Perspectives: Field Notes

Make Your Message Clear and Concise

Some common errors plague writing done by many engineers.

By Dirk Willard, Contributing Editor

“How to write good” made me laugh until I heard an engineer from Texas say it, believing that was correct English. The phrase should be “How to write well.” Thankfully, you understand that, right?

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Make Your Drawings Match Your Process

Outdated P&IDs can lead to tragedy

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Make the Most of Contractors

Using hired help effectively starts by treating them as part of your team.

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Make the Most of Electric Tracing

The technique offers benefits but demands attention to details

01/02/2014

Make the most of newly hired, experienced engineers

Contributing Editor Dirk Willard reminds readers that an old dogs can learn new tricks and plants should keep this in mind when hiring new, yet experienced, engineers.

10/29/2007

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.

12/05/2006

Match the Flow Meter to the Service

Consider operating conditions not just specifications and price

01/23/2014

Move Against Static Electricity

Discharges pose persistent perils at plants.

06/06/2013

Operational Safety and Maintenance: Fear Ad Hoc Fixes

Interim solutions can lead to dire consequences.

01/21/2013

Plant Safety: Leaks Don't Lie

Treat them as calls for action against the underlying problem.

03/19/2014

Please Don’t Hire Me!

Some contracts simply aren’t worth winning.

07/06/2009

Pressure tests can spur successful start-up

Push it: if it breaks it probably needed to be replaced, says Dirk Williard, in this month's Field Notes column. Doing so can help improve your processes.

03/01/2007

Process modeling: Find the Right Balance

Eight simple rules can help ensure valid material balances.

10/15/2012

Properly Estimate Engineering Hours

Don’t come up short on a project.

11/06/2009

Properly Tackle Fluid Flow Problems

This requires far more than modeling software.

02/22/2012

Protect Pumps and the Bottom Line

Setting an appropriate minimum flow avoids damage and excessive operating costs

02/06/2013

Protect your electronics

Ignoring exposed electrical boxes can cost you a bundle, says Contributer Dirk Willard, in this month's Field Notes column.

06/06/2007

Pumps: Check "Standard Conditions"

Otherwise you risk using the wrong value for density in calculations.

04/08/2014

Reduce Your Energy Needs

Achieving savings may provide a powerful career boost.

03/10/2009

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.

02/12/2007

Remember the old reliable orifice plate

The cost-effective dP flow meter is ideal for utility surveys, Senior Editor Dirk Willard says in this month's Chemical Processing Field Notes column.

09/11/2006