2012 AIChE Spring Meeting & 8th Global Congress on Process Safety

In case you missed it, the 2012 AIChE Spring Meeting & 8th Global Congress on Process Safety is being held this coming week (April 1-4, 2012) in Houston, TX.  There is some great content being presented:

Event Keynote:

MICHAEL J. DOLAN Senior Vice President, ExxonMobil Corporation “Process Safety and Corporate Responsibility”

Other Process Safety Content:

Look Ma No Faceplates: Benefits of In Situ Modification of Set Point and Output on Operator Displays

This presentation illustrates the need and solution for operators viewing and making changes to set points and outputs in context. It shows the penalty and risks of operators shifting focus to faceplates and performing other window management tasks when trying to operate an industrial process.  In-situ modification improves the speed of operator response, reduces entry errors and operator loading.  For the industrial process, this means less spurious trips due to operator entry and more reliable and efficient plant operation.  The presentation will cover how to incorporate items normally displayed in the faceplate directly into the operator display.  The illustrated examples will be running ProSys’ Interface Dynamics display library, but concepts in presentation are applicable to any industrial HMI and can be achieved in almost any control system.

Fire and Explosion Hazards

This session invites papers on recent developments in evaluating fire and explosion hazards in chemicals processing, storage and transportation. Example areas of new interest include flammable liquid transport and storage, the distinction between fire point and flash point in the evaluation of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), and methods for predicting or modeling the behavior of non-homogeneous mixtures.

The Connection of Peak Alarm Rates to Plant Incidents and What You Can Do to Minimize

Even after several years of trying, many plants still struggle with controlling alarm floods.  Static rationalization can reduce your average number of alarms, but without controlling the alarm floods, there is no help for the operator when he needs it the most.  This session will cover the justification for alarm management from the safety and environmental as well as economic perspective.

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

Effective process management programs utilize numerous assessment techniques to identify, and evaluate hazards associated with the processes employed to produce the products customers desire. When the evaluations show the associated risk of a given process hazard to be above tolerance levels recommendations/actions are generated to help manage these risks. The sheer number and magnitude of the recommendations typically overwhelm the resources of most organizations. We are interested in receiving abstracts for papers that discuss: • Systems that track and mange the recommendations through their life cycle. • Methods of integration of recommendation priorities generated by a variety of assessment techniques to generate one master list. • The process of how recommendations are prioritized and selected for funding

Eliminating Difficult Start Ups with State Based Controls

Some processes are just difficult to start up. Every year, significant production is lost due to start up delays, product quality issues after startup, mistakes or gaps in operator expertise and other reasons. In fact, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board has estimated that the total loss due to operator error is $10B per year. In addition, because 70% of process incidents occur during start-up and shutdowns, safety can also be positively impacted by automating the process start-up. Process start-ups can be completely automated and places the operator in supervisory mode approving the continuation of the process at specific intervals. The automation of start-up allows every start up to be exactly the same, no matter which operator is at the controls. The automation eliminates potential errors and overshoots which preserves the integrity of the startup and eliminates most recycle, purges, safety trips and lost production.

Using state based controls has cut average start-up time by a substantial amount, some as much as 50% or more. This is accomplished by streamlining the process and using the logic tools for automation. Automated start-up improves profitability and enhances flexibility of the process. Project ROI estimates show that the project typically pays for itself in about 3 months.


Good luck to all ISA members who are presenting there! Make sure you try to find each other there…

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