October 1, 2008

Headlines from Today’s Activities
- Wireless Validation Keeps the Budweiser Flowing
- DeltaV Engineering Tools Get New Look and Feel
- ChevronPhillips Relates Early Wireless Lessons
- New Duke Power Plant Relies on Industrial Networks
- Systematic Assessment, Response Reduce Upgrade Risk
- DeltaV SIS Saves Space, Integrates Data on Offshore Rig

Wireless Validation Keeps the Budweiser Flowing
“We have hundreds of vessels inside our breweries, which are fully automated, so we don’t have any people walking around to monitor things,” said Paul Metzger, Anheuser Busch senior process engineer, brewing engineering and technology instrumentation. “We operate 12 breweries in the U.S., 14 in China and one in the U.K. We demand 110% performance 100% of the time.”

And when you combine hundreds of stainless-steel tanks and 8,000 measurement points with a brewery’s solid floors and walls, you might think the environment presents a significant challenge to obtaining reliable wireless measurement signals. Yet starting in 2007, the company embarked on a journey to test wireless for applications in its operations around the world.

Metzger presented an update of his company’s wireless initiatives at the 2008 Emerson Global Users Exchange this week in Washington, D.C.

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“We put a transmitter inside a vessel and a gateway inside a stainless-steel cabinet, and we still had reliable data.” Anheuser Busch’s Paul Metzger put Emerson’s Smart Wireless architecture through extensive performance testing. “Even our IT department was very impressed.”

DeltaV Engineering Tools Get New Look and Feel
Speaking to a packed meeting room, with an overflow crowd in the doorway and standing in the hall, Emerson’s Keith Bellville, DeltaV engineering tools and productivity product marketing manager, took attendees at Emerson Exchange on a tour of the new look and feature set of DeltaV v10.3’s engineering tool suite.

“How many of you have used Office 2007?” he asked, as a smattering of the audience raised their hands. “Well, the new interface in Control Studio, Expression Editor and Recipe Studio is based on the radically revised human interface Microsoft installed in Office 2007.”

Microsoft, he said, invested over 500,000 hours of development testing and user interaction studies in order to create the ribbon interface for Office and for Vista. “Many enhancements have been made in the area of human-centered design for the office PC user,” Bellville said. “Our goal is to bring that type of enhancement to the Engineering Tools Interface for DeltaV. Our focus is on ease of use, a seamless transition from an office to an engineering environment and ensuring consistency between DeltaV engineering applications.”

» Read more

“Our goal is to provide project engineers with an easy-to-use and consistent tool set to improve their productivity.” Emerson’s Keith Bellville reviewed the many user interface enhancements to the latest generation of engineering tools for DeltaV.

ChevronPhillips Relates Early Wireless Lessons
Applications of new technologies seldom go as planned, but the potential of significant cost savings can help guide an engineer through the hazards and pitfalls.

That was the case at the ChevronPhillips plant in Pasadena, Texas, where Alice McWilliams, senior instrument and electrical engineer, used the Force to defeat the Dark Side and create a wireless system to monitor certain data readings.

She and John Scott, senior account manager from Emerson Process Management’s Rosemount division, presented the lessons they learned in a session they called “Wireless Wars: The Engineer Strikes Back” at the 2008 Emerson Global Users Exchange this week in Washington, D.C.

» Read more

“And when Hurricane Ike hit, the network still ran fine.” Despite early battles with mold and condensation, ChevronPhillips’ Alice McWilliams ultimately prevailed in her first wireless implementation, saving 65% of installation costs to boot.

New Duke Power Plant Relies on Industrial Networks
Now big-ticket items don’t get much bigger than designing and building a new power plant. So any savings you can retain during a huge project such as this are no doubt more than welcome.

For instance, Duke Energy Corp. is in the process of building a new 800-mW plant in a rural section of south central North Carolina. To alleviate some of the new plant’s expenses, it’s been designed to include a who’s who of fieldbus and Ethernet flavors. Even though this is a new facility, however, Duke’s designers and engineers still had to a wrestle a bit with making the shift from designs relying on hardwiring to those making appropriate use of the new industrial networking methods.

Carl King, Duke’s senior engineer, reported on the new plant’s progress in his presentation, “Plant of the Future—Designed Today,” at the Emerson Global Users Exchange this week in Washington, D.C.

» Read more

“Although fieldbuses and Ethernet have advantages over hardwiring, they require acceptance and a willingness to use them.” Duke Energy’s Carl King discussed the cultural challenges involved in transitioning to unfamiliar technology.

Systematic Assessment, Response Reduce Upgrade Risk
When operators and engineers at LyondellBassell’s polypropylene oxide and styrene monomer plant in Channelview, Texas, U.S., recently realized they had a communications problem between their DeltaV v8.4.2 software and their Asset Management Suite (AMS) software, they knew they were going to need an upgrade. The plant’s staff determined that they required a firmware “hot fix” and a migration to DeltaV v9.3 and its SQL Server capability to work with AMS.

However, the plant’s staff also was concerned that their upgrade project might bring up some potential problems for their operations. So they undertook a thorough risk assessment effort and then drafted a response plan with help from Emerson Process Management and its SureService program and personnel. This risk assessment and mitigation effort was crucial to Lyondell’s internal operations and onsite production, but assuring safety at the plant was even more essential because there are schools and a retirement home located nearby.

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“You have to avoid and mitigate as much risk as reasonably possible and then implement risk responses.” LyondellBassell’s Willis Skaggs II explained how the company successfully upgraded its DeltaV control systems without impacting production, safety or the environment.

DeltaV SIS Saves Space, Integrates Data on Offshore Rig
Murphy Oil had experience with Emerson Process Management’s DeltaV as the basic process control system (BPCS) for several of the company’s offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. So when it came time to select the automation and safety architecture for the new Thunderhawk platform, DeltaV again got the nod for the controls—as well as for the safety.

“My co-presenter, Butch Taggart from Murphy Oil could not be here, because he’s cleaning up the damage caused by Hurricane Ike—to his plant and his own house,” explained Emerson’s Sean McCormack of the Emerson Hydrocarbon and Energy Industry Center, in Calgary, Alberta, “so I’m going to do the presentation for both of us.”

The Thunderhawk Field is located in Mississippi Canyon Block 734 in the Gulf of Mexico. The Thunderhawk platform is a stand-alone, semi-submersible floating production unit with an estimated capacity of 45,000 barrels a day, expandable to 60,000 barrels a day.

» Read more

“Using DeltaV and DeltaV SIS allowed the engineering team to use the same easy-to-use engineering tools and operator interface for both the safety and process control system.” Emerson’s Sean McCormack related the benefits of an integrated safety approach on Murphy Oil’s Thunderhawk platform.

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