Process analyzers have been around for some time, but its getting harder to find talented personnel who know how to use and integrate them with automation systems across different industries including oil and gas, life sciences and more.
ControlGlobal provided a detailed history of analyzers in process automation back in a February issue. They talked with Paul Pulicken who is in charge of analyzer technology at BP’s Texas City Refinery as to what the major challenges are when it comes to analyzer technology:
The No. 1 challenge, Pulicken’s experience shows, has been presenting a representative sample to the analyzer. This is a problem, not only in the sample system’s fundamental design, but also in its continuing maintenance. Much effort is currently directed at standardizing and rationalizing sample system design and component interfacing, and assuring integrated data flow for sample-system troubleshooting and optimization. Traditionally, this activity has been long on experience and ad hoc decision-making, which leaves operating management vulnerable to key personnel reassignments.
Challenge No. 2 is the shortage of qualified project engineers and managers who have sufficient experience with modern analyzers. This situation often shortchanges the analyzer’s value as a provider of key process performance measures.
The third challenge is the lack of analyzer knowledge at the plant operations level. This usually translates to less-than-optimum use of analyzer data, as well as slower response to impending maintenance issues. These three chief challenges don’t even include instrument problems.
Fortunately, in ISA we have members who know the ins and outs when it comes to process analyzers and integrating them into automation systems for real time control.
But even more recently, we got our hands on a few PowerPoint presentations that were given at 57th Symposium for the Analysis Division held in Anaheim this past April.
The first PPT illustrates how to integrate analyzers in a life sciences facility.
Integrating Analyzers with Automation Systems for Real time Control in Life Sciences