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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
  • SP100 Committee Listens to WirelessHART

    The ISA SP100 standards committee was presented with WirelessHART specificationas that were voted on by the HART Communications Foundation’s membership in June 2007.

  • Politics, Appearances and Thinking Green

    The push to “green” energy is good for automation vendors everywhere, but U.S. government rhetoric may put companies on this side of the Atlantic at a competitive disadvantage.

  • Sleep with the enemy

    Stop fighting environmentalists and embrace them because it’s good for the planet and business. The challenge for the chemical industry is to win support in the court of public opinion before building or expansion plans run into trouble. And the key to that lies in a company’s willingness to understand the complex and sometimes conflicting motives of opposition groups and to communicate effectively to all constituencies.

    Alan Metrick, Alan Metrick Communications
  • Two bulk conveyors prove better than one

    Engineers at EaglePicher Corp. in Quapak, Okla., faced some unique problems in manufacturing high-purity isotopic chemicals and wound up addressing them via a unique solution.

    David Boger, Flexicon Corp.
  • Get safety under control

    Check out a different approach to safety analysis and a valuable new reference in this month's column from Editor Mark Rosenzweig.

    Mark Rosenzweig, Editor in Chief
  • DHS aims to lock down security rules

    Expect a final ruling this summer on chemicals covered and some other key issues, warns Lynn Bergeson, regulatory editor.

    Lynn Bergeson, regulatory editor
  • Properly protect control systems

    Integrated digital field networks are increasingly popular but pose particular safety and security risks. Fortunately, a number of parallel activities are underway to make integration between automation and business systems effective, safe and secure.

    Ian Verhappen, MTL Instruments
  • Hardening plants is hard work

    Industry should welcome the new, first-ever federal security rules, advises Editor in Chief Mark Rosenzweig in this month's From the Editor column.

    Mark Rosenzweig, Editor in Chief
  • Uncertain safety

    Users seeking appropriate process safety systems aren’t getting enough help from unspecific standards and ideal-world certifications. Here’s how to gain useful safety capabilities in a buyer-beware world.

  • Foundation fieldbus in hazardous areas

    Implementing Foundation fieldbus can seem like a daunting task, and when coupled with hazardous-area considerations, may approach information overload; however, it doesn't have to be an explosive concept.

  • Wireless: Ready or not

    A lively discussion of the current role of wireless in online condition monitoring.

  • Get ready to comply with new security mandates

    New anti-terrorism standards require the Department of Homeland Security to identify and regulate "high-risk chemical facilities." These facilities will be subject to a security vulnerability assessment. Where does your plant fit in with these new standards?

    David A. Moore and Dorothy Kellogg, AcuTech Consulting Group
  • Wireless finds its calling

    For maintenance and condition-monitoring, wireless technology offers much more than just reducing or eliminating costs. However, wireless also requires an integrated infrastructure approach rather than independent, proprietary point solutions.

  • Plug it in?: The decision to integrate condition monitoring

    Efforts to tighten communications of condition-monitoring instrumentation and data analysis software with CMMS and automation infrastructure, combined with the proliferation of wireless sensor systems and the drive to reduce manpower skill and time requirements, are bringing implementation costs down and drawing much attention to this approach. But should you implement it?

  • What Works: Wireless PCs streamline warehouse operations

    The basic principles of Lean Manufacturing date back at least to the 18th century. In Poor Richard's Almanack, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “He that idly loses 5s. [shillings] worth of time, loses 5s., and might as prudently throw 5s. into the river. He that loses 5s not only loses that sum, but all the other advantages that might be made by turning it in dealing, which, by the time a young man becomes old, amounts to a comfortable bag of money.”

  • Gamma scanning seeks an inside edge

    Many companies decide not to build up certain capabilities in-house mainly because they don’t have sufficient regular demand for them. Gamma scanning of distillation columns is a case in point, but on-site scanning specialists may be the wave of the future.

    Mike Spear, editor at large
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