|Brought to you by ControlGlobal.com and Putman Media
||October 4, 2006|
Headlines from Today's Activities
The Magic Word Is Collaboration
But there are several in the process industries that are demonstrably different. One such partnership is the quiet alliance formed over the past few years between The Lubrizol Corporation and Emerson Process Management.
"We don't like to talk about things until after we get them right," says Lubrizol's Bob Wojewodka, technology manager and process improvement team leader. "We believe in 'do first" and "talk after.'"
That said, Wojewodka and Chris Sickler, Lubrizol's operations support manager, have finally opened their kimonos and given a master class on just how to run an alliance project.
Lubrizol is a $3.62-billion organization whose mission is to become the world's largest and most profitable specialty chemical company.
Lubrizol has always had a strong global infrastructure and its Operations Management System, the heart of the alliance with Emerson, is designed to enhance efficiency and profit by improving automation and control systems.
"We had islands of excellence throughout the company," Wojewodka recalls, "But they were just not melding into the overall operational excellence we wanted as an enterprise."
So at the beginning of the process, Wojewodka and his team started on the enterprise level and worked down to the plant floor, and then back up again, clearly defining goals and objectives at every level.
The alliance is different than most "purchasing agreements" in that there is very high level executive buy-in. The Alliance Executive Team consists of vice presidents from both Lubrizol and Emerson, and they direct a steering team made up of executives and managers from Lubrizol, Emerson and Emerson's local business partners (LBPs).
"It really is a great collaboration between the two companies," says Wojewodka
Making it Work
Selection to the core group was not based on who wanted to be involved, but on "who needed to be involved"—from the vice-president level down to the plant floor. The core group needed to have technical knowledge—know what to do and be able to do it or direct the doing. They also needed to be high enough in their respective organizations to influence them.
"We recruited across disciplines," Wojewodka recalls, "Chemical engineers, statisticians, IT, control engineers, instrumentation, maintenance and purchasing. What we needed was that they understood the common vision."
The steering team breaks into subcommittees. There is a team concerned with standardization of processes, both locally and globally; a team responsible for migration; a team responsible for finding business opportunities within the alliance; one that is focused on the integration and architecture of automation systems; and finally, the one that Wojewodka calls the "kid-in-a-candy-store" team: the technology team, responsible for implementation plans for new technologies from batch to asset management.
These teams are crossfunctional, and also cross-facility and cross-countries, drawing members from Lubrizol and Emerson facilities everywhere Lubrizol is globally.
"The direction," Wojewodka says, "is that when people go back to their plants, they are systematically implementing what was just agreed to."
All of this, Sickler and Wojewodka insist, is in aid of building a stronger relationship with Emerson. "We needed to build trust, and create value and structural bonding to make this alliance work," Wojewodka says.
Sickler describes how they did it. "We explicitly defined and documented processes, systems and workflow to address each of the areas of trust, value and bonding."
Wojewodka adds that in addition to this "structure and methodology to make the alliance work," they have an important tool—"an 'e-room.'"
This tool "gives us a place to collaborate, meet and document with real-time information-sharing and folders for every project and every team," says Sickler. "We share project folios for projects that are current, proposed projects in the near term (1 to 1.5 years out) and proposed projects further out (more than 1.5 years distant). Everyone involved—Emerson, Lubrizol, LBPs—all have access to the e-room."
Let there be METRICS
First, the data needed to be retrievable. "We needed information that was both available and accessible," Sickler says. "And it needed to be manageable for ongoing maintenance and updates."
The metrics also had to be meaningful to both Emerson and to Lubrizol, or they wouldn't be able to define the success of a collaborative project between equals.
"Finally, we cut the extended list down to 12 and selected the seven most important of those," Wojewodka says. (See below)
"We track these metrics with a passion!" he adds. "We survey every six months. We chart and display the results so everybody can see them."
