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How Can Asset Management Strategies Improve Plant Efficiency?

For profitable operations in today’s power and process plants, it is vital to improve overall efficiency and lower costs. To accomplish these goals, operations and maintenance personnel need to respond quickly to potential problems. Operations and maintenance teams are now asked to do more than simply identify problems and fix equipment breakdowns – they are […]

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How to Achieve Process Simulation Fidelity

The best way to classify process simulators is to look at the original intent of the simulator software when it was first released, who the software developers were, who configures the models, and how the models are used. Simulators originally designed for system acceptance testing (SAT), operator training systems (OTS), and process control improvement (PCI) […]

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How Can Advanced Calibration Strategies Improve Control Performance?

One advanced method for calibration techniques is based on the concepts of “loop tuning” or “shooting the loop.” In some cases, it is best practice to perform individual instrument calibration to achieve maximum accuracy (e.g. custody transfer metering). However, there are viable methods where a loop can be tested end-to-end and if readings are within […]

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What’s the Best Way to Integrate Packaged Equipment into Plant SCADA Systems?

Integrating controls from an equipment supplier successfully within a plant supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system or distributed control system (DCS) requires communication on multiple levels. These include the process of design, mechanical fit up, and installation, as well as coordination to get the equipment to work in concert with the plant’s other control […]

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Why Engineers Should Foster Relationships with Vendors

Automation engineers spend a lot of money. Instruments and control systems are expensive and in many cases the project manager is entirely dependent on his or her automation engineers to select the best equipment for the job. The best automation engineers make every effort to keep abreast of the latest equipment offerings, but they can […]

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Setting the Future Direction for ISA at Executive Summit 2014

As I mentioned in last month’s article, one of our key goals this year is related to making sure that the Society – especially its leadership – is laser-focused on strategy. We are committed to developing strategic processes to help us identify strategic initiatives that will enhance the ISA value proposition, increase brand awareness, enhance our […]

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ISA Education Programs in March Feature Wide Offerings

Training and education classes, webinars, exam prep and online courses for March feature new programs such as the integrator version of the popular automation engineering survival training, a process automation boot camp for non-maintenance personnel and the Spanish-language version of the safety instrumented systems course. Over four consecutive weeks in March, ISA subject-matter experts will […]

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10 Pitfalls of DIY Control Systems

The debate over the virtues of the distributed control system (DCS) vs. the programmable logic controller (PLC) has been ongoing since these two architectures came into existence 40 years ago. But as functionality differences narrow and price points align, the arguments are getting more intense than ever. The DCS has always focused on distributing control […]

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Tip #87: Monitor the pH Offset to Determine the Health of a Reference Electrode

The reference electrode should provide a fixed reference potential and a path of electrical continuity from the internal reference element via a porous surface or aperture between the reference electrolyte and the process called a liquid junction. Coating of the reference junction can cause slow equilibration. Process ions, such as cyanide, can cause precipitation of […]

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How Do You Balance Connectivity with Security on the Plant Floor?

Manufacturing facilities increasingly are becoming reliant on network connectivity to improve operational efficiency.  Getting an internet connection on the plant floor without running it through the enterprise IT department is quick and it gets the job done – as long as the network is only connected when your equipment or software vendor is providing remote […]

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