Performance intelligence: SmartSignal, General Physics deal focuses on expertise exchange

Enhanced business performance for power generation companies is the goal of an April 29 agreement between SmartSignal Corp. and General Physics (GP).

By Control Engineering Staff May 2, 2008

Chicago, IL – Enhanced business performance for power generation companies is the goal of an April 29 agreement between

SmartSignal Corp

. and

General Physics

(GP). It’s likely to improve “We will share equipment mechanical, electrical, efficiency, and thermal cycle performance results between our product lines,” said Joe Nasal, General Physics senior vice president. These “converging lines of evidence” will improve a plant’s ability to predict, diagnose, and prioritize pending equipment failures, and more quickly recognize and quantify performance shortfalls. For example, after being notified by SmartSignal of a deficient cooling tower performance incident, GP’s EtaPro technology will show the impact on condenser pressure, lost generation, and increased fuel cost, Nasal said.Jim Gagnard, CEO SmartSignal, said, “combining General Physics’ view into thermodynamic performance and SmartSignal’s view into equipment condition, we will eliminate more equipment failures and operational losses than any alternative. By employing SmartSignal and EtaPro through the SmartSignal WatchList, power plants will achieve record levels of availability, reliability, and efficiency.”According to Jason Makansi, author of “Lights Out” and president of

Pearl Street Consulting

, “To succeed, every power plant has to eliminate critical equipment failure and improve thermal performance.” In a study of more than 20 power plants, Makansi “found the majority were employing SmartSignal to eliminate failure and General Physics to improve thermal performance. While users were satisfied with both products, they were looking for ways to synthesize the intelligence from both to gain greater insights into their operations.” With the information exchange, the companies expect that customers will be able to compare an asset’s relative operating performance against historical operating behavior using SmartSignal models and design operating behavior using GP EtaPro and embedded VirtualPlant models. As a result, plant personnel will be able to use SmartSignal’s early warning of developing problems and General Physics’ performance calculations to:• Verify abnormal conditions;• Quantify the impact on capacity and heat rate from the developing problem;• More accurately diagnose and prioritize the impending problem; and• Improve visualization and presentation of EtaPro and SmartSignal results through a shared SmartSignal WatchList.Nasal, Gagnard, and Makansi spoke at the 2008 SmartSignal Summit, in late April, in Chicago.For related reading, see:

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– Edited by  Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief Control Engineering News Desk Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .