Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Be Careful What You Ask For...

Dawn Marruchella, DeltaV Batch Marketing Manger, sent me this user suggestions link for Emerson Process Management.  I thought I'd pass it along to everybody - http://www.userideas-emerson.com/

Monday, October 19, 2009

Surfin Safari

Here's just another reason to run out and get yourself an iPhone or iPod Touch:

A SharePoint dashboard insdie the Safari browser.  Or how about a SharePoint-based, web part enabled batch cycle time comparison screen:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

DeltaV in HD

In version 10.3 of DeltaV, Emerson included support for wide screen monitors. To protect customer’s investment in their 4:3 format displays, a migration utility is included in 10.3. This utility allows the user decide how best to make use of the extra real estate on the glass when using a 4:3 graphic on a 16:10 monitor.

16:10? Wait a minute, Bruce – you mean 16:9, right? No, for some reason the computer world decided that wide screen for PC’s should be different than wide screen for TV’s. I’m sure it was a very good reason (like most reasons you get from IT folks). So what you’re looking at is a 1680 x 1050 format. Now if you’re starting a brand new project on a brand new system, you can use the new 1680x1050 template to create all your displays.

Back to your 4:3 displays. When you run the utility, you have to specify whether to right, left, or center justify the 4:3 inside the 16:10. But to utilize the remaining space, you need to adjust the layout file. Layout files were introduced the same time quad head monitors were. Books Online is somewhat sparse in detailing how to modify the layout files, so here are some tips and tricks from Scott Thompson:

  • Layout files can be created for specific workstation names just like the Usersettings.grf files. Save the layout file with the name [workstation]_Picture.layout and it will only be applied to the matching workstation name. The workstation name restrictions are the same, so no dashes are allowed and use underscores with care as they tend to prevent customized user settings files from loading. You also won’t want to start a workstation name with a number even though DeltaV will allow it in DeltaV Explorer.
  • If you have any errors in your layout file the entire file will be skipped. If what you get isn’t even close to what you expected there is probably an error and the default layout file was used instead.

  • A custom layout file overrides settings that are common between the layout file and the user settings file. Since the layout file specifies initial graphics, toolbars and alarm banners the ones that load are those in the layout file, regardless of what is in the user settings file.

  • In a multi-monitor system the layout file can be used to change what monitor is used for what purpose. For example, in a quad-head system monitors are numbered 1 through 4 by the operating system. The default layout makes monitor 2 the primary display (behaves the same as a single monitor system) and monitor 3 the secondary display (behaves like the second monitor on a dual-head system). Monitors 1 and 4 are defined as “user” monitors and are pre-defined for alarm list and alarm filter graphics by default. To rearrange the monitor usage without changing cabling (some furniture makes it difficult to get to after everything is installed) you can change the [MonitorAllocation] section (commented out initially).

  • To add an additional picture to the layout definition you must make three changes. First, change the value of “Count.” This is the total number of pictures that are defined in the layout file. Don’t forget to decrease the value if you remove a picture. Second, add a “Picture#=” line that has the relative path to the graphic and graphic name without the extension. The base path is assumed to be the Pic folder of the workstation. Third, add a section that has the relative path and graphic name inside square brackets. This section will have entries for the screen, picture type, upper left corner position (X & Y coordinates), height and width.

  • Easy trip-up prevention tip – if you change the picture name in the “Picture#=” line, don’t forget to change the name farther down in the file where the name is in square brackets.

  • Picture height and width values don’t have to match the actual graphic that will be displayed. The graphic will stretch/shrink to fit the defined space reserved by the height and width numbers unless that functionality has been disabled for the graphic. This will require some testing to make sure all the displays you have defined or that may be switched to will appear correctly in the reserved area.
  • Picture widths may not be what you expect. On a test system at 1920x1080 resolution, the alarm banner and toolbar widths needed to be set to 1914 instead of 1920 to display without extending onto the other display. Test often and try making minimal changes between tests.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Going Bolding at Emerson Exchange 2009

I’ve known Terry Blevins for years and if I was only half as smart as he is, I’d be happy. Terry was manning the Advanced Process Control booth at Emerson Exchange and he was demonstrating something he’s been working on for 3 years now – Online Batch Process Analytics.

So for the first time in a process automation system, there’s a tool to monitor the quality and predict the endpoint of a batch based on a PCA/PLS developed model. He implemented a really cool technique call Dynamic Time Warping (beam me up, Scotty) which is based on logic used in voice recognition software to remove the time variation in batch to batch runs in developing the models.

Through a presentation layer making use of Microsoft Silverlight, operations and engineering personnel can then monitor, via Internet Explorer, the progression of a batch in real time and not only identify deviations, but quickly determine if the variations will effect the overall batch quality based of critical quality parameters.