Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Think Customer - Cell Phone Addition

This is somewhat off-topic from a strict process control sense, but a company named Asurion deserves a shout-out. Let me explain.

I have a 14 year old son who is on his second cell phone. When we replaced phone #1, the saleswoman at the Verizon store suggested we get the insurance plan on his phone. For something like $2 a month, we’d have the peace of mind of a $50 replacement program. Sure, what the heck. But the cynic in me thought “wait until they need to make good on this, the fine print will contain a loophole the size of Montana”.

Now fast forward almost a year. I come home from work one evening and there’re a long, sad face looking at me. Apparently, my son’s cell phone attempted to pull a Michael Phelps in the washing machine. And while now very clean, it was also very non-functional.

But wait – I have insurance! I went out to the Verizon web site and found the online link for submitting a claim. The link opened a new tab to the Asurion web site. Oh boy, passing the buck, this can’t be good.

Well I was dead wrong. The Asurion web site was the most intuitive and easy to use experience I have ever had online. It was obvious these guys had done their homework. And the spin cycle seems to be a common ELE (extinction level event) for cell phones.

And the best part? Even though I filled out the information at 7 pm, I got a confirmation email that the replacement phone was on its way for next day delivery! That’s think customer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Work Order Integration, the Sequel

Hollywood usually waits months if not years to come out with a sequel, especially when the first movie is a blockbuster. Now my DeltaV to SAP integration video won’t win an Oscar (maybe a Golden Globe or Duncan), but I wanted to get the companion video out quick.

The DeltaV to Maximo integration video isn’t as exciting the original, but what’s neat about it is that there’s no operator or technician intervention required when a HART or Foundation Fieldbus device alert is triggered. The work order is automatically generated in Maximo using AMS and Asset Portal.

Check it out at www.YouTube.com/AcmeBiotech or at the Process Automation Usability Project.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grab a Bucket of Popcorn...

I went ahead and setup a YouTube site - www.YouTube.com/AcmeBiotech

You can check out the first Work Order Request video - DeltaV to SAP integration.

Monday, December 14, 2009

One Stop Shopping

We’ve just finished putting together a couple of very compelling demos that really showcase the tight vertical integration that’s possible with DeltaV. I’ll describe them below, but I’ll be posting a couple of videos on the Process Automation Usability Project YouTube web site.

First, we configured a Rosemount HART temperature transmitter in DeltaV and enabled its device alerts. Since DeltaV and AMS Device Manager are fully integrated with each other, we only had to configure Asset Portal 3.2 and connect it, via a web service, to Maximo. The result? A device alert from a broken RTD wire automatically generates a work order in Maximo. No intervention required.

For the second demo, we simulated a drive fault in an AB Powerflex 70. When the alarm comes into the module in DeltaV, the operator can navigate to the detail display, determine the exact fault, and press the Create WO button.

The module then builds up a URL string and issues it to AMS Asset Portal 4.0 (powered by Meridium). A work order screen pops up, with many of the required fields already populated for the drive. The operator then enters some additional information and saves the work order request. Asset Portal then automatically transmits the request to SAP, which returns the WO number.

So why is this important? It demonstrates the power and simplicity of a single interface for operating and maintaining your plant. So now when you’re ready to start an order, DeltaV can check if the operator is trained, the equipment is clean, the instruments are calibrated, and there are no outstanding work orders. Just like going to Wal-Mart.