Is the process working? Sickler thinks so. "We're starting to use the process in pre-project planning and pre-approval projects too."
How to Decide If Your Partnership Is Working
"We recruited across disciplines—chemical engineers, statisticians, IT, control engineers, instrumentation, maintenance, and purchasing. What we needed was that they understand the common vision." Lubrizol's Bob Wojewodka and Chris Sickler gave a masterclass on just how to run an alliance project.
Fieldvue Instruments, Valve Link Software Fuel Shanghai's Huge Ethelyne Cracker
In his "Using Fieldvue Instrumentation at Shanghai SECCO's Ethylene Cracker Plant" presentation on the third day of Emerson Global User Exchange, Wu Guo Liang, SECCO's senior consultant, reported that Emerson Process Management's Fieldvue instruments and AMS ValveLink Snap-On software have been critical components of SECCO's monitoring and control system. Wu presented an overview of the facility's Foundation fieldbus (FF) system, and described the field intelligence and online and offline diagnostic functions provided by Fieldvue instruments.
Shanghai SECCO's 900,000 tons-per-day ethylene cracker plant is one of the world's largest petrochemical facilities, and it uses a highly integrated automation system. The facility includes 10 processing units, one central control room (CCR), 15 outstations in each processing unit, and communications via redundant fiber-optic cables between the outstations and the CCR. SECCO's control systems include 10 DCS sets, 10 SIS interlock systems, a fire-and-gas system, a rotary machinery management system (MMS), gas chromatograph (GC), motor control center (MCC), a CCTV network monitoring system and many PLCs. The site's other hardware includes 2,473 FF network segments, 10,631 FF field devices, 21,584 I/O points, 120,225 communication points, 2,550 control loops and 9,487 DI/DO points in SIS.
"All the monitoring and control systems have their own networks, and they communicate with DCS through Modbus, enabling operators to monitor the status of the systems," says Wu. "The control systems are networked into a highly integrated automation system, providing the real-time process information to production and management personnel through the PI system."
Because of Shanghai SECCO's sheer size and the thousands of components that must be maintained, Wu adds that selecting appropriate digital valve controllers is especially important. He explains that preventive valve maintenance wastes time and labor because many valves are disassembled that don't actually need to be repaired, while valves with real problems may fail to get much-needed spare parts.
"Fieldvue instruments and AMS ValveLink software enable us to test and evaluate control valves' condition and performance while they're out of service and in service. This allows valve performance prediction, trending and evaluation of fault and damage to help make necessary maintenance plans, and has seamless integration with Delta V," says Wu. "Knowing what to do for valve maintenance/repair means we can take necessary valves out of line for necessary maintenance, preplan to buy spare parts and valve components/assemblies, and plan and prepare for valve maintenance to reduce maintenance costs."
SECCO uses 2,850 of Fieldvue's DVC5000f SC-AD throttling valves and DVC5000f FL-AD on-off valves, both with advanced diagnostics, as well as 102 DVC5000f SC-PD critical throttling valves with online diagnostics, and 50 DVC6000 SIS ESD valves with partial stoke test. In addition, PID for single loop control and PID for secondary loop of cascade control modules are placed in DVC5000f to reduce the communication volume and distribute control risks.
"After a DVC5000f is installed, the fieldbus signal wave on each segment must be checked to meet the fieldbus standard. The disturbance signal must also be checked," adds Wu. "MTL FBT3, FBT5 and FBT6, and Fluke's 199 oscilloscopes are good and effective testing tools to find problems on fieldbus segments."
Meanwhile, Fieldvue's diagnostics are used at SECCO to monitor valve performance and evaluate valve problems, which often are related to valve signature, step response, dynamic error band, partial-stroke test, and performance diagnostics. For example, in the main ESD rotary valve, an online, partial-stroke test was initialized, but failed to complete. A valve-stuck alert was activated; the valve was bypassed; and offline valve diagnostic tests were conducted. The full-stroke valve signature test indicated that the valve was stuck at 53-percent opening, while a step-response test showed similar results. As a result, the valve was dismantled, and SECCO's engineers found that its shaft and bushing were galling. The damaged parts were replaced, and then valve-signature, step-response and partial-stroke (15-percent step) tests were done to confirm that the valve's performance had improved.
