The debate over the virtues of DCS vs. PLC has been ongoing since these two architectures came into existence 40 years ago. For certain industries, a distributed control system (DCS) provides substantially more value as the basis for automating the plant than a programmable logic controller (PLC)-based system. As functionality differences narrow and price points align, the debate over these virtues is getting more intense and the arguments for and against each system are getting more and more murky. This white paper discusses the “Top Ten” issues to consider when evaluating a DCS vs. building your own “DIY” distributed control system using a PLC-based architecture.
Energy consumption remains one of the largest controllable costs in oil refineries. Heat exchanger fouling can have a significant impact on energy efficiency and production loss. Asphaltene Precipitation is caused when refiners blend incompatible crudes. This is a major source of fouling and leads to performance limitations within days. Heat exchanger fouling is a major challenge for refinery operations. With the increase in crude blending from opportunity crudes such as tight oil, the traditional “manual” monitoring approach may no longer be effective. This White Paper discusses how on-line monitoring and analysis can enable refineries to:
Better Understand Accelerated Fouling Due to Crude Incompatibilities
Learn How to Use Online Monitoring to Detect Fouling
Corrosion, leak detection and mitigation, flow pressure and volume are all factors that maintenance managers and other decision makers need to contend with as they manage flow at their chemical processing plants. In this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook, we delve in to solutions and strategies for managing these challenges including:
Leak management - treat them as calls for action against the underlying problem
VFDs for centrifugal pumps - such drives may provide energy savings and avoid operating problems
Dealing with corrosion - piping made of high-performance plastic provides unmatched performance and longevity
Ceramic in electromagnetic flow meters - material used for measuring tubes offers high performance, longevity and a host of other benefits
Learn more about these best flow practices. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook now.
Chemical plants vary widely in size and complexity yet share common goals for maximizing efficiency safely and cost effectively. This Chemical Processing Special Report tackles two areas in chemical processing - compressed air systems and powder handling - where gains can be achieved for improving efficiency. We also address the concerns of safety as it relates to drying compressed air in hazardous atmospheres.
Whether compressed air systems are centrifugal, rotary screw, reciprocating compressors or a combination, this Special Report provides and understanding of what’s involved in getting a suitable supply of compressed air.
Efficient powder handling can be achieved through optimized humidity management.
Safe drying practices in hazardous air locations
Save Money, Time, and Water With Rotary Impingement Tank Cleaning
Tank cleaning has always been viewed as a necessary evil for manufacturers. During the cleaning process, a significant amount of resources (time, chemicals, water, electric and labor) is required between batches to ensure a reliable, uncontaminated, quality batch is produced. Although these repeating expenditures have a significant effect on the bottom line, many chemical manufacturers continue to rely on outdated processing for cleaning, not realizing the potential opportunity for substantial cost reductions and revenue recovery through CIP optimization.This whitepaper includes specific case studies on the benefits of rotary impingement and CIP optimization vs. the standard tank cleaning processes. These benefits include drastic savings in time and water usage as well as employee safety.
Five Keys to Avoiding Ethylene Valve Failures
This concise, compelling overview of best practices in purchasing and maintaining ethylene valve packages is an essential read for industry professionals. The white paper will tell you how to: 1) Select the right seats and seals; 2) Select the right coating materials; 3) Know the quality of the valves you're buying; 4) Find a trusted single resource for your valve package purchases; 5) Keep up with required maintenance.
Chemical Processing’s Process Safety eHandbook: Tips for Safer Processing
Major accidents with multiple fatalities continue to occur worldwide in theprocess industries, causing distress to those involved and massive costs to companies. Almost daily, facilities in the process industries face a number of specific major accident hazard scenarios depending upon the nature of the substances they handle and their processing activities. These are caused by known initiating events such as failure of hardware or control systems, or errors by operating or maintenance staff. In this Chemical Processing Process Safety eHandbook, we provide tips for safer processing including:
>> The role of senior management including six important steps senior management should take to insure safer processing
>> Process safety documentation – strategies for ensuring that your documentation is up-to-date and readily accessible
Special Report: Making the Most of Migration
Perhaps the most critical challenge facing the automation industry is that of aging control systems at or near the end of their product lifecycles. A legacy control system can suffer from technical, functional or supply obsolescence. With a well-planned and executed control system migration, however, plants can improve availability and reliability, while increasing production flexibility. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Making the Most of Migration, we take a look at: Obsolescence planning – addressing concerns and planning for a successful evolution strategy; Restoration Possibilities – how new tools and innovative methods support and breath new life into aging distributed control systems; DCS Migration; More!
Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Special Report: Making the Most of Migration now!
Bristol-Myers Squibb Works hard to be a Good Neighbor
Bristol-Myers Squibb manually monitored dissolved oxygen (DO) periodically and ran aeration blowers more than necessary to guard against variable loading rates. After upgrading the system to use online DO monitoring operators now have continuous DO readings in the aeration tanks, substantially reducing energy and maintenance costs.
