Best ISA Webinars of 2017

Best ISA Webinars of 2017

This 2017 webinar roundup was edited by Joel Don, ISA’s community manager.

 

As 2017 comes to a close, we surveyed the year’s lineup of educational webinars to select five of the most popular presentations co-hosted with ISA’s partners. Scroll down and enjoy this roundup of “best of the best” webinars.

Large Project Execution – A Better Way

There are many challenges to effectively executing automation scope as overall project size grows to $100 million and beyond. Interfaces between various stakeholders and proper distribution of work become critical to define and manage properly. The traditional model of sole-sourcing an EPC to handle everything, including the automation scope, has inherent weaknesses that can be mitigated by an alternate approach. Join us as we review common problems with executing automation scope in large projects and present solutions proven to be effective.

Cybersecurity for Control Systems in Process Automation

Attacks to your production system may happen at any time and at any level – from outside as well as from inside. Which concepts and measures exist to protect your assets efficiently from software attacks? The ISA99 standards development committee brings together industrial cybersecurity experts from across the globe to develop the ISA-62443 (IEC 62443) standards on industrial automation and control systems security. German-based Siemens AG is a leading provider of automation equipment, global manufacturing company with close to 300 factories and provider of Industrial Security Services. In this webinar, ISA99 Committee Co-Chair Eric Cosman and Siemens Plant Security Services PSSO Robert Thompson will present the current threat landscape and key steps you can take to protect your critical assets in the production environment.

How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes in Field Calibration

Field process calibration isn’t just about getting the job done, it’s about getting the job done right. It’s cliché, but true. Instrument calibration requires the proper process, tools and parameters for each instrument application to ensure valid results. If one of the three are lacking, your results could have little validity. In this webinar, experts will expose the most easy-to-make mistakes and how to avoid them, so you can be confident in your calibration results.

Unlocking the Truth Behind Alarm Management Metrics

Alarm Management is a well understood process, supported by global standards and operating best practices. But ultimately, the process of Alarm Management goes beyond Alarm Benchmarking and KPI Reporting. To drive alarm system improvement, action is required. So, what action should you take? What are the metrics really telling you about how your plant is operating? In this joint presentation, Honeywell’s Global Alarm Management Product Director Tyron Vardy and Manufacturing Technology Fellow Nicholas Sands unlock the truth behind your plant’s alarm management metrics.

Protecting Cyber Assets and Manifest Destiny from the Industrial Internet of Threats

During the 1800s, settlers saw it as their “Manifest Destiny” to settle the American West; but, found their lands under attack by the cattlemen surrounding them. The Manifest Destiny of industrial process and power generation companies is under similar assault. Bands of outlaws, or hackers, are cutting down perimeter-based defenses and successfully infiltrating process control networks (PCN). They are aided by growing attack surfaces created by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) adoption; it is why IIoT is often referred to as the Industrial Internet of Threats. These and other factors put the highly complex, proprietary, and heterogeneous cyber assets in the plant at risk. Watch this webinar to listen to a discussion on the current landscape of ICS cybersecurity solutions. We will share how ISA advises companies to proceed and discuss “gotchas” that can derail an ICS cybersecurity initiative.

 

 

How to Solve Common Problems with Industrial Alarm Systems

How to Solve Common Problems with Industrial Alarm Systems

This post was written by Donald G. Dunn, CAP is director, engineering, of the Phillips 66 Amarillo Division, and Nicholas P. Sands, CAP, P.E., is an ISA fellow, the ISA vice president of standards and practices, and a process control engineer working in DuPont’s Kevlar and Nomex businesses.

If you work in a plant that processes oil, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, power, water, wastewater, or food, you probably have problems with alarms on the automation system. In fact, you probably have the same problems that most other users have. The bad news is that it turns out that the common problems of alarm management are very common indeed, and they contribute to safety incidents, off-quality production, and plant shutdowns.

The good news is that there are common solutions to the common problems. The solutions take significant effort, but they work. There are many plants across all those industries that manage their alarm systems to minimize the common problems and the negative impacts. In those plants, the alarm system is a powerful aid to the operator, indicating the right time to take the right action to prevent an undesired consequence.

 

Let’s examine seven of these problems, their impact, and their solutions.

