Emerson Exchange

Emerson Exchange best-in-conference award winners named

Five track winners selected from among 300 sessions given at the 2016 Emerson Global Users Exchange.

By Jim Montague


One of the unfailing highlights of Emerson Global Users Exchange are the Best in Conference Awards for its very finest conference sessions, and the winning presentations for 2016 were no exception. Five teams won awards in the conference's main categories, and accepted their crystal plaques at lunch on the event's fourth day this in Austin. Texas.

The record-breaking 800 session proposals received earlier this year by the Emerson Exchange Board of Directors were narrowed down by the board and its conference subcommittee into the 320 sessions presented this week, and just five were chosen as best in conference.

"We look for presentations that tell a good story, define a significant problem, and detail its solution," said Robert Sentz, vice chairman of the 2016 Emerson Global Users Exchange, and instrumentation and controls engineers, 3M Materials Resource Division. He will serve as chairman next year. "We also want to know the how the solution benefited its users."

Solve & Support

"Fighting Irish Tackle Alarm Management—Implementing an Alarm Management Program @ UND Power Plant" by Thomas Cole, UND Power Plant, Bill Farmer, Novaspect, and Todd Stauffer, exida

UND Power Plant, Novaspect and exida improved the plant's DeltaV alarm system by creating an alarm philosophy document (APD) that could drive consistency and create a common understanding. The alarm configuration was loaded into SILAlarm software, and alarm rationalization was performed. After rationalization, the alarm configuration was imported back into DeltaV to update settings and to populate Alarm Help software.

Measure & Analyze

"A Wireless Odyssey—from Resistance to Enthusiasm" by Alan Weldon, Hunt Refining, and Donna McClung and Steve Moore, both of Emerson

After some initial resistance about wireless, Hunt Refining Co. accepted it for maintenance, added it to other monitoring applications, and has been a leading user of Emerson’s wireless technology for close to a decade, though there were some bumps along the way. In 2007, there was a need to monitor temperature in a hot asphalt tank, so Hunt and Emerson navigated challenges and collaborated to implement wireless safety relief valve monitoring that saved Hunt $170,000. This increased confidence, and since then, Hunt’s network has grown to include many pervasive sensing applications that address safety, environmental, reliability and process needs across the refinery. Implementation of Emerson's AMS and Wireless Snap-On settled any concerns of network reliability and system integration.

Operate & Manage

"Intelligent Solvent Tank Farm Management" by Matt Rauschke of 3M and Kyle Nystrom and Colin Singer, both of Novaspect

3M and Emerson collaborated to improve 3M’s existing solvent delivery system. The system was migrated from an energy-intensive, pressure-based system to an on-demand system with intelligent monitoring and bookkeeping. The solution was developed through the use of an inventory management system/DeltaV interface, better flow measurement, smart VFD flow calculations, and wireless limit switches. The new system reduced accounting discrepancies, eliminated rail car unloading errors, and provided real-time verification of the piping network integrity using a software-based leak detection system. No transfer errors have occurred since the system was installed, and the solution reduced cost for repurchasing new solvent and disposition of mixed solvents.

Final Control & Regulate

"Natural Gas Pipeline System Integrity Improvements—Reducing Operational and Financial Risks through Pressure Control Station Reinforcement" by Niko Boskovic and Andrew Loge, both of FortisBC, and Reese Dawes, Spartan Controls

Natural gas distributor FortisBC runs a distribution pipeline serving more than 600,000 customers, which is supplied by its large Huntingdon pressure-control station using six parallel 16-in. Fisher V250 control valves. However, its single-station design was identified as being a reliability concern as a single point of failure, so FortisBC and Spartan Controls used Fisher 24-in. V260 control valves, Bettis Gas Hydraulic actuators and ControlWave telemetry to provide complete redundancy, including over-pressure protection, true failsafe, low bleed, remote and local operation, and control performance requirements. The solution met all of the unique project requirements and was tested, installed and commission on-time and on budget. The result is a massive risk reduction for FortisBC.  

Business Management & Career Development

"Better Listening, Better Life—Learn to Listen Like a Pro" by Nikki Bishop and Bruce Smith, both of Emerson

This workshop taught attendees simple techniques to learn to listen like pros by focusing on listening and better understanding spoken words. Participants had the opportunity try out new techniques during the session. 

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