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  • Help Your Operators

    Automating procedures within control systems can serve to make your operators more effective and more consistent. With studies showing more than 40% of all plant incidents stemming from some form of human error, it makes sense to give automation a larger role in day-to-day operations.

    Patrick Kelly, Honeywell Process Solutions
  • Biomass fuel production gets sweeter

    Improved instrumentation and control strategies allow biofuel producers to reap the benefits of new processing techniques and advanced control strategies.

    David W. Spitzer, CONTROL Contributor
  • Squeeze More from Your Motors

    By integrating smart motor control centers that will monitor energy consumption a plant can remove wasteful energy expenditure, prevent unplanned downtime, and improve overall operational efficiency. Recent tax code amendments make these improvements inviting.

    Moin Shaikh, Siemens
  • Strike the Right Balance

    Make the walk-through your first line of defense, advises Dirk Willard in this month's Field Notes column.

    Dirk Willard, senior editor
  • Achieve continuous safety improvement

    Enhancing safety performance requires diligence and unrelenting effort. The Independent Safety Review Panel’s recently released report on the safety culture and practices at BP’s U.S. refineries where a March 2005 explosion occurred in Texas City, Texas indicates similar failings are likely elsewhere in the industry. Learn what can be done to enhance continuous safety improvement.

    Angela Summers, SIS-TECH Solutions
  • Don’t shackle yourself to the wrong platform

    Today, process data are readily available at many levels, from instrumentation to higher-level data historians and OPC servers. Choosing the right platform can be key to successfully implementing robust and maintainable process calculations at your company.

    Dane Overfield, Exele Information Systems
  • Pacify the Fear of a Changing Work Environment

    Understanding how changing a work environment affects people can reduce accidents. Management of Change (MOC) has been one of the hardest of the PSM requirements for industry to master. Making matters worse, it’s rarely applied to people and organization changes. But there are proven approaches.

    Ian Nimmo, User Centered Design Services, LLC
  • Rely on an Ombudsman for a Smoother Project

    Working with someone who speaks the operator’s language will avoid problems, according to Dirk Willard, in this month's Field Notes column.

    Dirk Willard, senior editor
  • Energy Savings Pick up Steam

    More attention to steam systems and trap monitoring provides big benefits. At most chemical plants, plant management and operators face increasing pressures to improve the energy efficiency of their processes, so they should see how they can save on steam.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
  • Making Your Process Operator-Proof

    Senior Editor Dirk Willard discusses Shigeo Shingo's take on mistake-proofing, or Poke Yoke, if you speak Japanese. The practice suggests the following devices: eliminate — redesign, facilitate — guide, mitigate — lessen the damage caused by the error, or flag — identify the error.

    Dirk Willard, senior editor
  • Keep measurements on the level

    This article looks at six technologies — mechanical floats and displacers, differential pressure, capacitance, ultrasonic, radar, and guided wave radar — that are used most often for automated control, and provides practical guidance for choosing among them.

    Jerry Boisvert, Siemens Energy & Automation
  • Process analysis gains greater online role

    Faster. Smaller. Smarter. Modular. All express the future of process analytics. And un-stoppable describes the ongoing migration of process analytical instruments to continuous, online, field-mounted use at chemical plants.

    C. Kenna Amos, contributing editor
  • Don’t Be the Hub of a Wheel

    Successful ‘green-field’ site start-ups depend on developing a team, says Senior Editor Dirk Willard.

    Dirk Willard, senior editor
  • Spot problems with adsorbents

    The longer-than-expected life of an adsorbent points up the need to always assess the consequences of system additions. While sometimes this may involve detailed calculations, simply looking to the laws of physics can eliminate potential headaches.

    Andrew Sloley, contributing editor and Bruce Veale
  • Executing Alarm Management

    For you to succeed in advancing your strategy, while keeping the peace, you must meet many challenges — motivating personnel and juggling the integration of changes. The solution is better plant-wide communication and understanding of the alarm philosophy.

    Roy Tanner, and Rob Turner ABB and Jeff Gould, Matrikon
  • Avoid Alarm Blunders

    Ineffective alarm systems pose a serious risk to safety, the environment, and plant profitability. Too often, alarm system effectiveness is unknowingly undermined by poorly-configured alarms. Read about these 12 common mistakes that can undermine the management of your alarm system.

    Michael Marvan
  • Effective Shift Handover Is No Accident

    A successful handover between shifts heavily depends on the organizational skills of management and the effective use of the communication tools available. Learn what these tools are and get the most out of your operators.

    Ian Nimmo, User Centered Design Services, LLC
  • Meet SIS “User Approval” Mandates

    No manufacturer’s claim, third-party analysis or certification report reduces the user’s responsibility for determining that a product is fit for its purpose. Make sure to properly balance analysis and testing information with field experience.

    Angela E. Summers and Susan Wiley, SIS-TECH Solutions, LP
  • Field Notes: Don't Know Much Geometry

    The cornerstones of chemical engineering are often overlooked. Teaching theory to operators is crucial to safe operations.

    Dirk Willard
  • ASM Outperforms Traditional Interface

    Forty percent of operators at a world-scale North American ethylene plant site discovered that problems were solved 40% faster using new operator interface.

    Jamie Errington, Human Centered Solutions, Dal Vernon Reising, Human Centered Solutions, and Kevin Harris, Honeywell
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