1) Too many alarms

The most common problem with the alarm system is too many alarms. Too many alarms can overwhelm the operator. This can lead to undesired consequences if the alarms are real indications of abnormal conditions requiring a response. If the alarms are not, then they will desensitize the operator to alarms and cause an undesired consequence when a real alarm occurs. This is not hype. It really happens.

The best measurement for this problem is the average alarm rate, or the number of alarms annunciated per operator console per unit time, averaged over the reporting period. A frequently used form is the average alarms per hour per operator over a month period. The metric is per operator or operator console, because the human limitations of the operator, at a sustained level over a shift, are the basis for the range of accepted values. Operator console is a term for a control room operator’s span of control or area of responsibility.

Figure 1: Alarm management life cycle

Fewer than six alarms per hour is very likely to be acceptable, whereas more than 12 alarms per hour is about the maximum manageable, and more than 30 alarms per hour is very likely to be too demanding. Not everyone agrees with these numbers, and the type of processes and complexity of operator response can affect them as well. Average alarm rates of more than 1000 alarms per hour have been reported, and everyone can agree that is not acceptable.

There are other metrics to provide alternate views of the problem of too many alarms, like the number of standing alarms and the percent time in flood.

There are many potential causes to the problem of too many alarms. Possible causes include chattering alarms (see #2) and alarms that do not require a response (see #3). The key is to measure the average alarm rate to know when it indicates a problem. Please do not add an alarm for high average alarm rate, though. This is a performance metric and is more useful over a period of time than as an instantaneous snapshot.

The ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009, Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries, standard requires monitoring the alarm system so that an assessment can be made if the system is performing well or poorly. Of course how the process performs plays a big role in the alarm system performance. Ideally the alarm system only indicates abnormal conditions in the process so that the operator can respond. A system with too many alarms may not be a reliable aid for the operator to prevent undesired consequences.

2) Chattering alarms

One of the biggest contributors to problem number one is chattering alarms. Chattering alarms really desensitize the operator and are the quintessential nuisance alarms. If you have ever seen an operator acknowledge an alarm with his or her back to the console, it was likely a chattering alarm.

The measurement for this problem is the number of times an alarm is annunciated twice to the operator less than a time interval apart (often 60 seconds is used). The alarm goes through a repeating cycle of alarm – return to normal – alarm. A cluster is the group of alarms before the chatter cycle is broken, and the cluster size is the number of alarms in a cluster. Chattering alarm counts of more than 100,000 per day have been reported, which at some point become essentially one cluster.

Assuming for the sake of argument that the alarm is needed (see #3) and the alarm set point is correct, chattering alarms are often caused by alarm design issues, though instrument maintenance is also a frequent cause. Part of alarm design is the selection of the alarm attributes to prevent chattering: deadband, on-delay, off-delay. On-delay delays the alarm annunciation, where deadband and off-delay delay the alarm return to normal. This selection is sometimes included in alarm rationalization.

Applying an alarm deadband of 1 percent or off-delay of 5 seconds dramatically reduces chattering. Adding an off-delay of 60 seconds converts a full cluster of chattering alarms to a single alarm.

As part of the continuing evolution of ISA-18.2, a series of ISA18 technical reports (TRs) is being developed to help alarm management practitioners put the requirements and recommendations of ISA-18.2 into practice. If you are interested in contributing your knowledge and experience to the TR development effort—and in gaining from the knowledge and experience of your professional colleagues at the same time — contact ISA18 co-chairs Nicholas Sands or Donald Dunn.

3) Alarms that do not require a response

It seems to be a common problem that alarms are used to make operators “aware” of conditions. This misconception is based on the assumption that the alarm function is the only method of communication between the automation system and the operator. The result is further desensitization of the operator to alarms. Using alarms for awareness, though a common practice, violates the definition of alarm. An alarm is an audible and/or visible means of indicating to the operator an equipment malfunction, process deviation, or abnormal condition requiring a response.

This is a difficult problem to measure. The best measure, after completing the time-consuming activity of rationalization, is the number of alarms that did not require a response and were removed. It is not uncommon to remove 50 percent of alarms during rationalization. This is not to say the objective of rationalization is to remove alarms. The objective is to make sure you have the right alarms, at the right set point, with the right priority, and with the right documentation to train the operators.

