Halloween in New Orleans this year saw more than the usual array of costumed revelers on Bourbon Street. Indeed, hundreds of process automation professionals descended on the Crescent City to exchange ideas and best practices at Yokogawa's 2012 User Group Conference and Exhibition. The Control editorial team was on hand and developed this exclusive report of presentation highlights--on topics ranging from safety system risk management to the latest in data acquisition technology.12/10/2012
The thermal mass flow meter's ability to deliver a direct reading of mass flow rates of air, natural gas and other fuel gases provides a simple, reliable, and costeffective method for tracking and reporting fuel consumption.
Accurate, repeatable measurement of air and gas, at low and varying flow rates, is also a critical variable in combustion control. Conventional flow meters require pressure and temperature transmitters to compensate for density changes. The thermal mass flow meter, however, measures gas mass flow directly, with no need for additional hardware. The thermal meter also provides better rangeability and a lower pressure drop than orifices, venturis, or turbine meters.
Energy prices are subject to frequent and abrupt changes and fluctuations. When energy prices are high, daily accounting of natural gas usage should be made a priority for large industrial facilities with multiple processes and/or buildings. Fuel gas flow meters are used to analyze demand, improve operating efficiency, reduce waste and adjust for peak usage. Thermal mass flow meters are frequently used for these energy-accounting applications. In addition, thermal flow meters can help plant managers provide accurate usage reports for environmental compliance, as well as compare measured usage to billing reports from gas providers.08/13/2012
Download this presentation to see a series of highlights from the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule (GHG MRR).05/20/2011
The global trends and challenges driving the need for industry to improve energy efficiency are well known. The growing population and economic development in many countries throughout the world has caused energy and transportation fuel consumption to increase.02/17/2011
There is an upside for forward-thinking manufacturers regarding EPA blueprint for the way state and local regulatory agencies use the Clean Air Act permitting process to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency blueprint for the way state and local regulatory agencies use the Clean Air Act permit process to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is defined in their November 17 document: PSD and Title V Permitting Guidance for Greenhouse Gases.
The greenhouse gases that will be regulated include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride and a number of refrigerants.
The Agency believes that these compounds are responsible for changing the planet's climate and is thus taking steps to reduce emissions of the gases throughout the nation. In taking this action, EPA is breaking new ground, by not only defining a broad new class of air pollutants, but by changing the way that the Agency regulates emissions of those pollutants.
Traditionally, EPA has set definitive, measurable goals when seeking to reduce air pollutant emissions, both in terms of how much a compound a facility is allowed to emit and in terms of the maximum amount of the pollutant that can be in the air we breathe. The Agency will not take the same approach when it comes to greenhouse gases. Instead, they will be asking facilities to reduce emissions to the greatest extent possible and economically feasible.
And, yes, there is upside for forward-thinking manufacturers.01/21/2011
This initiative is the first step in filling a noticeable void in industry - the lack of independent competency training in the Operations Management (MES/MOM) arena. This lack of wide-scale competency is recognized as a major barrier to plant and supply chain optimization and global operations excellence.
With members in 85 countries globally, MESA is an independent, objective community of like-minded people and enterprises working to make Operations more reliable, capable and profitable. Some of the foremost experts across the Operations Management landscape are leading the knowledge sharing within the MESA community by offering programs across 4 continents by mid-2011.
MESA Certificate of Competency (CoC) for MES/MOM* Methodologies: A 4-day, comprehensive program of MES/MOM Methodologies courses aimed at Systems Analysts, Architects, Programmers, Project Managers and Consultants.
MESA Certificate of Awareness (CoA) for MES/MOM Business Awareness: A 2-day, high-level program of MES/MOM Business Functions courses geared for executives, manufacturing/operations and IT personnel and sales professionals. The CoA courses are higher level, short versions of the CoC program.
2. IOM Real-Time Energy Management
3. Real-Time Energy Management as Part of an Enterprise approach
Over the last several years energy costs have more than doubled! In the process manufacturing industries, with energy costs often comprising as much as 80% of the overall variable cost of operating a plant, this has created a crisis. Many manufacturers have responded to this crisis with programs aimed at reducing the overall energy consumption of an operation or looking to alternate, lower cost fuels. Although these initiatives may provide a good starting point in the battle to reduce energy costs, they are not adequate to meet the needs of today's real time business environment.