Following another shutdown event in May 2006, Wu reports that valve-signature and drive-signal tests on an ammonia feed valve on a reactor showed abnormalities on the curves and high-friction values for valve packing. Average friction was 416 lb/ft, which was substantially higher than the 183 lb/ft of friction expected, while normal range was 25 percent to 80 percent of expected friction. Also, spikes at the ends of the signature curves indicated high friction at the valve opening and closing positions. When they disassembled the valve, SECCO's staff found a lot of welding slag in the valve body, which caused plug and seal ring damage. After the valve was repaired, its signatures looked good, and friction returned to normal.
"Fieldvue digital valve controllers have shown more and more advantages, but customer and vendors need to cooperate more to improve their application," says Wu. "To use these diagnostic functions, many parameters about valves need to be entered. Fisher has entered this data into its DVC5000f and our systems. Other valve vendors didn't do a complete job, so a lot valve data aren't available yet."
"Engineers aren't boring, they just get excited about boring things!" Engineer turned stand-up comic John McMillan skewered salespeople, marketers, management and, yes, engineers during a rousing lunch session on day three of the Emerson Global Users Exchange.
Best Practices Help Merck Slash Calibration Costs
After examining the company's capital projects processes, "We realized we were calibrating all of our instruments twice," LaFauci said. Emerson instrumentation, including Rosemount pressure transmitters, temperature transmitters and Micro Motion flowmeters, all are factory-calibrated before shipment, but were still being calibrated again after receipt. "We collaborated with Emerson, and they changed their ISO 9000 procedures to include a calibration certification with each instrument shipped."
The CFC eliminates the need to do initial field calibration, saving an estimated $150 to $200 per instrument, LaFauci said. "The 'QP' options costs about $30 per instrument, a pretty good return." Additionally, the practice saves time, conserves internal resources and improves quality through higher accuracy and consistent calibration practices.
CFC instruments arrive with their calibration certificates in sealed, tamper-evident boxes with labels warning that the box be opened only by the instrument installer. This process change required a significant training effort, both for internal constituencies and skid-builders and engineering firms operating on Merck's behalf.
Another calibration best practice being pursued by Merck is to examine, and in some cases extend, the calibration intervals for installed instrumentation. "Many calibration intervals are set more frequently than the manufacturer's recommendations," explained Natalie Strehlke, pressure product manager for Rosemount. Standard intervals now in use have often been in place for many years, despite dramatic advances in instrument stability.
On pressure transmitters, for example, typical Rosemount stability specs are five or 10 years—considerably longer than many plants' one-year calibration interval practices. "We pulled three-year calibration histories for 12 percent of our pressure transmitters and in every case, the calibration records indicated no perceptible drift." As a result, calibration intervals for 448 non-critical instruments were extended from one year to two, saving $150,000 annually, LaFauci said. "Extending intervals further, to five years, would represent $780,000 in savings."
As follow-up to this project, three-year calibration records were pulled for over 13,000 instruments across five sites. "Only seven noncritical instruments were found out-of-tolerance," he says. In addition to the operating cost savings, the redeployment or "headcount avoidance" for additional maintenance personnel were cited as significant benefits to Merck's bottom line.
"We realized we were calibrating all of our instruments twice," says Merck's Joseph Fauci on his company's collaboration with Emerson to create a new Certified Factory Calibration process for select instrumentation products.
Science Experiment or Not, Wireless Worked at BP Cherry Point
Marty Gering, wireless data collection coordinator and wireless worker administrator for BP Cherry Point, worked in construction, then joined the refinery and began working with the wireless data collection program&—which made him ideal to be the one responsible for prototyping Emerson's Smart Wireless system at Cherry Point.