Rationalization may designate some indications, not as alarms, but as alerts. Alerts are indicated on a different list from alarms, separating the “important” from the “urgent and important.” Alert is defined as audible and/or visible means of indicating to the operator an equipment or process condition that requires awareness and which does not meet the criteria for an alarm.

Another common cause for this problem is alarms that stay in alarm for extended periods (see #4).

4) Alarms that stay in alarm

The alarm summary may be filled with stale alarms, or alarms that remain in alarm more than 24 hours. These may be alarms that do not require a response (see #3) or alarms that once did require a response, but the response is no longer needed. These alarms clutter the alarm summary and desensitize the operator. Although some people may disagree, stale alarms are by definition considered nuisance alarms.

The measurement of stale alarms is easy: the number of alarms annunciated (on the alarm summary) over 24 hours. Stale alarms as old as 13 years in alarm have been reported. Certainly that alarm was not needed.

Two common causes for stale alarms are control system configuration practices and lax management of change. One survey of stale alarms found approximately 30 percent were on equipment that was not operating because it was not needed at the time. For example, the basic configuration practices created an alarm that a pump was not running—even when the pump was intentionally not running. Good basic configuration practices prevent many alarms.

A second cause for stale alarms is poor management of change. When equipment is removed from the field, the alarms should be removed from the control system, or at least decommissioned, as part of the management of change process. It is not uncommon to find alarms at the bottom of the alarm summary for equipment that was removed years ago.

5) Alarms with the wrong priority

Many alarms have the wrong priority assigned, which makes priority less meaningful for the operator, and potentially meaningless. This can lead to the wrong choice of action when multiple alarms occur. It is worth noting that for batch processes (ISA-TR18.2.6-2012), alarm priority often needs to change from process step to step, so that if a single priority is specified for an alarm during rationalization, it is likely that the priority will be OK for some process steps but not others.

Measuring this problem also occurs only after rationalization. A consistent method of prioritization based on consequence severity and time to respond can radically change the alarm priorities. In some cases, 80 percent of the alarm priorities have been changed, mostly to a lower priority.

Priority should be based on how urgent it is for the operator to take action. This is often not the case. And at many sites, no consistent system was used to assign priority. It was often left to the discretion of the process or control engineer. There was a pervasive approach to priority, actually hard coded in some control systems, that the further the process variable was from the normal range, the higher the priority assigned to the alarm. This is based on the wrong consequences. Alarm priority should be based on the operator-preventable consequence, the difference in consequence between scenarios where the operator does and does not respond.

A common mistake is to evaluate the operator-preventable consequence using the same methods as a process hazards analysis (PHA). There are three significant differences between evaluating the consequences in rationalization versus PHA:

  • Mitigated versus unmitigated: The PHA looks for the consequence with no safeguards or layers of protection. In rationalization, all the layers of protection work, or there are specific alarms to identify the failures. For example, in rationalization the safety interlocks are assumed to work. Otherwise the consequences for which the safety interlock was specifically designed are assigned as the operator-preventable consequence.
  • Proximate versus ultimate: The PHA looks for the ultimate consequence from a chain of events. In rationalization, the consequence of inaction leads only to the next step in the chain of events, and not the ultimate consequence. For example, a high-level alarm may provide a chance for the operator to respond to prevent a trip of the high-level interlock. The consequence of inaction is that the interlock will trip, and not that the tank will overflow because the interlock fails.
  • Probable versus possible: The PHA rightly looks for unlikely events that may cause catastrophic consequences, once every thousand years or more. Rationalization should focus on the probable causes and probable consequences. The list should be short and clear to train the operator on what actually happens in a plant every day. Troubleshooting should not start with the least likely cause for a problem, but the most likely.

It makes an amazing difference when the alarm priority is consistent and based on the urgency of the operator action.

6) Uncontrolled alarm suppression

Often uncontrolled alarm suppression is discovered when the undesired consequence occurs, because there was no alarm to spur the operator to action. There are better ways to find this problem.

The measurement for uncontrolled alarm suppression has two parts: measurement of supposedly controlled shelving of alarms, and measurement of alarms taken out of service without authorization. There are three types of shelving defined by ISA-18.2, which, to paraphrase, are:

  • Designed suppression: The engineering controls of designed logic control the suppression and unsuppression of alarms.
  • Shelving: An operator suppresses alarms, and engineering controls in the shelving system control the unsuppression of alarms.
  • Out-of-service: The administrative controls are used to control the suppression and unsuppression of alarms.

