Interaction mapping helps find root cause of plant upsets

June 30, 2006
ExperTune has announced that PlantTriage Performance Supervision Software now includes a simple color-coded interaction map.
ExperTune has announced that PlantTriage Performance Supervision Software now includes a simple color-coded interaction map. On this map, users can quickly identify the most important process interactions. Process Interaction Mapping also displays lead and lag data, making it much easier to find the root cause of process upsets.

Process upsets in one part of the plant are multiplied by process interactions. Upsets and interactions directly affect bottom-line cost and quality. Finding the root cause of the upset is the key to stabilizing the plant, and achieving the highest levels of performance. PlantTriage Process Interaction Mapping shows all of the interactions, and helps to find the source of variation in minutes.

PlantTriage continually monitors and performs 60 assessments of performance for every control loop in the plant. The new Process Interaction Map evaluates this real-time data to display interactions between process variables. The color-coded display focuses attention on the most important interactions.

John Gerry, president and founder of ExperTune, says “finding the root cause of upsets in a large plant can be a tedious and time-consuming job. Our goal with PlantTriage is to help engineers and technicians save time and effort by focusing on the most important aspects of the process. Process Interaction Mapping saves time and takes the guesswork out of root-cause analysis.”

Process Interaction Mapping displays the extent of interaction between one process variable, and every other process variable in the plant. Both periodic upsets and steady-state upsets can be seen. From a simple web browser interface, the user can narrow their search based on any number of criteria, such as unit operation, type of measurement, economic value, oscillation, or over 80 other criteria.

Process Interaction Mapping also establishes the lead or lag relationship between variables. This information can be used to help identify cause and effect. The leading variable is typically the root cause of the upset. Eliminate the root cause of the upset, and the entire plant benefits.

Mr. Gerry adds, “With the PlantTriage tools, opportunities jump right out at you. It is immediately obvious where to focus your attention. With Process Interaction Mapping, people are solving some of their most difficult process interaction problems, and showing a direct improvement to cost and quality.”