Amidst the continued heated discussion on the pros and cons of integrated safety systems, market demand driven by the pursuit of reduced cost, operational excellence and engineering efficiencies continues to fuel the inevitable integration efforts. This white paper will discuss integrated safety system solutions.10/14/2009
Flat panel displays have become very popular in the automation industry with applications such as Industrial computers and Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) connecting to all different types of PLCs and embedded controller boards. An understanding of the history and development of a technology can be a tremendous aid in properly utilizing it for a given application. This article discusses the evolution of the HMIs, in particular the backlights behind the HMIs used in many of todays industries.10/14/2009
Reducing the carbon footprint brought on by plant inefficiencies, with the goals of reducing plant costs, achieving energy efficiency and security, and abating greenhouse gases (GHGs) are challenges faced today. Download paper now for energy efficiency solutions. Or, visit TheOptimizedPlant.com Knowledge Center for more white papers and case studies on reducing costs and increasing efficiency.10/14/2009
The industrial process industry is experiencing a dynamic growth in functional safety applications. That's why companies are actively taking steps to comply with worldwide safety standards such as ANSI/ISA 84 and IEC 61508/61511. To accomplish this, safety practitioners look to a "new generation" of equipmentsuch as single-loop logic solversspecifically designed and approved for safety instrumented systems.
Get this digital interactive white paper and learn how single loop logic solvers can help you achieve your plant safety objectives.10/11/2009
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
The Need for Wireless Monitoring An Overview
There is a real on-going need for monitoring of valve positions (actuated or manual) in the process line. Malfunctioning of a valve can result in danger to human health and safety, affect yields, and generate environmental risks. In some industries, regulation requires constant recording of valve position. Currently, such monitoring is done through wired Switch Boxes. Each such device requires data transmission and power cabling. Not only are these cables costly to manufacture and install, they are also one of the most frequent sources of failures in the process line, due to the fact that they are very often exposed to harsh environmental conditions. In fact, it is right here, at the field device level, where the majority of problems with wires really exist.10/09/2009
Properly functioning steam traps open to release condensate and automatically close when steam is present. Failed traps waste fuel, reduce efficiency, increase production costs and compromise the overall integrity of the steam and condensate systems. Traps should be tested on a regular basis -- or the neglect may be quite costly.10/09/2009
The old saying, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," may have been coined by process and plant engineers tired of repairing or replacing pumps. Adding a flow switch to monitor pump wet/dry conditions in the process control loop to avoid dryrunning conditions helps protect pumps and keeps them running longer.10/07/2009
The ExergenIR speed boost system is a productivity enhancing concept which, by optimizing and properly controlling process temperatures, can dramatically increase production speed while assuring high product quality.09/29/2009
A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a wireless network consisting of spatially distributed autonomous devices that use sensors to monitor physical or environmental conditions. These autonomous devices, or nodes, combine with routers and a gateway to create a typical WSN system. The distributed measurement nodes communicate wirelessly to a central gateway, which provides a connection to the wired world where you can collect, process, analyze and present your measurement data.09/24/2009
Carbon-dioxide capture and storage (CCS) offers the potential for major reductions in carbon dioxide emissions of fossil fuel-based power generation in the fairly short term, and oxyfuel combustion is one of the identified CCS technology options. Foster Wheeler (FW) is working on reduction of carbon dioxide with its integrated Flexi-Burn dual-oxidant PC and CFB technology.
The proven high efficiency circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) technology offers a solution for carbon dioxide reduction both in re-powering and in greenfield power plants. CFB technology has the advantages of a more uniform furnace heat flux, excellent fuel flexibility and offers the opportunity to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions by co-firing coal with bio-fuels.
Development and design of an integrated Flexi-Burn dual-oxidant CFB boiler and balance of plant system was conducted in both air mode and oxyfuel mode. Through proper configuration and design, the same boiler can be switched from air mode to oxyfuel mode. The dual-oxidant CFB system incorporates features to maximize plant efficiency and power output when operating in the oxy-firing mode through firing more fuel in the same boiler.
Existing boiler design tools are being modified to incorporate the features of oxy-combustion, so that various design options can be evaluated. The 460 MWe supercritical CFB power plant (currently under construction by FW) has been used as the basis for an integrated Flexi-Burn dual-oxidant CFB study.09/23/2009
Optimum configuration for control system, instrumentation, electrical and condition monitoring of reciprocating compressor is presented. Reciprocating compressors are most flexible and most efficient available compressors. Recommendations regarding inter-stage pressure control, capacity control system, temperature control, performance monitoring, local control panel, irregularity and condition monitoring are discussed.
Installed reciprocating compressor horsepower is approximately three times that of centrifugal compressors and maintenance costs of reciprocating compressors are approximately three and half times greater than those for centrifugal compressors. The expected level of reliability and availability of reciprocating compressors is very high and it presents a real challenge. Advanced methods of control and condition monitoring shall be applied in order to obtain the high level of performance, safety and reliability.09/23/2009
Reliability of electronic circuit boards and electronic devices of console of drilling units are investigated. This new analytical method confirms modification of electronic device dynamic behaviour which installed in console of drilling unit. It is in agreement with experimental results which show electronic circuit board failure in driller console when dynamic loading is considerably less than values required to affect the board when board itself , lonely, is under vibration test.
Majority of failures of electronic equipment, instruments, sensors and sensitive devices are mechanical in nature. Typical failures caused by break, crack and creep. It is often quite difficult to determine main cause of malfunction and failure. Dynamic and vibration loads caused very large percent of sensitive equipment failures which installed in dynamic environment. Vibration failures are often difficult to trace. Usually resonance situations and coupling effects are involved. Sometimes it does not appear to be any connection between failed parts and vibration loadings.
