    This paper describes an application of the IEEE 1588 standard to Industrial Automation. Key application use cases are identified that can benefit from time-based control techniques to improve performance results over traditional control methods. This paper will also briefly discuss how the 1588 standard may be adopted to suit these applications. Application problems specific to industrial automation are enumerated and candidate solutions described.

    Ken Harris, Member, IEEE
    01/20/2009
  • Securing the Modern Electric Grid from Physical and Cyber Attacks

    Statement for the Record, July 21, 2009 Hearing before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology.

    I appreciate the opportunity to provide the following statement for the record. I have spent more than thirty-five years working in the commercial power industry designing, developing, implementing, and analyzing industrial instrumentation and control systems. I hold two patents on industrial control systems, and am a Fellow of the International Society of Automation. I have performed cyber security vulnerability assessments of power plants, substations, electric utility control centers, and water systems. I am a member of many groups working to improve the reliability and availability of critical infrastructures and their control systems.

    On October 17, 2007, I testified to this Subcommittee on "Control Systems Cyber Security—The Need for Appropriate Regulations to Assure the Cyber Security of the Electric Grid."

    On March 19, 2009, I testified to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on "Control Systems Cyber Security—The Current Status of Cyber Security of Critical Infrastructures."

    I will provide an update on cyber security of the electric system including adequacy of the NERC CIPs and my views on Smart Grid cyber security. I will also provide my recommendations for DOE, DHS, and Congressional action to help secure the electric grid from cyber incidents.

    Joe Weiss, PE, CISM. Applied Control Solutions, LLC
    07/22/2009
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