OPC: The Ins and Outs to What it’s About, The Every Man's Guide to OPC
The Every Man’s Guide to OPC is an easy-to-read overview of the most popular industrial open connectivity standard - OPC. This paper introduces the main idea behind OPC, shows why OPC is different from conventional (often proprietary) communication protocols, and explains how OPC helps overcome the limitations of such native protocols. Next, the paper explains what the building blocks of OPC are (OPC Clients and OPC Servers) and how they work together to make data-sharing possible.
This guide to OPC helps readers of all technical levels quickly grasp what OPC is and how they can use it.
Building Productivity Automating Time and Attendance in Manufacturing
Manufacturing organizations face a critical balancing act – achieving the highest levels of efficiency, while ensuring that they are not over or under supplying the marketplace.
This need to be flexible and efficient requires exceptional visibility into all of the factors that influence productivity and output. This white paper will look at the challenges manufacturing organizations face and how automation of key workforce management processes helps manufacturers not only improve efficiency, but also better manage labor spend, reduce compliance risk and improve productivity.
Mixing Solutions and Slurries -- Effectively, Economically and Safely
Effectively mixing liquids and solids to create an optimal slurry is one of the perpetual challenges in the chemical industry. This case study demonstrates how an eductor-based mixing system can effectively handle a wide range of materials, utilizing the least amount of floor space, energy and human resources to achieve an optimized process. In addition, the eductor mixing system offers increased efficiencies over a conventional system of mixing by allowing solutions and slurries to be made on demand – as opposed to pre-mixed in large holding tanks. Another important benefit is the system limits exposure to operators, and mitigates issues of delivering solid material in a large vapor space. The design flexibility of an educator-based mixing system offers a high level of customization.
How to Reduce Tank Cleaning Time (And Lost Time) with Water Jets
Automated water jetting removes hardened deposits from tanks and reactors quickly and thoroughly, saving hours of downtime and getting tanks back into service sooner. A new white paper explains high-pressure water jetting, introduces typical equipment, and compares the process with other methods.
Whitepaper: On-Line Instrumentation Helps Lower DAF System Costs
Many industrial plants use dissolved air flotation to remove fats, oils and grease, and suspended solids from wastewater. Chemical additions are often kept higher than necessary to account for variations in influent water quality that are characteristic of industrial facilities. Continuous monitor
Integrating Process Weighing Data
Efficient transfer of weighing process data to higher level PLC, MES or ERP systems makes manufacturing processes more efficient and more transparent. But identifying and implementing the most effective system for data transfer and integration can be challenging.
For chemical processors, changing process conditions demand quick responses in order to keep processing effective and to keep processes running properly. For processes undergoing such changes, accurate and timely measurements, such as vibration monitoring, redundant tank level measurement and steam header temperature profiling can be difficult to collect. In well-established plants it’s both very expensive and time consuming to get measurement points online using conventional wired instrumentation. Many processors are now turning to wireless devices that can supply data from numerous points that never could have been justified otherwise. In this Chemical Processing Wireless eHandbook we take a look at wireless technology solution successes:
** How installing a wireless pH analyzer for crucial insights on seal integrity provided Fuji Film with a low-cost monitoring solution for protecting a pricey pump ** How one of the world’s largest producers of chlorine, caustic soda and vinyl chloride embraced wireless technology and achieved operating economies and more efficient control of its chemical processes ** More!
Reliability programs are now standard business practice in companies that rely heavily on machines, equipment and other physical assets. But, in today’s lean economy, companies have fewer resources than ever to manage and maintain these assets. Plants face challenges in identifying new and cost-effective ways to ensure their assets are performing and that they are managing to minimize operational risks. In this Chemical Processing Reliability/Asset Management eHandbook we take a look at proactive approaches for improving reliability and maintenance in today’s processing plant including:
• Equipment rotation: identify damaged and worn components before they cause problems • Backflush strategies: flow reversal can remove fiber buildup in heat exchangers • Advanced Reliability Management: key steps for leveraging limited resources and critical assets • Predictive Maintenance: detailed analysis of maintenance records can further improve equipment reliability • More!
White Paper: Understanding the Risks Associated with FIBCs and Electrostatic Hazards
Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBCs) have found their niche in the worldwide transportation of powdered, flaked and granulated products. FIBCs are typically made of woven plastic with some type of liner insert and are often referred to as super sacks, big bags or bulk bags in industry. During filling and emptying of FIBCs there is a steady accumulation of static charge that can result in electrostatic discharges from the FIBC. This may in turn provide sufficient energy for ignition of combustible particulate solids or flammable vapors, not to mention unsettling shocks to nearby personnel. In this white paper we review the NFPA 654 Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from Combustible Particulate Solids and the importance of why identifying the Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) of your combustible dust or flammable vapor is a necessary component for selecting the correct FIBC Type for your application. Download now.