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May 11, 2006
I received the following email from Brian Smith of Nova Chemicals (Canada) Ltd. I am printing it unedited because it presents a powerful point of view. Disclaimer: the white paper Brian talks about was produced as a Sponsored White Paper and sent out by ControlGlobal.com in a White Paper Alert, for which Triconex supplied the white paper. I permitted Triconex to send out the white paper using Control's email list because, like Brian here, Triconex should be allowed to express their point of vie...
I received the following email from Brian Smith of Nova Chemicals (Canada) Ltd. I am printing it unedited because it presents a powerful point of view. Disclaimer: the white paper Brian talks about was produced as a Sponsored White Paper and sent out by ControlGlobal.com in a White Paper Alert, for which Triconex supplied the white paper. I permitted Triconex to send out the white paper using Control's email list because, like Brian here, Triconex should be allowed to express their point of view, and the appearance of their whitepaper in my magazine, or on my website doesn't necessarily mean that I endorse all or part of the views expressed, either by Mr. Smith or by Triconex. Walt Hello Walt: Congratulations on being selected for an ISA Distinguished Society Service award! Great recognition for your years of service to ISA. I have come across a document that I find disturbing, but it is what I'll call a piece of well engineered Marketing that may be designed to turn Safety System users against the companies competition and towards their own products. The document and it's promised follow up expanded white papers initially appear to be Technical information offered in good faith to help others. I thought that you may be interested in this story as Editor in Chief of Control Magazine and a person with marketing experience. Also I was interested in an opinion from someone with more knowledge and experience than myself to confirm if I am reading between the lines correctly or overreacting. The document was emailed to customers and is available at: http://triconex.greaterb2b.com/10Truths/?id=A9FCDCD5-9A40-4571-8DBD-8011DD59488E Here is my viewpoint about the initial document. Your opinion would be appreciated. This email from Triconex is getting a lot of coverage as I have seen it three times this morning. I believe that Triconex makes very good products that are approved by TUV to meet safety applications and they also effectively deal with reducing nuisance trips. What I have a problem with is their marketing methods that attempt to instill fear of using competitive products. First I will say that readers may assume that the information is truthful because they have used the word truth. This is a marketing ploy and it seems to be very effective. I have not seen any-one-else attempt to explain the COMPLETE truth about these Ten Truths so here is my explanation. This is a marketing document disguised as a technical document. Triconex is afraid of the competition and has to resort to false advertising to boost it's market share. I have seen their previous attempts and some are untruthful. This is unfortunate because it degrades the image of a company that is a leader in it's field. There is definitely some truth in their email. I look forward to reading their future articles about each truth and I will read them as an educated and experienced user who can read between the lines and understand what is being said and not being said. Let's explore the other side of what they are saying and not saying about the ten truths: 1) Yes SIL is a measure of Safety. It is NOT a measure of Availability or nuisance trips. Triconex wants to play into what they sell, 2oo3 systems. The system SIL must be met, it is not an option. Triconex is suggesting that SIL is not the primary measurement because it has no impact on plant uptime. So is plant uptime more important than safety? No, safety is more important for a SIS. Yes, safety is not the sole measurement to be considered but they are introducing confusion. 2) Quality. Is Triconex inferring that they are the only company who supplies quality products and you should not trust other manufacturers? What they do not directly say is where does Triconex stand on quality? You see they count on readers to make assumptions in their favour. Their truth states that quality of the product is not related to the certification to standards. So they wish users to think that Triconex has more quality that it's competitors without giving any information to prove this. Another attempt to let readers assume and make judgments without proof or truth! 3) Again this truth is meant to make you think that the other companies that sell safety systems cannot address your specific needs but Triconex can. However they do not come out and say that directly so they cannot be accused of saying something false. So is truth the absence of complete information? I don't think so! Read their well prepared statement carefully! 4) Yes, SIS users must be competent. Is Triconex the only company that can help users become competent - No. 5) Yes, your SIS should protect your plant for its lifetime. This is an obvious truth so what's their point. Is Triconex the only safety supplier that can help users achieve this goal? No. 6) Yes you can have both separation and integration. This is an attack of competitors who can provide both. Triconex has NOT stated that they can achieve this, because they are trying to convince you not to do it based on reducing costs or single sourcing. Again read very carefully! 7) Here comes a direct attack on their dual SIS competitors and that's the truth! Dual may be lower purchase cost but Triconex is saying that because Dual SIS's will have more nuisance trips the lifecycle costs will be higher. Triconex is misrepresenting what the Dual SIS competitors are saying not the other way around. This is creative wordsmith and twisting of the truth with fear factor thrown in. The truth is that they (the dual or quad competitors) CAN overcome false trips! 8) This is an OLD truth. Dual systems are SAFE! What Triconex is referring to is availability and they hope you confuse these two parameters. They also accuse the competitors of hiding the truth. I've heard this story before. Dual systems do have repair time limitations, that's the truth. The new Quad systems that have replaced Dual systems DO NOT have repair time limitations! Now Triconex is withholding the truth. 9) Yes I agree, do not entrust strangers. Does Triconex wish to infer that everyone else is a stranger? Given their truth no new customers should give them any business because Triconex will be a stranger. This is another fear tactic that could backfire. 10) So what SIS vendor does not provide diagnostic tools and a safety manual, that is a TUV requirement? Triconex again does not come out and say directly that they provide the best diagnostic tools but that's what they want you to assume. Maybe they are correct, I don't know. So do you trust a company that resorts to providing some truth mixed with misrepresentation and fancy wording designed to trick you into thinking they are the only company you should trust with your SIS? Well the truth is that ALL marketing and sales companies are entitled to reasonable exaggeration and misrepresentation. Triconex has utilized professional expertise (lawyers?) to push this to the edge. If you think that I am being overly critical please let me know. Maybe I will send my version of the truth to Walt Boyes of Control Magazine and see what he thinks. Maybe it's worth publishing with a disclaimer? Maybe the competitors should also publish their version of the truth? Again read carefully, be skeptical and don't be manipulated! This is not an attempt to start a supplier war but to provide a viewpoint of this document. Best regards, Brian T. Smith, C.E.T., email: [email protected] Nova Chemicals(Canada)Ltd., Sarnia, ON. Canada. (519)332-1212 x7920, Fax:(519)339-7301. ISA Safety Division Newsletter Editor/Webmaster

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