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October 3, 2006
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Headlines from Today's Activities
- Conference Is Also a Really Big Show
- Emerson, Friends Help Gulf Customers Recover from Hurricanes
- The Whole Loop and Nothing But the Loop

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- Emerson Exchange Home
- Conference Agenda

Conference Is Also a Really Big Show
According to Jim Cook, chairman of the Emerson Global Users Exchange Board, Emerson Exchange is a conference, not a show. And with over 268 presentations, short courses and workshops, the over 2050 attendees at the 2007 Exchange can be confident that Cook is correct.

But the Exchange also has a really big show. Open in the evenings for the first three days of the event, the Exchange exhibit covers 45,000 square feet, making it approximately half as big as recent ISA shows. This is no tabletop.

The exhibit area is organized in rings, like the PlantWeb logo itself, with the central nodes being Emerson products from the various divisions—Rosemount, Fisher, Rosemount Analytical, Mobray, Bristol, and so on. Around the outside of the exhibit are arranged Emerson's partners—companies that provide ancillary systems or products for use with the Emerson family of products—and some other Emerson companies, like CSI Machinery Health Management and Emerson Control Techniques.

Some of those partner companies themselves are quite large and substantial. Just a few examples include Fluor Corporation, OSIsoft, Matrikon, GE Healthcare, among the largest. Other well-known partner names include Phoenix Contact, Pepperl+Fuchs, Intergraph, Hirschmann Automation, Mynah Technologies, MTL, HIMA, R. Stahl, Rittal, Beamex, MooreHawke, TiPS, Fluke Corporation, Weidmuller—even the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.

This Show is Connected
"What people generally don't see," says incoming Board chairman Marty Edwards, from Idaho National Laboratory, "is that this year, as in years past, we have a single DeltaV control system connected to every Emerson exhibit in the room, and all the field sensors and final control elements are running on that single DeltaV system."

Emerson calls the exhibit "PlantWeb in Action." Little stand-up cards identify which products are connected to the control system, and over what data highway connection. A Field-Q Pneumatic valve actuator is connected to the DeltaV system via the As-i bus. Bettis' SIL-PAC "Sil3 suitable" valve is connected via HART. A Rosemount Analytical Flue Gas analyzer is connected to the DeltaV system via Foundation fieldbus.

The DeltaV InSight system (for a description, see Dan Hebert's "Technically Speaking" column in the October issue of Control) is connected via Ethernet, as is the DeltaV Batch system.

And Heeeeere's Wireless!
Of course, the Rosemount temperature devices are connected via HART wireless to Fisher ROC 800 controllers, and thence to the DeltaV system. The newly introduced transmitters are connected to the DeltaV via...wireless—according to the sign on the exhibit.

One notable addition to the wireless sensors connected to the DeltaV is a lonely Siemens Sitrans P Pressure Transmitter, connected to the DeltaV using a prototype Rosemount Model 775 HART upgrade module (familiarly called a "thumb" by the Emerson wireless team), illustrating the SmartWireless claim that any HART device can be connected to a DeltaV system via the device.

Over in the migration area, what Emerson calls "Control System Transition," Emerson is showing not only that it has multiple upgrade paths for its own and other control systems, but also that you can simply stand there and watch those upgrades work. There is a migration station from the old Provox to DeltaV. Nearby, Emerson is displaying a set of legacy Bailey Infi90 controllers connected to the central DeltaV system, right next to a Honeywell TDC2000 system doing the same thing.

Emerson's migratory practices don't stop with DCS systems either. Just down the exhibit is a set of legacy PLCs all happily talking DeltaV. There's an Allen-Bradley 1771, A Genius Fanuc PLC, a Logix 555, a Modicon 140 and a Siemens TI505 using a Mynah PLC-to-I/O interface.

Around the corner, Emerson is showing off its recent acquisition of Bristol Babcock and the ControlWave SCADA system, which includes some new-for-Emerson features, such as video security over SCADA. ControlWave's ability to integrate security with SCADA features is a definite advance for Emerson.