Historically, the price of energy could often be dealt with as a constant over a prolonged time period. Large energy users could develop contracts with energy suppliers for 6 months or even a year that would effectively set the price of energy over that time period. Today long-term energy contracts are the exception. In most parts of the world the price of energy changes in real time.
It is essential that industrial companies manage their business in the time frame at which the business variables change. Otherwise the business is completely out of control. When it comes to managing industrial energy, the time frame is real time and real time energy management is required.10/25/2010
Distributed Control Systems (DCS) have been successfully utilized to help control manufacturing and production processes since the late 1970s. The primary function of these DCS systems has been the automatic feedback control of the various process loops across the plants and the human interfacing with plant operators guiding the production from control rooms. Although these systems have proven to be very successful at improving the efficiency of industrial operations as compared with earlier control technologies, the state-of-the-art has not grown significantly since their inception. Most plants still operate exactly as they did 40 years ago.
Considerable research and development has been invested in expanding the functionality of DCS's in the areas of advanced controls and advanced manufacturing execution software. Numerous industrial plants have started to employ advanced controls in critical or high-value process operations, with some venturing into the use of advanced application software packages, each typically designed to address a specific issue or challenge within the industrial operations. Entrepreneurial software companies typically developed the software at this level of operation, essentially between the automation and business levels, often referred to as the manufacturing execution software (MES).
Although some industrial operations implemented advanced control and advanced MES software, the vast majority of processes are still controlled by simple automatic feedback control. The efficiency and effectiveness of most plants is a function of the installed feedback control systems. As a result, many industrial managers have expressed concerns that, in spite of the huge investments made in automation systems and software, plants do not appear to be operating better than they had been 30 years ago. In some cases, the plants actually appear to be operating less efficiently, possibly due to the reduced and inexperienced work forces and aging equipment.10/25/2010
Today, for a variety of reasons, tremendous pressures are building that will require plant managers to update their aging automation systems during the next decade. Defining the need for and exploring alternative approaches to this modernization of manufacturing systems is the subject of this report.
Managers in today's process manufacturing plants must react to factors ranging from massive customization and growing demand for change orders in the middle of production runs to management expectations mandating ever-faster execution of production orders.
Such constant pressures are driving many manufacturers to reevaluate the role of their automation strategies while improving the overall effectiveness of their enterprises. They're finding that automation is playing an increasingly important role in the effectiveness and profitability of their entire enterprise, impacting everything from cost of operations to customer satisfaction.
Fortunately, many are also discovering that they can make significant improvements throughout their value chain - without being forced to abandon their entire existing automation investment.10/25/2010
A key aspect of the "Perfect Plant" is having the right information in the right place at the right time. In most manufacturing environments, instrumentation and monitoring is widespread. Pages and pages of graphs and reports describe every operational characteristic and are used by operators and management to steer the plant to optimal performance. However, in the modern plant, the right time to view this information is not when you are standing in front of an operator console. It is when you are in the field, in front of a failing piece of equipment or discussing a problem while on the move. More often than not, the right way to deliver information is by putting it in the hands of a mobile worker.
The right way to collect information also involves mobility. Remember that 40% to 60% of equipment in the plants and on the shop floors is not instrumented. Optimizing this critical aspect of plant performance depends on mobile field workers. Armed with the right tools, mobile workers can cost-effectively gather data from non-instrumented assets that can be readily analyzed and integrated into existing back-end decision support systems. Bidirectional flow of information to and from mobile workers is a key competitive imperative required to make fully informed decisions regarding the operation of the Perfect Plant.
Regrettably for most companies, when it comes to the mobile workforce in manufacturing, too often, vital decisions are made in the dark, in an information-poor environment and with little support or historical contextual information to make informed decisions proactively. Field workers - the people who are closest to the equipment and processes, who feel the heat, hear the noises, and see the changes that can be the first indicators of trouble - frequently do their jobs based on individual experiential knowledge acquired over many years.
This approach makes manufacturers vulnerable to high levels of variability based on individual talent, skills, and training. With the massive investments in automation over the past decades, management often lacks visibility into what these decision makers in the field do and finds it hard to provide guidance to ensure execution of best practices occur across the field worker roles, production shifts, and assets.10/25/2010
Industry professionals have been trying to achieve safe, smart, responsible, sustainable manufacturing for at least the past 20 years, but why have they failed?