Although Cherry Point is actually the second-newest refinery in the U.S., there are many locations where large bodies of uncaptured data exist. "This data is valuable," Gering said, "but we can't touch it because of the expense of wiring and running conduit. Lube oil and bearing temperatures, among other values, are just left out of the picture."
BP's goal in partnering with Emerson in this product development exercise was to make it possible to do more process monitoring, more maintenance monitoring and more environmental monitoring—all things that are generally considered too expensive to do in a wired world.
"So we began by automating operator rounds," Carlson said.
Gering added that the system would be working in "one of the dirtiest parts of the plant, and the bearing boxes were covered with a layer of grease, oil and coke dust. The operators would use Raytek guns to take the temperature readings, but because of the environmental factors, the handheld temperature guns weren't all that accurate. So we installed wireless temperature sensors in the bearing boxes themselves."
That Would Be an "Oops!"
"Emerson hooked up the network and got all the sensors talking to each other the night before they brought them over to the plant because they wanted to impress us, but they brought them over after they'd worked just fine in the hotel parking lot, and they didn't work," Gering said.
Carlson had to figure out why.
"We got about 5 feet of transmission," Carlson explained, "When we went to find out why, we found an RFID reader broadcasting on exactly the same frequency. When we went to the channel-hopping, time-synchronized system we have now, the problem went away, and we're getting transmission distances of 300-plus feet. You need some way of managing the RF sources in your plant without site surveys and complicated frequency analyzers."
Gering adds, "This underscores the need to own your own wireless space. We set up a plant wireless governance group to deal with this issue. I am on it; the I&C supervisor is on it. There's somebody from IT on it; the guy who is in charge of our Maximo CMMS system is on it, and a couple of others. Basically, if you want to bring a wireless device onto the plant site, you have to bring it through us."
If It Looks Like a Duck...
"It's all about managing cultural change," he went on, "Once they saw the blue Rosemount housings, you could hear the techs relax."
The wireless network doesn't connect directly to the DCS. Instead, it goes via an 802.3 optical network to the OSIsoft PI server where the data is recorded in the PI database. "This gives us the flexibility to route the data where it needs to go, said Gering. It might not be the best thing to load down the DCS with hundreds of bearing temperature readings."
Gering and Carlson showed a short video clip of Gering himself going out with an intrinsically safe handheld and pulling a barcode into it, and then pulling the wirelessly collected data from the PI server. "The PRIDE system permits us to access specific data from the PI server just by scanning a barcode," Gering said.
Carlson said that they found that the existing network "acted as a huge antenna for expanding the network for easy scaling." So they added vibration monitors as well.
When asked if BP planned to use wireless in control, Gering said, "We're sticking to monitoring and alerting only, but we're designing the systems so that if we choose to move to control in the future, we can. So the answer is later, but not yet."
One of the concerns the refinery had was would they need to add new MOC (change management) items for tags and so forth. As it turned out, the naming conventions, tags, calibration, and so forth are all standard.
So what did BP learn?
The next project is the tank farm. Cherry Point was built to be a 95,000 bbl/day refinery, and has now become a 245,000 bbl/day refinery just by increasing throughput and optimization. The tank farm was built with only a level and sometimes a temperature sensor.
"We're beginning a new project to wirelessly connect those tanks with backup level. We also have hundreds of valves that we'd like to have positioner information on, as well as other pressures and temperatures," Gering announced. "We have mixers with motors we'd like to monitor current on, and lots of other things. We're looking at 300 points. We want to finish the engineering this year and have a big start on implementation by the end of 2007."
"This data is valuable, but we can't touch it because of the expense of wiring and running conduit. Lube oil and bearing temperatures, among other values, are just left out of the picture," says BP Cherry Point's Marty Gering on the refinery's pioneering use of wireless.