The dynamic behaviour of electronic and electric device is a subject that has received considerable attention due to its technical importance. Analysis of electric / electronic devices or circuit boards under dynamic loading was presented previously. But only a limited number of contributions have been published on counteraction effects of complex systems (in this case drilling unit) and these devices. New analytical formulations to study modified dynamic behaviour of sensitive devices in a complex system (drilling unit) is presented. When a circuit board or electronic device is installed in a driller console, there will be complicated interactions between its dynamic characteristics and drilling unit dynamic behaviour. There are different dynamic responses and consequently much more possibilities of resonance. Electronic devices and electronic circuit boards are vulnerable against dynamic loading. For example for a drilling unit revamp project, vibration tests were conducted on electronic circuit board in a broad frequency range and with high vibration amplitudes. Tests were repeated however no damage was observed. During drilling unit site performance test, failure of electronic circuit board was occurred because of mechanical damage. The dynamic loading amplitude was considerably less than amplitude in vibration tests. Extensive investigation shows that failure was only due to modified dynamic behaviour of system.09/23/2009
Automation systems today have become remarkable warehouses of knowledge and information. Beyond just system configuration, many years of effort is inevitably invested in these systems by not only control engineers, but operations, process, maintenance, business and management personnel as well. In fact, over the life of an automation system the total intellectual investment will come to exceed the initial hardware and software cost many times over.
This paper will discuss some of the factors contributing to the impending process industry automation knowledge crisis, present reallife industry examples and provide a proven solution to mitigate the problems.09/17/2009
Industrial application developers have had two main options for interacting with production processes via programmable logic controllers (PLCs): they can buy a preprogrammed monolithic, shrink-wrapped human machine interface (HMI), complete and ready to go or they can customize their own solutions.
Shrink-wrapped HMI software packages are appealing because many complex tasks are hidden from you. Purchase the development software from an authorized distributor, load it into your development PC and then configure, debug and test. Then, just deploy the necessary runtime applications, data servers and configuration files on to your target PC or PCs. What could be easier?
But cookie-cutter HMI software solutions might not necessarily be the best or most practical approach for your specific industrial applications.
For one thing, while the shrink-wrapped HMI software packages enable connections to other vendors' devices, software, and systems via OPC or other standards, such connectivity is seldom adequate for high security or real-time control. And no matter how advanced the integration technology the package uses, you will end up lagging behind the technology curve. For example, if you had bought a package using the distributed common object model (DCOM) and wanted to benefit from advances in security and robustness that Microsoft had made since you bought the package, you would have to buy a new package. Moreover, the monolithic nature of the shrink-wrapped offerings often makes it difficult to embed third-party capabilities directly into your solution, thus limiting your options further.
Then there's training. Because the development environment and behavior of each HMI vendor's software varies, you'll need to acquire specialized skills to accomplish similar tasks. Training courses, material costs and schedules also vary by HMI publisher and many times are offered only through exclusive distributor channels. You could consider hiring outside help, but because of the specialized training and experience, the talent pool can be relatively shallow and therefore proportionately expensive.
And for many, cost of multiple deployments is an even bigger issue. Before you can actually deploy your solution to PCs, portable devices, or Web servers, you must typically have to pay for additional runtime software licenses. If you have more than a couple of users, this could amount to a considerable expense, often making this approach cost-prohibitive, especially if you are paying for more functionality than you actually never need.
Finally, there are the intangibles. As well-designed and flexible as these shrinkwrapped solutions might be, they almost always force compromises that would not be necessary if the solution were custom built for your specific applications. Whether that is a matter of function or just pride, it can be significant determining your satisfaction with the resulting interface.09/10/2009
If you are using PLCs in process or batch applications, and looking to lower your costs, ABB has a new white paper which will show you how today's DCS systems can significantly reduce your cost.09/10/2009
Controller tuning can be accomplished quickly and accurately using proven techniques. While many engineers and technicians resort to "tune by feel," most will admit that this approach yields inconsistent results. While some might claim that controller tuning is "part art, part science," use of these best practices can ensure that it is 98% science.09/09/2009
In today's world, automation is used prominently in every major industry. While different industries often use different specialized devices, control systems and applications, they all share a common rapidly growing challenge - how to share data amongst all these components and the rest of the enterprise. OPC is the solution - it solves the problem of communication between devices, controllers and applications. It is a standardized approach to data connectivity that does not get caught up in the usual custom-drive based connectivity problems. Read this guide to learn the ABCs of OPC and how it can solve your data connectivity issues!09/09/2009
Ethernet for industrial communications is growing rapidly in factory automation, process control and SCADA systems. The ODVA EtherNet/IP network standard is gaining popularity as a preferred industrial protocol. Plant engineers are recognizing the significant advantages that Ethernet-enabled devices provide such as ease of connectivity, high performance and cost savings. While EtherNet/IP has many advantages, cable installation is often expensive, and communications to remote sites or moving platforms may not be reliable or cost-effective.
Wireless Ethernet technologies have emerged that can now reliably reduce network costs while improving plant production. However, applying these technologies is not a simple matter as industrial Ethernet systems vary greatly in terms of bandwidth requirements, response times and data transmission characteristics. This paper will explore applying wireless technologies to EtherNet/IP based networks for industrial automation systems.09/03/2009
Waste and rework in batch manufacturing cost serious money and impact time to market. Standards-based recipe management can improve quality, reduce cost and improve profit and time to market. Read this white paper and improve your bottom line.09/03/2009