Get smart with controls
Think Again: I didn’t see the movie “Get Smart” yet, but I remember how agent Maxwell Smart in the campy TV series managed to come out on top with a combination of technology, luck, and help from friends, despite bungling. Fortunately, in automation, controls, and instrumentation, plenty of smart applications of advanced technologies are helping smart people do great things together.
Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
I didn’t see the movie “Get Smart” yet, but I remember how agent Maxwell Smart in the campy TV series managed to come out on top with a combination of technology, luck, and help from friends, despite bungling. Fortunately, in automation, controls, and instrumentation, plenty of smart applications of advanced technologies are helping smart people do great things together. Here are a couple examples:
DTE Energy , formerly Detroit Edison, operates a 24/7 integrated controls and technology center, providing performance visibility to help optimize 11,000 MW of generating assets for 2.1 million customers. Sumanth Makunur, lead engineer for process controls and technology and a Six Sigma black belt, says expert systems, dashboards, Web tools, process controls, sensors, and other applications are integrated to create controllable performance indicators. SmartSignal software combined with OSIsoft PI historian, for example, identifies tiny deviations and helps predict when failures will occur.
Martin P. Catka, who interacts with DTE Energy operators, says a critical motor would have failed in summer 2006 and cost $100,000 or more to fix (not counting replacement power) without the early diagnostic capability. Catka had to earn the trust of operators, showing them how the system works. “Operators were skeptical at first,” he admits, “but tracking equipment degradation helps make their jobs easier. Before, it was like driving without a speedometer.”
In another application...
Bayer CropScience worked with Innovative Controls Inc . to replace six, vintage human-machine interface systems in Bayer’s Woodbine, GA, plant that were generating mysterious process trips, data conflicts, and 10 to 20 ghost alarms daily.
Disparate systems complicated training and documentation and increased reliance on third-party support, says William (Clyde) Johnson, control systems engineering for Bayer CropScience. In addition, limited flexibility made batch restarts difficult. Integration of a new Siemens Simatic Batch PCS7 system and new hardware enabled consistent improvement in average production by two batches, faster start-ups, and the freeing up of two maintenance persons, among other benefits.
“We’ll beat a four-to-five-year estimated payback by at least a couple of years,” Johnson says.
How much smarter is higher throughput and an extra $100,000?
ONLINE extra - how to get smarter with controls
For more details on how to get smarter with controls, also read...
2,000 power assets use predictive software to foresee failures; ROI is 6-9 months .
Upgrading Control: Migration or Evolution? When a process control platform needs upgrading , the answer can be an incremental change, a system-wide rip and replace, or anything in between. Users have more options than ever.
|Search the online Automation Integrator Guide|
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.