Control Systems / Instrumentation / Risk assessment / Safety Instrumented Systems

Take Advantage of the Minute Clinic

Series of brief podcasts will cover myriad topics.

By Traci Purdum, Senior Digital Editor

We are always looking for ways to bring new content to you. And understanding that your time is limited, we want to present the information quickly and let you get back to your busy day. With this in mind, Chemical Processing has launched a new podcast series called the Minute Clinic. Each podcast deals with just one crucial topic at a time and runs no more than 10 minutes.

The concept grew from an idea proposed by one of CP’s authors, David Strobhar, founder of Beville Engineering in Dayton, Ohio. (His articles include: “Build Operator Expertise Faster,” and “How Many Alarms Can an Operator Handle?”) He also started the Center for Operator Performance, which a number of major operating companies and automation vendors support. His original thought was to present a webinar on the topic of operator performance and the human factor. We morphed it into the podcast series.

The first two episodes featuring Strobhar have already been recorded – Are Alarm Targets Too Conservative? and Easy, Low-Cost Ways to Improve Operator Decision-Making. We have several more on deck. They include:
• How diagrams and line labeling could save thousands of dollars;
• Rules for displays to enhance situation awareness;
• How to reduce emergency procedures by 90%;
• What are human factors?;
• Staff your console for steady-state operation, then design to manage upsets;
• How to calculate total operators required to cover a post position;
• Simple ways to speed operator training;
• Pitfalls in alarm rationalization;
• Alarm redundancy without alarm duplication; and
• Font size requirements for alarm notifications.

We plan to branch out and cover myriad topics that will help make plants as efficient, safe, environmentally friendly and economically competitive as possible. We are considering a series on asset management as well as one on mixing best practices. Ultimately, our aim is to help you — so please let me know what you’d want covered. You can email topic ideas to And if you are a subject matter expert who would like to be a part of this series, use the same email address to pitch ideas that make sense for our readers. The beauty of this series is it’s a quick-hit. We can tackle many ideas and build a bountiful library.

Speaking of library, you can get to the Minute Clinic via this address It is also located under the Technical Resources link that appears at the very top of the website (it’s the second link in the black bar).

We hope you find this newest addition useful. And note that we have several longer podcasts available. You can access all of them via this link:

Traci-bio-photo.jpgTraci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor and podcast princess. You can email her at

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