One of the most interesting products in the Measurement Technologies section of the exhibit is a Rosemount dual vortex flowmeter, suitable for SIS applications. One of its transmitters is connected to the DeltaV via HART, while an identical transmitter connects via Foundation fieldbus.

The DeltaV Security Cyber Security exhibit, along with a visit to Booth 56 (Homeland Security) should set users up with the tools, tips and best practices for implementing a more secure DeltaV system in their own plants.

Shifting to Emerson's partner exhibits, one interesting display is the first look at the "World's First Fieldbus Calibrator" from Beamex. Pepperl+Fuchs, MooreHawke, MTL and Phoenix Digital are among the networking vendors exhibiting. At the same time, higher level software products are offered from Incuity (Business Intelligence for Manufacturing), OSIsoft, TiPS, Matrikon and Intergraph, among others.

You also can't help noticing that all the power supplies on the PlantWeb in Action exhibits are from Emerson partner and exhibitor Sola/Hevi-Duty.

The Big Valve
On the exhibit map is a small circle on the right hand side labeled "Big Valve." It is, indeed, a big valve. But it isn't the big iron that is most interesting; it's what Fisher's valve experts have done with the actuator tuning. "Most control valves that are used for anti-surge service in the oil and gas industry have significant overshoot or undershoot problems when they have to move quickly from one position to another," says John Wilson, oil and gas industry manager for Fisher Controls. "So what we've done is provide some very simple tuning tools that are built into the valve control software. Using a minor loop for feedback inside the actuator's feedback loop, we can prevent overshoot or undershoot, even at very small openings, without introducing heavy damping into the system. This is a big advance for control valve actuation."

A broad range of technology solutions were featured on the Emerson Global Users Exchange exhibit floor. Here, Emerson's Bob Karschnia hosts a media sneak peek at the company's latest wireless instruments (foreground).

 

The Technology Exhibit at Emerson Global Users Exchange featured more than 30 third-party partners and, at some 45,000 square feet, was nearly half the size of recent ISA Expositions.

 

Emerson, Friends Help Gulf Customers Recover from Hurricanes
Hurricanes, storm surges, debris and salt water can damage refineries and destroy instruments, but they can't touch teamwork, friendship, community and commitment. Nature is awesome, but love kicks its you-know-what.

Consequently, after hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck last year, Emerson Process Management's Instrument and Valve Services group contacted and were contracted by users at multiple Gulf Coast plants to help with recovery efforts. These engagements occurred at 14 total facilities—including nine refineries previously responsible for producing two million gallons per day of oil and gas—that were down or severely damaged.

Several of these facilities suffered 35-foot storm surges, which flooded their units and equipment, and left valves and instruments caked with mud, sand, barnacles and sludge water—not to mention snakes and, sometimes, alligators. Limited personnel, equipment and mobility forced the plants and Emerson's technicians to use heroic levels of ingenuity and endurance to modify hurricane rubble to create crude work benches to begin repairs. In each plant, initial recovery plans often had to be expanded, and sometimes doubled in scope and duration, as more problems were found. Emerson's local and imported technicians quickly adjusted to increased workloads, often stretching to 16 or more hours per day, seven days per week for four to six months.

In their "Disaster Recovery: Barnacles to Products" presentation on Emerson Global User Exchange's second day, Eric Kitto, Tom Batty, Calvin Guillotte, Dan Dickinson and Donnie Daigle reported how they and their colleagues, customers and others came together to repair and rebuild three of the 14 affected facilities, including one major oil refinery south of New Orleans, Air Product's 600-valve hydrogen plant in East New Orleans, and two Targa gas-drying and compression plants, previously owned by Dynergy, one in Yscloskey and the other in Venice, both near the very end of the Mississippi.

Early Lessons Reused
Batty says Katrina and Rita recovery efforts were aided by what his company, John H. Carter Co., an Emerson distributor in Baton Rouge, La., learned when it helped repair Chevron's refinery in Pascagoula, Miss., following Hurricane George in 1998. This included developing procedures and tracking documents for tracing and completing repairs.

