The editors of Control and Control Design were on hand at the ABB Automation & Power World Conference March 2-5 in Houston. From IoT and cybersecurity to robotics and managing change, here's the best conference content as they reported live during the four day event. If you were there, you can review all the highlights in this convenient eBook. If you weren't, get the eBook now-it's almost as good as being there! Get the e-Book.
Headlines from April 26, 2012 Show News
Arena Immerses Attendees in 800xA Experience
If a picture's worth 1000 words, then what about a 45-minute dramatization? That's the logic behind ABB's effort to paint a real-life picture of the problems faced by the staff at a hypothetical process plant, and how its System 800xA extended automation platform and related solutions can help solve them. Read more.
Deal with Renewable Energy's Dirty Problem
Windmills and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are popping up—and popping the protection systems–on grids all around the world, frustrating owners and perplexing power companies. The installations are by the book, the SCADA systems say everything's running smoothly. So why won't the renewable energy sources stay online? Read more.
Not Just Motor Efficiency: Look at the Whole System
Ever-increasing electricity costs are a universal problem. As plants look for ways to mitigate those costs, energy efficiency is the simplest, least-expensive way to go. And yet nearly a quarter of the facilities (24%) have not addressed energy in any way, according John Malinowski senior product manager, ac motors, for Baldor Electric. Read more.
Process Safety and Sustainability are a Two-Way Street
Everyone is waking up to the fact that process safety and mechanical integrity are costs that can pay back big dividends in decreased downtime and improved efficiency in many applications. But what's less well-known is that investing in safety can also contribute to operational and process sustainability. Read more.
Innovations Continue to Flow from ABB Measurement Labs
While ABB's Measurement Products business is built on more than 120 years of experience and great brands like Taylor, Fischer & Porter, Hartmann+Braun and K-Tek, the company has not rested on its laurels. Rather, it continues to invest heavily in new instrumentation technologies. Read more.
Managers Innovate to Keep Large Projects on Time, Budget
When managing a large, complex project, it's all about the pre-planning. It's also all about managing the schedule. And it's about being flexible when your schedule gets derailed. And teamwork. And communication. OK, let's face it: To manage large, complex projects, you have to be ready for just about anything. Read more.
Headlines from April 25, 2012 Show News
BASF Rejects Rip and Replace with System 800xA
At ABB Automation & Power World 2012, ABB has its System 800xA control system on display in the Technology & Solutions Center, showing how the platform can provide an evolutionary upgrade path that preserves legacy control system investments. Attendees got the opportunity to hear one customer's account of how his plant has been able to evolve its control system. Read more.
The Challenge of a Multigenerational Workforce
Bridging generation gaps is never easy. But doing it successfully is increasingly crucial for multigenerational teams of engineers, technicians and other industrial professionals. "Research indicates that electric utilities worldwide are expecting to lose 40% of their staff to retirement by 2015," said Dirk Hughes, director of Luminant Academy. Read more.
Control System Evolution at Bayer: 24 Years and Counting
"In more than 24 years of partnership with ABB, Bayer has managed a program of continuous upgrades to its control systems," said David Kavanaugh, process control systems engineer for Bayer, who, along with Mike Kyllo, discussed the company's migration journey at ABB Automation & Power World 2012 in Houston. Read more.
The Energy Performance Contract: Better than Doing Nothing
"There's no downside to energy efficiency projects," says Pierre Langlois, president, Econoler. Not only do they reduce costs, help the environment and put people to work–you also usually get new, more reliable equipment that improves reliability and productivity. "So why are so few implemented?" Read more.
Virtualized Computing Aids Process Visualization
Virtualization, in which application and operating system software are essentially abstracted from the computer hardware on which they run, is a well-established practice in the world of IT. But now the discipline is being applied to process control and automation systems–even control room operator stations and collaborative displays. Read more.
How to Build a Better Operator
If you want to keep your plant operators performing at optimal levels, how many alarms should you try to hold your system to? A commonly quoted number is 10 alarms in 10 minutes. But how do you know whether that's right for your group? What's the best way to present procedures to those operators... Read more.
Headlines from April 24, 2012 Show News
ABB Sees Growth Through Megatrends, Disruptive Technologies
Despite the series of "unprecedented events" over the past year, players in the industrial automation and electric power industries should be able to look forward to a robust business climate for 2012 and beyond, according to Enrique Santacana, region manager, ABB North America. Read more.
People Issues, Policy Uncertainties Headline Power Industry Concerns
When asked what business worries keep them up at night, a panel of power industry executives at ABB Automation & Power World responded with a range of predictable concerns. All agreed, however, that what you were worried about didn't matter as much as what you did about it. Read more.
North America Anchors ABB Global Strategy
Just as it's hard to see the forest because of all the trees, sometimes it's hard to see individual countries and markets because of that big, blue globe. This worldwide perspective may cause some folks to forget what are still among the planet's biggest industrial and manufacturing players. Read more.
Unprotected Control Systems Are Easy Pickings
Wielding a relatively simple piece of code, Jonathon Pollet reached through cyber space into an industrial plant and disabled its emergency shutdown system and changed the states of individual tags at will. Fortunately, the plant in question was hypothetical, but the all-too-real demonstration drove home for attendees of ABB Automation & Power World 2012... Read more.
Economist Predicts Steady Growth, but on a Rough Road
Warning: If you want to feel good about the economy, don't get your information from Don Leavens, and don't continue reading this report. But for a bit of moderate optimism couched in warning signs that could spell trouble if we're not careful, read on. Leavens expressed considerable concern about the economy going forward in the United States and around most of the globe. Read more.
Don't Leave Energy Project ROIs on a Shelf
For every 10 industrial energy assessments, maybe one company actually does a recommended project and carries it through until its results improve the bottom line. "The rest never get anywhere," says Cahal Devlin, ABB's energy efficiency manager for North America. Devlin's presentation began by pointing out that we all know U.S. and global energy demand is rising. Read more.