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.
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 Processing Special Report: Secure plan(t)
In the decade before Stuxnet attacked process control systems in Iran, there were just five known supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) vulnerabilities for all control systems in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). In 2011, the year after Stuxnet, that vulnerability count jumped to more than 215. Last year, it reached 248 (Figure 1). No surprise then that Chemical makers are increasingly focusing on protecting their process control systems from intrusion both from the inside and outside. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Secure plan(t), we take a look at:
How to better protect your control system - “Defense in depth” is crucial, and new and maturing technologies may help
Cyber Security Challenges – learn about countermeasures to protect control systems
Case Study: A vulnerability assessment reveals critical gaps in the security of a natural gas pipeline
How to mitigate security risks in legacy process control systems - several steps can help protect against threats and extend the life of legacy equipment
Learn how to secure your process control systems – and your plant. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Special Report: Secure plan(t) now.
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.
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.
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.
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!
No More Risky Business With Virtual Patching
Patching process control system software to remove security vulnerabilities is fraught with risk. System issues can be the result of installing a patch, but a system is also vulnerable without patching. Fortunately, virtual patching can improve the process and raise the system’s security at the same time.
Cyber Security: A Perfect Storm
As companies and industries increasingly rely on technology, security risks become greater. With growing numbers of Windows machines and increased scarcity of skilled technical resources, a “perfect storm” of cyber threats in production facilities is looming.
No More Tears for Control System Migration
While upgrading process control systems is vital to maintaining a plant’s performance, the migration process often brings confusion and frustration for customers. See how Honeywell keeps control systems running at the best possible performance throughout the migration process and into the future.
PRALCA’s Path to Modernization
With an aging installed legacy Distributed Control System (DCS), the PRALCA petrochemical plant needed advanced control strategies to improve plant efficiency. Find out how a comprehensive migration solution extended the life of plant equipment and provided a cost-effective path forward to the latest automation technology.
Expanding Production at FMC Lithium
FMC Minera del Altiplano, a leader in the mining of lithium ores and brines, wanted to automate its production processes but lacked sufficient capacity to keep pace with continuous operational improvements. See how FMC expanded processing capacity while minimizing risks to critical plant information.
Chemical Processing Special Report: Migration
"Migration could be the biggest single issue facing automation end-users today," stresses a report from the ARC Advisory Group. ARC estimates that installed automation systems worth about $65 billion are reaching the end of their useful lives. Distributed control systems (DCSs) more than 20 years old will need replacement within the next ten years. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Migration we cover:
Updating process control systems – understanding the challenges and missteps to avoid
Case Study: FMC Corporation – we look at the production processes, operational challenges and automated solutions this diversified global chemical company chose when migrating their DCS
Case Study: PRALCA – control systems migration for a petrochemicals facility
The business case for control systems migration - strategies for protecting investments, improving business results and reducing risks
Preventive Maintenance of Chemical Hot-Oil Systems
Heat transfer and other process fluids -- from mineral oils to synthetic and organic-based formulas -- are the lifeblood of many critical operations within chemical and the process industries. Their condition reveals critical details about the health of the entire process itself, and that of the components of the system and their interoperation. Register for access to two special E-Books, which come in an interactive PDF format with links to additional web resources.
Cost-Justify Your Reliability Initiatives
For the latest strategies on how to set an effective reliability program, download this Special Report: Cost-Justify Your Reliability Initiatives.
In this report youll find:
Predictive tools and technologies for enhanced equipment reliability
The four things a plant manager can do that maximize reliability
Critical equipment for an effective maintenance program
Rotary Tank Cleaning and Cost Savings
Specific case studies on the benefits of rotary impingement and CIP optimization vs. the standard tank cleaning processes. Benefits include: increased revenue and production with drastic reductions of operating costs pertaining to tank cleaning.
Gamajet Cleaning Systems, Inc.
Chemical Processing Special Report: Beyond Condition Monitoring: Prevent Failures through Condition Management
For years chemicals makers have tracked the health of key equipment yet they still grapple with unplanned outages that can significantly impact financial performance through lost production and extra repair costs. In this Special Report, we'll explore underlying condition monitoring challenges and introduce the concept of condition management -- an enhanced approach that helps companies reap the full benefit from their condition monitoring investments; we'll also discuss how CMMS tools can help to provide a clear understanding of maintenance operations performance as well as provide some guidance on what you can expect from a CMMS vendor. Lastly, listen to the lively discussion between Chemical Processing's Senior Digital Editor,Traci Purdum, and Edgewater Fullscope's Senior Vice President, Russell Smith, as they converse on how ERP can help manage the supply chain.