|Brought to you by ControlGlobal.com and Putman Media
|July 19, 2007
Headlines from Today's Activities
- PPG Blazing New Trails in Wireless
- Foxboro Controller Updates Ease Migration Tasks
- New Turbine Trip Scheme Boosts Asset Output
- Batch Breaking Boundaries at Bayer and in Biotech
PPG Blazing New Trails in Wireless
Rob Brooks, process control supervisor at PPG’s Lake Charles, La.,
operations revealed what is quite likely the most advanced wireless
prototype project in the chemical industry at the 2007 Foxboro User
Group meeting this week in Boston.
Phase One of the project was a WiMAX system that interconnected the
main plant with outlying stations and control rooms. This enabled
PPG to get rid of most leased lines, with an average cost savings
of $35,000 to $40,000 per year. Brooks said that the current project
is a WiFi pilot in complex’s Plant A Caustic plant. “We picked
caustic so that we could prove we can industrialize the installation
in corrosive environments,” Brooks said.
Although they paid a consultant to do a radio survey, Brooks noted,
they found that they actually did better by carrying a laptop around
the facility and looking for dead spots themselves. The consultant
suggested five WiFi zones with access points, but their own survey
indicated they’d be better off with nine. In fact, they needed nine
plus a repeater for the sewer outfall station.
» Read More
“How do you push those little bitty keys when you’re wearing gloves in a hazardous environment?” PPG’s Rob Brooks discussed the company’s ongoing push into wireless applications, including a future vision of Blackberry-toting plant operators.
Terry Deo on the Foxboro User Group
» Download Now (mp3, approximately 17 minutes length)
Terry Deo, chair of the Foxboro User Group Steering Committee sits
down with Walt Boyes to talk about the User Group and why he's
spent 15 years with it. Deo talks about the benefits to himself
and his company from belonging to and attending User Group.
Foxboro Controller Updates Ease Migration Tasks
It’s always nice to see young control systems helping their
elderly counterparts. At the 2007 Foxboro User Group meeting
this week in Boston, the company introduced several enhancements
to its I/A Series automation system controller family.
Updates to the I/A Series Version
8.3’s hardware and software:
• Provide a straightforward, cost-effective path for users of
older I/A Series systems to upgrade to the latest I/A Series
Version 8.X technology, including the Foxboro’s Mesh Control
Network, without having to replace or rewire existing I/O
• Enable older I/A Series systems to take advantage of the
latest control capabilities of the high-capacity, rack-
room-mounted I/A Series ZCP270 controller to further improve
plant performance; and,
• Remove previous limitations on the number of I/O modules
that can be supported by the field-mounted, I/A Series FCP270
controller, which provides an even more cost-effective control
and I/O solution, and makes this state-of-the-art field control
capability practical for even the largest process plants.
“These controller enhancements are just the latest demonstration of
how Foxboro’s ‘continuously current’ strategy helps our I/A Series
customers to continuously upgrade their systems to the latest
performance-enhancing I/A Series DCS technology, and to do so at
minimum cost—often on maintenance budgets—and with minimum process
interruptions,” said Matt DeAthos, Foxboro’s I/A Series product
» Read More
Animated discussion of the latest I/A Series and InFusion platform capabilities highlighted the exhibit area of Foxboro’s 2007 User Group gathering this week in Boston.
Discussion of plant control systems security and ISA
Security Compliance Institute
» Download Now (mp3, Approximately 12 minutes length)
Ernie Rakaczky, Principal Security Architect, and Doug Clifton,
Global Program Leader for Security Services, for IPS Invensys,
sit down with Walt Boyes and discuss the state of the art in
plant control system security and the new ISA Security Compliance
New Turbine Trip Scheme Boosts Asset Output
Turbines are among the power industry’s most expensive capital
assets, and protecting them from overspeeding is both a critical
production and safety concern. Indeed, routine testing of overspeed
trip (OST) logic is standard industry practice to ensure that both
the turbine and plant personnel remain protected.
Until recently at the Lower Colorado River Authority’s Fayette
power plant, validating the plant’s mechanical/hydraulic turbine
protection circuits consisted of a laborious and time-consuming
annual test involving several hours of down-time. Not only did the
testing cut into power production, but it also represented an
unnecessary risk, according to LCRA’s Scott Matus, who, together
with Invensys’ Jim Jacoby, described his company’s recent move to
electronic overspeed protection at the 2007 Foxboro User Group
meeting this week in Boston. “The highest incident of overspeed
conditions is actually during overspeed trip testing,” Jacoby said.
A further goal of replacing the original mechanical/hydraulic
protection controls was to eliminate older, original proprietary
control components and replace them with standard instrumentation.
And because the turbine controls themselves were performed on the
Foxboro I/A Series platform, a Tricon controller (from Triconex)
was chosen for implementing the new speed detection, tripping
functions and hydraulic testing logic. “Diversity of control
and safety platforms was something they wanted to maintain,”
» Read More
Invensys’ Jim Jacoby explained how at the Lower Colorado River Authority’s Fayette plant, new electronic turbine controls have simultaneously increased power production and improved safety.
Batch Breaking Boundaries at Bayer and in Biotech
Batch isn’t just for breakfast anymore. Traditional process
industry applications are evolving rapidly, yielding to new and
improved ways of gathering more and better data to help optimize
In two industry-breakout sessions this week at the 2007 Foxboro
User Group Conference, a “dynamic duo” from Bayer Antwerp showed
how to extract useful data from process settings, while a scientist
from the University of Massachusetts’ Bio Manufacturing Center (BMC)
described how his facility is optimizing its new pilot batch reactor.
Both applications employ Invensys’ InFusion enterprise control system
to accomplish their goals.
Bert Baeck and Noël Jans work in Bayer’s Central Automation Group,
which is responsible for 22 Foxboro I/A Series systems at nine Bayer
plants. To begin improving their applications, the two engineers say
organizers formed an advisory group to find and demonstrate superior
technologies to Bayer’s production managers, and then show how these
improvements could fit into existing applications.
» Read More
“InFusion was the only solution able to immediately bring intelligent information to the plant floor, and then incorporate that raw goldmine of data into a plant historian.” Bayer’s Noël Jans on the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s push to aggregate and convert its reams of under-utilized data into actionable intelligence.