There are serious challenges to overcome in order to achieve smart manufacturing. Some of the challenges include economic instability, changing workforce, the need for greater than incremental increases in productivity, pressures to minimize environmental impacts and an increased focus on safety and risks of accident.
Manufacturing ought to be safe, because working safely is more profitable and more economical. Manufacturing ought to be smart. The data that is being continuously generated by smart machines and transmitters must be translated into actionable information. Manufacturing ought to be responsible. Manufacturing ought to be sustainable. Energy and waste reduction savings go straight to the bottom line.
So what is smart manufacturing, and how do we get there? Download this presentation and find out how Walt Boyes defines smart manufacturing and what suggestions he gives to get there.06/24/2010
HIGH-SLIP BRAKING SOFTWARE PUTS THE BRAKES ON TRADITIONAL LOAD-BRAKING METHODS WITHOUT EXTERNAL EQUIPMENT
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.
WHAT DOES HSB DO?
High-slip braking allows the stopping of larger inertial loads without the need for expensive and bulky braking options such as Dynamic Braking packages. Inertial loads involve only inertia and friction and given enough time, will tend to stop on their own when power is removed. HSB is most effective in applications involving infrequent stopping of inertial rotating loads where speed control during stopping is not required. Typical applications of this sort include; laundry equipment, centrifuges, large commercial fans, punch presses, blowers and mixers. Do not use HSB on overhauling static loads like; hoists, winches, elevators, product lifters, and similar applications. HSB is applicable only for complete stopping of the load and not as a means of braking for speed changes.
The HSB feature has proven to cut braking times in half without requiring extra equipment. The overall stopping time, however, does depend on the inertia of the load being stopped and the characteristics of the motor. HSB can achieve braking torque of more than 100% of the full motor torque.05/17/2010
In today's manufacturing environment, there is an urgency to increase operating efficiencies, and to do it quickly. One area of improvement that can produce immediate results is reducing energy consumption. It's good for the environment and it's good for the bottom line. "Energy management," therefore, has become a common best practice, but there is more there than meets the eye. Typically it implies rigorously modeling all or a major portion of the plant, coupled with the use of real-time optimization technology. While this approach has been used successfully, there are other simpler, faster options for reducing energy consumption in a manufacturing plant. Learn what these options are.03/25/2010
This white paper argues strongly that meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets set within the Kyoto Protocol will fail unless Active Energy Efficiency becomes compulsory.
Active Energy Efficiency is defined as effecting permanent change through measurement, monitoring and control of energy usage. Passive energy efficiency is regarded as the installation of countermeasures against thermal losses, the use of low consumption equipment and so forth.
It is vital, but insufficient, to make use of energy saving equipment and devices such as low energy lighting. Without proper control, these measures often merely militate against energy losses rather than make a real reduction in energy consumed and in the way it is used.
Everything that consumes power - from direct electricity consumption through lighting, heating and most significantly electric motors, but also in HVAC control, boiler control and so forth - must be addressed actively if sustained gains are to be made. This includes changing the culture and mindsets of groups of individuals, resulting in behavioral shifts at work and at home, but clearly, this need is reduced by greater use of technical controls.03/05/2010
Meeting the next great disruptive challenge of the 21st century.
Since the Industrial Revolution our society has been driven by an increasing pace of change in business and technology. Every decade or two we have faced a new and disruptive event that challenges business and creates opportunities-the locomotive, the electric light, the automobile, the airplane, the television and the computer, to name a few.
But the greatest disruptive event of the next 20 years may come, not from a single invention, but from the world around us-that is, climate change.
How your business responds to the climate challenge can either differentiate you from the competition and launch new and successful products, or make you the focus of consumer backlash and eroding margins.
This paper will explore the environment as a disruptive force in business, examine the consequences of inaction, and propose the benefits of a proactive environmental policy. It will describe increasing levels of investment that a small company, an enterprise or an industry can make to address the challenge and develop a business case. The paper ends with a concrete roadmap to lead you from today's "business as usual" to a long-term sustainable approach to growing a Green corporation.