Both shelving and out-of-service can be misused. Shelving should not be used without a monitoring system that reports the most shelved alarms, which should be reviewed for potential changes. Out-of-service alarms can be suppressed for years without resolving the issues, which are typically instrument related. This form of suppression should also be monitored and reviewed to prevent abuse.

7) Operator not trained on alarm response

Another problem that is difficult to measure is the number of alarms for which the operator, any operator who is supposed to respond to the alarm, does not know the action to take in response. This leads to the undesired consequence the alarm was designed to prevent, because the correct action was not taken.

Alarms exist only to prompt the operator to take corrective action. If there was no operator, there would be no alarms. For the alarm function to work, the operator has to take the corrective action. That action must be known or quickly available to reference. Alarms implemented without rationalization or operator training often cause this problem. Measuring the problem is possible by reviewing the operator training program, and it is not surprising that improving the training program is the solution.

The rationalization process captures the key information for operator training, including:

  • the probable cause of the alarm
  • the corrective action to take in response to the alarm
  • the consequence that occurs if no action is taken

This information is sometimes called the alarm response procedure.

Alarm management

This is not an exhaustive list of the problems with alarm systems, but these seven are some of the most common. Breaking down each problem shows how it can be measured and solved. It is no accident that the solutions are all activities in the ISA-18.2 alarm management life cycle.

Rationalization, design, monitoring and assessment, operation, which includes training and control of suppression, and management of change are some of the key activities of alarm management. Through these activities, and the rest of the life cycle, the common problems of alarm systems can be minimized, and the alarm system can be the aid to the operator we all wish it was.

About the Authors:
Donald G. Dunn, CAP is director, engineering, of the Phillips 66 Amarillo Division, with 24 years of industry experience, and past ISA vice president of standards and practices. Dunn has a B.S. in electrical engineering from Prairie View A&M. He is currently a senior member of the IEEE and ISA. In addition, he is the co-chairman of ISA standards committee ISA18, which authored the first industry standard on alarm management, and is the convener of IEC 62682 – Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries.

Connect with Donald:
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Nicholas P. Sands, CAP, P.E., is an ISA fellow, the ISA vice president of standards and practices, and a process control engineer working in DuPont’s Kevlar and Nomex businesses. Sands is co-chair of ISA standards and practices committee ISA18 working on alarm management, secretary for the IEC 62682 committee, and was involved in the development of the certified automation professional program. Sands’ path to instrumentation and control started when he earned his B.S. in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech.

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A version of this article originally was published at InTech magazine.

The Importance of Auditing the Alarm Management System

The Importance of Auditing the Alarm Management System

This excerpt is from the November/December 2014 issue of InTech magazine and was written by Ram Viswanathan, lead technical specialist at Honeywell Process Solutions in Brisbane, Australia.

Alarm management practices have been in place in the process industries for many decades. With the ongoing developments in the various international standards, such as ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009, and recommended practices such as American Petroleum Institute (API) RP 1167, alarm ND-WE1-fig-2management has gained greater importance.

The alarm management process life cycle consists of the alarm philosophy, design and implementation, monitoring, managing change, assessment, and the audit for improvement that reflects the familiar continual improvement practices in industries. While alarm performance monitoring measures alarm performance, the periodic audit ensures adequate management and work practices.

The essence of continuous improvement as dictated by the Deming cycle is in the “plan, do, check, and act” (PDCA) processes. The alarm management specification in the process industries can be well aligned with the PDCA cycle, as referenced by the ISO 9000 quality management

Figure 1. ISO 9000 and ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009

Figure 1. ISO 9000 and ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009

principles. The ISO 9001 family of standards provides guidance and tools for companies and organizations to meet customer requirements and to improve the quality of products and services, and the requirements of alarm management standards are no different (figure 1).

By following specific auditing guidelines as per ISA-TR18.2.5-2012 (technical report) and API RP 1167 Section 10, the efficiency and effectiveness of the established system can be reviewed and improved. This article discusses the importance of the audit and the stages when it can be conducted.

Alarm management evolution

From the initial days developing Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association (EEMUA) guidelines to the development of the ANSI/ISA-18.2 standard, alarm management processes have had a kind of evolution. To improve the evolution cycle, audit and continuous improvement must be the current focus of activity.