"We learned that we had to first contact customers, assess damage and evaluate what's needed, and be ready to mobilize resources as soon as we can get in," says Batty, Carter's project manager for recovery efforts.

After Katrina hit, Emerson and Batty immediately started contacting customers and making assessments. Besides finding that the refinery was under 4 ft to 8 ft of water, and that Air Products was flooded by 8 ft of water that went down to 2 ft, they also quickly learned that 80 Emerson employees had lost all or part of their homes and personal belongings, and that added staffers they were bringing in from across the U.S. were going to need housing, too.

"The toughest thing about Katrina was that it devastated a much more widespread area, basically from Mobile, Ala., to New Orleans, and so there was no surrounding infrastructure available to help us get into the affected areas," adds Batty. "It was often eerily quiet in these areas after Katrina and Rita."

The Yscloskey plant's main office was on a 15-ft-high platform, and all that was left was a concrete slab. Its entire control room, records, everything was gone and never found. On the drive in, Dan Dickerson, of John H. Carter, says he saw a shrimp boat on the road and a UPS truck 30 ft up in an oak tree.

Once initial assessments were made, the companies began sending field trailers, some from Emerson Exchange 2005, to the New Orleans area. Stationed at each site, these trailers included lathes, sand blasters, test devices, drill presses and other equipment for repairing valves and other equipment. The company also brought in a variety of power generators. "Field trailers are usually at repair sites for two weeks, but these were deployed for four to six months," says Kitto, Emerson's regional director of Instrument Valve Services.

While most repair projects involve replacing a few instruments or wires, these Katrina-related efforts usually required replacing all devices and cabling at the facilities. "Within the first few weeks, we shipped about $3 million worth of smart devices, valves, transmitters, repair kits and other equipment to these sites to start the recovery efforts. Our factories were also helpful in putting our requirements and orders first in line."

To complete these huge jobs, Emerson assigned 14 staffers to the Targa sites, 11 at Air Products, and more than 100 at the refinery. These included 50 technicians from Emerson's North American divisions and 25 engineers from its office in Marshalltown, Iowa. There were also 25 contract employees and 80 contractors from Carter, not mention their customers' employees.

Not Home Sweet Home
Lodgings eventually were found for everyone, but the conditions were usually less than ideal. "The guys in Venice had to live on a barge, while the ones in Yscloskey had to drive in 1.5 hours each day, and when they got back to New Orleans after dark after a 16-hour day, they couldn't even buy groceries because the whole town had been locked down," adds Kitto. "Despite this, everyone still pulled together on our common cause and focused on getting the job done."

Donnie Daigle, regional manager for Emerson's Instrument and Valve Services, adds, "Guys were working 12 to 14 hours per day, seven days a week, for four to six months, but they didn't want to leave because they knew what the other guys still had to do. I think sometimes we don't understand the willingness of people to help each other."

To complete repairs at the three facilities, for example, Emerson reports that its staffers logged more then 700,000 man-hours, all with no OSHA-reportable injuries. Batty personally conducted 191 safety sessions.

"It was amazing that all these people could work all these long shifts, and then many went home to a FEMA trailer," adds Batty. But we also built relationships with our coworkers and customers that are going to last forever. There were bad days, but everyone there believes their community was going to come back from this, and everyone had a positive attitude."

Shortly after arriving at Ycloskey, Dickerson says his staff found a little dog that miraculously survived the storm. She became the plant mascot and was renamed—of course—Katrina. As the week passed, the facility's office was rebuilt and its database was recreated.

"It was hell to go through, but now I'm pretty proud of what we did," says Dickerson.

Tom Batty, Calvin Guilotte, Dan Dickerson, Donnie Daigle, and Eric Kitto (l to r) reported on how Emerson's Instrument and Valve Services and John H. Carter helped three New Orleans-area facilities recover from hurricanes Katrina at Rita at Emerson Global Users Exchange 2006.

 

Air Products' East New Orleans hydrogen plant was among those hit by hurricane Katrina last year. 600 instruments had to repaired or replaced, including 60 new digital valve controllers: the plant was back up and running in four months.

