Classic distributed control systems typically remain only in high-availability refining and power applications, but their strategies and capabilities persist in descendants and todays sophisticated networks.
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.
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.
Guidance for chemical manufacturers, processors, and distributors about Section 8(e) of the Toxic Substances control act was issued on September 14, by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Chemical Processing's Regulatory Editor Lynn Bergeson discusses the new regulation.
End-of-life and other product stewardship initiatives will impact chemical plants. An agreement to lessen the environmental impact of chemicals production will have global ramifications. Meanwhile, European end-of-life directives on electrical and electronic equipment already are having a worldwide effect.
Things are changing at warp speed. Manufacturing companies are collecting large volumes of data from data systems but improvements are possible only if the data are analyzed and developed into useful business parameters.
Theres more to boiler level control than measuring level and adjusting a feedwater valve. Improved measurements and inverse response are just a few of the influences on operating boilers in a reliable manner.
The more energy prices rise, the more heat integration saves. However, heat integration steps can present complex control problems. Slip-ups in putting control systems in place can make operations nearly impossible. That certainly was the case at one unit using heat recovery.
Author: Andrew Sloley, contributing editor and Carolyn K. Hawley, VECO USA