User requirements generally guide the evolution of systems, and alarm management is no different. Although the standards have developed from guidelines for annunciation and sequences, the systems have developed from the distributed control system to a more futuristic approach to managing alarms.

Some of the futuristic practical applications of alarm management include advanced mathematical approaches like the fault diagnosis method based on artificial immune systems and dynamic alarm management based on Bayesian estimation. The integration of the two creates mechanisms to dynamically alter the alarm parameters for managing an abnormal situation. The crystal ball for alarm management shows the predictable future of alarm management developing further in data analytics and predictive processing.

Alarm system and alarm system management

The alarm system is a collection of hardware and software that detects an alarm state, communicates that state to the operator, records changes in the alarm state, and monitors the system. Process control systems have built-in alarm systems to perform most of these activities. Additionally, advanced alarm management software complements basic systems with reporting features, alarm management of change process, and intelligent alarming techniques. It is also an external repository for alarms.

But alarm system management is the processes and practices for determining, documenting, designing, operating, monitoring, and maintaining alarm systems. This is guided generally by standards such as ANSI/ISA-18.2, and practices and guidelines from API, NAMUR and others.

The implementation of systems and processes themselves is not sufficient to achieve the alarm objectives; they have to be supported by an effective audit process.

Why audit?

Alarm management is the commitment operating companies make to stakeholders that safety is a critical focus of the operation and that they have the necessary steps to ensure that the mismanagement of the alarms will not be the primary reason for any abnormal situation. The Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium estimates that operation practices lead to costs of 3–8 percent of plant capacity due to unexpected events, resulting in substantial losses in production across the process industries.

As a result, individual operating sites could define the alarm system benefit as a measure of:

  • Reduction in the number of equipment safety incidents
  • Reduction in production loss time from improved abnormal situation management

Proper implementation of the alarm system management process has the following direct benefits:

  • Effective operator role in managing the process
  • Consistent, predictable operator action during abnormal situations
  • Systematic approach to resolving process problems from data analysis
  • Consistent engineering of the solution through the alarm configuration

The key component of operator effectiveness in the process industries is managing alarms. Hence the implementation of any system or process should directly or indirectly influence the operator to derive total benefit.

Earlier articles referred to achieving alarm management as a journey and highlighted the path to take and the importance of establishing the journey map. Creating an audit process ensures that the path is effective and efficient.

The audit results with the objective evidence of the total benefits should be shared with operators so that they gain confidence in and continue to use the system.

Click here to read Ram Viswanathan’s complete article on alarm management at InTech magazine.

About the Author
Ram Viswanathan, lead technical specialist at Honeywell Process Solutions, has been working with different industries for the past 27 years. He is a senior member of ISA and has been working with production operations on the improvement of control room operator effectiveness. Ram also has helped provide input from Australia to IEC TC65/SC65A/WG15 in the development of IEC 62682: Management of alarms for the process industry.

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Webinar Recording: Best Practices for Alarm Management

Webinar Recording: Best Practices for Alarm Management

Watch this recording of an ISA co-hosted webinar on alarm management, featuring industry experts Bill R. Hollifield and Paul Berwanger.

Learn how to whip your alarm system into shape. Two of the industry’s top alarm management experts share their insights – real engineers presenting real solutions and real results.

Topics include:

  • Approaches for new and existing systems
  • Seven steps to a highly effective alarm system
  • Alarm management justification
  • An overview of ISA-18.2, the alarm management standard

 

Meet the Webinar Presenters:

Bill R. HollifieldBill R. Hollifield is principal alarm management and HMI consultant at PAS

 

 

Paul J. BerwangerPaul Berwanger is principal abnormal situation management consultant and project manager at MAVERICK Technologies

 

 

 

 

 

Automation Career Tip: Too Many Alarms Can Be Worse Than None at All

Automation Career Tip: Too Many Alarms Can Be Worse Than None at All

The following tip is from the ISA book by Greg McMillan and Hunter Vegas titled 101 Tips for a Successful Automation Career, inspired by the ISA Mentor Program. This is Tip #21.

