Archive of Asset Effectiveness - MAVERICK Rethinking Automation

Who Will Be In Your Control Room In 2016?

Posted by Bill Tolrud on December 5, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

Control SystemsTake a look at the people in your control room: you probably see a lot of gray hair. How many of those individuals are still going to be there in another three or five years? To answer this question, we need to look at the retirement rate of the baby boomers that are now between the ages of 55 to 65. On January 1, 2011, the first baby boomers turned 65. According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, dated January 30, 2008, the retirement of baby boomers will affect the overall economy and our industries until the year 2020. The industries affected most will be those that have been part of the structure of the U.S. industry buildup: steel and primary m...

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More Than A Story, A Process Narrative Can Define Your Next Automation Project

Posted by Jason Montroy on November 27, 2012 @ 10:55 am

I recently sat down with an automation manager responsible for a subsection of a large manufacturing business. His company is embarking on an effort to standardize the use of process control narratives for all automation projects. To my surprise, the concept of process narratives was new to him. He didn't understand their purpose. But he was intrigued and asked many good questions I was happy to answer.

What is a process narrative? MAVERICK_Blog_Automation

Simply put, a process control narrative is a written description of a manufacturing process that d...

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Fine-Tuning Your Alarm Management System

Posted by Bruce Brandt on June 5, 2012 @ 10:45 am

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, alarm management has moved once again into the forefront for many companies as they ask: “What is the best way to keep an operator from missing a key alarm when things start to go wrong? What are the obstacles to having an effective alarm management system?” In my experience, the decision to have, or not have, an alarm is more often cultural than it is based on a good operational analysis of the process. That’s why the alarm rationalization process is so necessary and beneficial. It strips away the cultural, “I want the operator to know about…” and replaces it with, “This is the most important thing the operator has to do.” Many plant personnel do not appreciate just how significant this change is. Almost from the introduction of the DCS, its ability to generate more alarms than a human can effectively deal with was not ap...

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Key Safety Metrics

Posted by Gene Niewoehner on January 18, 2012 @ 11:19 am

You can tell a lot about a company, by taking a quick look at their annual report and website. In today’s economy, it’s the results that count — that’s easy to understand —but leading companies take a more holistic approach to measuring safety. If you can only find results or lagging measures, look elsewhere; the lagging measures are functionally useless when it comes to evaluating a company’s future success. Instead, look for companies that provide results along with proactive or leading measures. When you find one, you’ve likely found a company known for its product or service quality, customer service, productivity and financial success. There are many ways to measure success, but I believe quality, service, productivity, financial, and environmental, health and safety are all linked through a company’s systems and culture. Break one link, and the company will exper...

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Some Ideas for Quality Management

Posted by John Clemons on January 10, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

Everybody talks about quality. It’s job number one. It’s what drives the company. And so on. But when it comes to manufacturing, what does that really mean? In most cases with manufacturing and the shop floor, it can mean a lot of things — probably way too many things. It’s easy to get confused, and by trying to do too many different things on the quality front, you can become your own worst enemy. On the other hand, the many different ways to approach quality on the shop floor can be a good thing. You have a lot of options, and, they’re all good ones. The key is to pick the options that make sense for you and your manufacturing environment. If you try too many, you’re sunk. But, if you pick a couple of the right options, you really can have a big impact on quality on your shop floor. So, here are some options for you to consider, tools for you to use and ideas to get y...

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