After reading this paper, business leaders in every industry will have an understanding of how the environment will impact their business, how to make changes to mitigate the negative impacts and how to explore business opportunities in this new and exciting sustainable world.03/05/2010
Two of the most popular architectures for improving regulatory performance and increasing profitability are 1) cascade control and 2) feed forward with feedback trim. Both architectures trade off additional complexity in the form of instrumentation and engineering time for a controller better able to reject the impact of disturbances on the measured process variable. These architectures neither benefit nor detract from set point tracking performance. This paper compares and contrasts the two architectures and links the benefits of improved disturbance rejection with reducing energy costs in addition to improved product quality and reduced equipment wear. A comparative example is presented using data from a jacketed reactor process.
The cost per barrel of crude oil has risen dramatically, increasing the burden on process facilities for both quality and profitable production. Adjusted for inflation, the cost of oil averaged $19.61 from 1945 thru 2003. October 2004 saw the per barrel cost of oil rise to $55.67, rising 70% over a 10-month timeframe and negatively impacting the profitability of companies across the process industries. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 43% of all energy consumed by the average pulp and paper mill is production related. This percentage is small when compared to other industry segments such as chemicals (74%), glass (89%), and aluminum (93%). In all cases, the higher cost of energy suggests that all process companies need to examine ways of curbing energy consumption and unnecessary increases to their cost of goods sold. Improving disturbance rejection through cascade control or feed forward with feedback trim provides one way of achieving those objectives.
Improved disturbance rejection is linked to increased product quality and decreased equipment wear. These are important benefits, indeed. Consider the market value of high quality white paper produced by an average mill. On-spec production is sold at a premium of approximately $2,000 per ton whereas "seconds" are sold on the aftermarket at a discounted rate. Of the 6%-8% that fails to meet spec, only 2% is classified as "broke" and able to be re-pulped Next consider the investment in production facilities. With initial costs of $400-$500 million and annual maintenance budgets approaching 10%, mills must operate 24 x 7 in order to recoup the investment. Effective disturbance rejection provides a valuable means of achieving a return on those investments through increased quality and decreased equipment wear. Additionally, it offers significant value in terms of reduced energy consumption and lower cost of goods sold.02/23/2010
Is your company's electrical energy usage important to you? Whether still feeling the results of the recession or looking forward to competing as the global marketplace moves ahead, businesses are looking for ways to cut costs and increase revenues.
Trends in energy show utility companies raising rates and introducing more tiered rate structures that penalize high-energy consumers. And with all the talk about carbon footprints and cap and trade, energy becomes an important place to look for both savings and revenues.
So perhaps you've been formally tasked with improving energy efficiency for your company. Or maybe you've heard about the "Smart Grid" and are wondering how it will-or won't-impact your business. Perhaps you want to understand your corporate carbon footprint before regulatory pressures increase. Maybe you're a business owner or financial officer who needs to cut fixed costs. All of these and more are good reasons for finding out more about how you use electrical energy.
And you're not alone. A March 2009 article in the New York Times1 noted an increasing trend among large corporations to hire a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). SAP, DuPont, and Flowserve are just a few companies mentioned who already have CSOs. These C-level officers are usually responsible for saving energy, reducing carbon footprints, and developing "greener" products and processes.
While CSOs in large corporations may have a staff of engineers and a chunk of the marketing or production budget to help them find energy solutions, small and medium-sized industrial and commercial businesses usually take on this challenge as an additional job for their already overloaded technical or facilities staff.
This white paper takes a look at electrical power in the United States today, investigates the nature of the Smart Grid, and suggests ways that small and medium-sized companies can-without waiting for future technological development-gather energy data and control electrical energy costs today.02/23/2010
Customers in all industries are coming more and more under pressure to measure the cost of their utilities. Important drivers for this pressure are the rising cost of energy and various certifications according to EMAS and the ISO 14000 series. Measuring utilities has been neglected in the past and using calibrated technology is necessary for this process. However, many companies only measure their utility consumption at the custody transfer point, and these few measuring occurrences leave room for inaccuracy and poor energy management. By investing money in efficient measuring tools, is possible to set up energy monitoring systems that measure the consumption of each respective utility close to the point of use. This white paper reviews processes that can help you attain better energy management. Download now to learn more.12/14/2009
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.11/02/2009
Lehigh Cement Company's complete modernization of its cement manufacturing facility in Union Bridge, Maryland has helped them conserve energy and improve production processes.10/09/2009