101 Tips for a Successful Automation CareerAt one time, I worked in a large continuous process plant that had alarms coming in constantly. The operators could hit the “Silence” button in their sleep. We had a case where a process flow was accidently diverted to the wrong tank, and it eventually filled and overflowed the tank. Even though the tank had redundant level transmitters and we had one of the more alert panelboard operators on shift, the rising level was not noticed until the tank overflowed and was noticed by a field operator. The panelboard operator had silenced two high alarms, two hi-hi alarms, two “over” alarms, and two range alarms over the course of two hours but had failed to recognize that there was a problem.

Concept: Enable alarms on instruments that matter and on process non-conformances that the operator can do something about. Having alarms for the sake of having alarms only ensures that ALL alarms will be ignored—even the ones that matter.

Details: Alarm management has become all the rage lately, and with good reason. The proliferation of instrumentation busses has provided access to a plethora of information, and because everything is now typically alarmed, the operators are being buried under a barrage of alarms. When faced with a constant stream of annunciation, most operators quickly become numb and increasingly just hit “Silence.” Critical alarms are lost in the noise and are routinely missed.

Ironically, there was an advantage to the relay annunciator panels built into the old control room panelboards. There were only so many points available, so only the critical alarms made the list. With the advent of computers, EVERYTHING can be alarmed, and unfortunately that is exactly what happens.

An engineer has several ways to address this problem, and many books have been written on the subject. Addressing this expansive topic in a few pages is not possible, but here is a brief list of suggestions that can help reduce the problem of too many alarms.

• Enable alarms on instruments that matter.
• If an operator cannot do something to resolve the situation, there is no point in alarming it.
• Program “smart” alarms. Automatically disable alarms on out-of-service equipment. Add conditional logic that generates a common alarm when a piece of equipment trips rather than generating 10 or 15 alarms that essentially indicate the same condition. (For instance, if a boiler trips it makes little sense to alarm the trip, low gas flow, low gas pressure, low air flow, etc.) One piece of information that IS useful, however, is “first out” trip information. Many operators use the alarm list to determine what tripped the equipment. If the first out information can be indicated on a graphic, the operators do not need to see the individual alarms.
• Segregate the alarms and deliver the information to the appropriate audience. The operators do not need to see most calibration and/or maintenance alarms, but the maintenance department does. Generate an alarm report to Maintenance, but just indicate a possible problem to the operator so he or she can be aware of it.
• Change from alarms to indicators. If a process is running out of spec but not in a critical range, then it may make more sense to indicate this condition as a color change on the graphic instead of than firing an alarm that must be acknowledged.
• Monitor alarms and routinely eliminate “bad actors.” In most cases, a large percentage of alarms is created by a handful of points. An occasional review of the most active alarms will allow the plant to identify these points and modify the programming to reduce their frequency or address their cause. Doing this can dramatically reduce the total alarm count without requiring much effort.

Watch-Outs: Many control systems default to having all the alarms enabled. On a new system, it may make more sense to enable none of the alarms initially and add them back as necessary.

Exceptions: Some plants do not allow the operators to suppress alarms because they are concerned that critical alarms will be turned off and never restored. One solution to this problem is to allow operators the ability to suppress alarms, but program the alarms to automatically restore after some appropriate period of time. In this way, a broken instrument can be silenced for a shift while repairs are made.

Insight: One plant only enabled setpoint alarms when a controller was in automatic. (Such alarms annunciate when the process variable is beyond the allowable range around the current setpoint.) High and low alarms were not enabled unless the controller was in manual. This method provided increased alarming when a loop was in manual but did not generate alarms on a point in automatic unless it deviated too far from setpoint.

Rule of Thumb: Alarm management is a never ending effort. Routinely review the plant’s alarm list, and try to eliminate or address points that appear too often. When configuring new systems, include some means of smart alarm management into the design.

 

Hunter Vegas

About the Author
Hunter Vegas, P.E., holds a B.S.E.E. degree from Tulane University and an M.B.A. from Wake Forest University. His job titles have included instrument engineer, production engineer, instrumentation group leader, principal automation engineer, and unit production manager. In 2001, he joined Avid Solutions, Inc., as an engineering manager and lead project engineer, where he works today. Vegas has executed nearly 2,000 instrumentation and control projects over his career, with budgets ranging from a few thousand to millions of dollars. He is proficient in field instrumentation sizing and selection, safety interlock design, electrical design, advanced control strategy, and numerous control system hardware and software platforms.

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