Remote Diagnostics with PlantTriage Enterprise Edition

Chris McAnarney of Imerys is a Chemical Engineer from Colorado School of Mines, with experience in magnesium production, carbon black and ground calcium carbonate, as an operations Manager. In his case study, remote diagnostics were used to leverage plant and corporate engineering experts to solve problems quickly and efficiently. Before PlantTriage, troubleshooting was difficult,  he stated, due to limited staffing at both the plant and corporate levels. "There just wasn't enough expertise to go around," McAnarney said. Through remote monitoring, plant and corporate personnel were able to cooperate directly and immediately to resolve issues. "This case study demonstrates how to accomplish this," McAnarney said, "and shows some specific results, including improvements to reliability, production and energy reductions." McAnarney set up a remote monitoring and control station at headquarters, using PlantTriage. Minimum Knowledge Requirements for Remote Monitoring and Optimization:
  • must understand the overall process and overall control objectives very well
  • must have a working knowledge of the process and control scheme at each facility
  • must understand the dynamics of the process very well
  • updated PIDs are very beneficial
 The disadvantages of remote access:
  • You don't get to workw ith the people on a personal basis
    • it takes time to develop relationships
    • communication is not as open
  • You don't get to view and inspect the process
    • you can't go inspect the control loops-- lay hands on the valves
    • you don't know where the valves and controls are located...
  • There are time zone issues
 His team identified a significant number of opportunities identified for tuning and optimization: better temproateure control, yield improvement, energy management, lower product variability, longer life of things like bag collectors, better energy recovery, and more. "I could sit there at headquarters, and see things..." McAnarney said. "I was making more product!" McAnarney showed some significant cases using remote tuning from Marietta, GA, instead of going to Kansas to the plant.