Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WBF 2010 Conference

I’ve spent the last few days in Austin attending the WBF 2010 Conference. This is my 4th WBF Conference, and my first impressions were is was a shame there were not more folks in attendance and the imbalance between suppliers (vendors and integrators) and end users. The economy is still taking its toll, and that’s too bad, considering the standard and guideline development used throughout the continuous, batch, and discrete manufacturing industries happens because of the WBF and ISA. I hope the WBF will make the presentations available to everyone on their web site.

The content was excellent, and covered the spectrum from S88 implementation suggestions to full blown S95 factory floor to ERP solutions. There was a lot of conversation about the ISA 106 standard, which covers procedures for automating continuous processes. After you re-read that last sentence and think I’ve eaten too much brisket (BTW, you can never eat too much brisket), what 106 is addressing are all those procedures that continuous processes rely on for making grade changes, distillation train start ups, etc. Right now it’s all in the heads of senior operators (and probably no two do it the same way), and oh yeah, those operators are retiring in droves. We’ve almost come full circle with 106 from the early days of S88.

Both days keynote speakers (Dr. Tom Edger of the University of Texas and Dr. J. Patrick Kennedy, founder of OSIsoft), talked about our upcoming energy challenges from a controls point of view. And since both are Kansas grads, they know what they’re talking about.

Of course I had a special interest in the presentation on Batch Analytics given by Bob Wojewodka of Lubrizol and Dawn Marruchella of Emerson. They described the results of the real time batch analytics field trial at a Lubrizol facility in France. Even the moderator of the session was impressed – he told us that when he goes home tonight and his son asks him what he heard today, he’ll be able to tell him about Dynamic Time Warping. His son will think he’s cool.

And after a couple of grueling days, it was nice to take in a ball game at the Dell Diamond with Todd Maras of Emerson. It was a great night in central Texas.

Friday, May 14, 2010

2010 UGOC Wrap Up

Well, it’s been a busy couple of days at the 2010 User Group of the Carolinas. We had a pretty packed house and several of the presentations were standing room only. Mark Moore, our Site Services manager, gave a great talk on the comparisons between the XP/Server2003 platform and Windows 7/Server 2008, as DeltaV version 11 moves to the new OS.

The Emerson trio of Mike Lewis, Al Lee, and Gordon Lawther presented on Emerson and DeltaV’s forward direction and an in-depth look at the cost benefits of electronic marshalling – very CHARMing.

And what would a UGOC be without door prizes and food? I’ve struggled to accept the Carolina version of BBQ (everyone knows true BBQ is beef brisket), but I have to admit the pulled pork we had last night was some of the best I’ve ever eaten.

Copies of all the presentations should be up next week at In the mean time, enjoy some more snapshots:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

UGOC, 2010 Version

Final touches were being made this evening for the 2010 version of RE Mason’s User Group of the Carolinas (UGOC), which starts tomorrow afternoon and runs through Friday, May 14th. Over 100 participants from throughout the Carolinas have registered for this year’s event, which will include dozens of exhibitors, 6 separate tracks, and 30 presentations.

My buddy Al Lee was busy setting up “The Wall” (Pink Floyd fans, remain calm), showcasing the latest and greatest goodies from Emerson, including version 11 DeltaV. Not to be outdone, our Hatteras demo room is all spit polished and ready to show off our REM Services initiatives, including SAP integration, S95 level 3 integration with Syncade, and a variety of wireless and smart instrumentation.

Check back here over the next few days as for updates and more photos.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

S Series Up and Running

Got my CHARMS and CIOCs, Mark powered it all up and now I've got blinking lights.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Alarm Response Procedures - Alarm Help on Steroids

I’ve written lately about the new Alarm Help feature in DeltaV V11. But what if you need more? What if you need to control, from a regulatory point of view, that only the current, effective version of an SOP is used to respond to an alarm condition? What if you need to include drawings or pictures as part of your alarm help information?

Follow the link at the bottom of this post to check out my Alarm Response Procedure integration video. It shows how an alarm generated within DeltaV causes an ARP button to appear on a module faceplate. Clicking on the button launches an IE window to the DCA application of Syncade where the specific SOP is called up in Kiosk mode.

The video can be found on my YouTube site at