 

The Whole Loop and Nothing But the Loop
Appropriately evoking the old Johnny Cash song, "One Piece at a Time," for an event in Nashville, Emerson presenter Raoul Mercer began his discussion of safety instrumented systems (SIS) with a slide of car parts from eBay labeled "Would you buy a car like this?" and followed by a photo of a sports car with the caption, "Are you likely to end up with this?"

In point of fact, you're not, especially if what you really need is a minivan. Mercer illustrated how SIS are really collections of loops that are made up of three components, a sensor (actually almost always a transmitter), a logic solver and a final element. The logic solver is usually a programmable device, and the final element is usually a shutdown valve. "These loops are essentially a passive system and take action only when a dangerous condition is detected," Mercer noted.

Especially since they are passive systems, correct working order of all elements is critical, and the initial design of the SIS must take testing and diagnostics into consideration.

Mercer's discussion of safety standards was based on IEC Standards 61508, 61513, 61511 and 62061, but it is important to note for users in North America that ANSI/ISA Standard S84.01-2004 is identical to IEC 61511 with one exception. The United States added a "grandfather clause" for existing SISs. (For additional information on this exception, see "The Grandfather Clause is Not a Jolly Fat Man in a Red Suit," by Angela Summers, PhD in the August 2005 issue of Control.)

After defining safety-instrumented functions, Mercer directed his audience to focus on the loop. "In the history of SIS failures," Mercer noted, "The logic solver has failed rarely, while the measurement and final element combine for 92 percent of all failures. How important is it to look at the entire picture?"

Mercer complemented his question by showing a two part slide. The first part shows a man on a ladder changing a light bulb in a lighting standard. The second part shows the bottom of the picture. Here the ladder is balanced precariously on a forklift.

Mercer then provided a detailed analysis of a safety instrumented loop, dividing it into the three subsections, and showing his calculations for PFD—Probability of Failure on Demand—and RRF—Risk Reduction Factor (which is 1/PFD)—such that the loop's transmitter and solver components both meet SIL3.

"Now, does the loop meet SIL3?" Mercer roared, "Heck no! It meets SIL minus zero, because the final control element just barely meets SIL 1!"

This is a continuing problem with safety instrumented systems, Mercer reported, since people often claim a SIL rating for a single device, when it is the loop that must be rated, and the loop's rating is that of its weakest component.

"When we zoom in," Mercer said, "people say, 'Yes, it is a SIL2 device...' No, it isn't. It is capable of being a SIL2 device. It is suitable to go into a SIL2 loop."

Not all information is useful, Mercer ruefully admitted, as he showed a picture of two mice looking at a picture of a snake with a lump in its belly labeled, "You are here." Users have to pay attention to all the restrictions in the SIL certifications and all the qualifications in the standards.

"Some products are certified with 'restrictions,'" he noted, but often the restrictions are hard to find. "It won't do you much good when the inspector comes and asks for all the manuals on all those system that blew up, to tell him you couldn't find the exclusions and restrictions because they were in fine print."

The PFD of the loop is dependent on the correct operation of all the components of the SIF, Mercer insisted. "You add all the PFD's together to get the RRF," he said, "and the lowest component defines the SIL level of the entire loop. The lowest one will drag you down."

"There are two loops involved here," Mercer said, as he brought his presentation to a close. "There is the equipment loop, the SIF, that's true. But there is another loop, which is perhaps even more important, and that is the people loop. IEC 61511 is very concerned with 'competency.' You and your people have to be competent."

As the standard says, "Persons, departments or organizations involved in safety life-cycle activities shall be competent to carry out the activities for which they are accountable."

Scary, isn't it?

"Everybody is doing the SIL numbers and nobody is looking at the people," Mercer said. "Competency is the other loop."

And what happens if you just do nothing? "Just because you don't turn around and look at the noise in the bushes doesn't mean the grizzly isn't there, and doesn't mean he'll go away," Mercer concluded.

 

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