Choosing to virtualize your control systems

Posted by John Boyd on February 26, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

As we review our current facility control systems status we contemplate whether virtualizing part of or all of our control server/workstation environment is possible.

As we review our current facility control systems status we contemplate whether virtualizing part of or all of our control server/workstation environment is possible. With the looming concern of the retirement of Windows XP and the discontinued support from Microsoft after April 2014, virtualization of those legacy workstations will allow a more controlled migration to new operating systems and software platforms.
I’ve seen an uptick in requests from customers on whether to virtualize or continue with a physical server environment in their new control systems. A lot of the drive behind the customer’s request is the increased interaction with the customer’s IT organizations and their control syste... Continue Reading

Continue ReadingView Comments (1)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Tags:

New ideas for quality management: Part 1

Posted by John Clemons on February 20, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

Manufacturing quality tests in the lab can take time, causing a delay in production. Consider rapid testing with operators to deliver prompt feedback and make necessary adjustments sooner.

OK – that title sounds a little grandiose, like I’ve come up with some brilliant new ideas that no one has ever thought of before. These ideas aren’t necessarily new (or even that brilliant); they’re really more like practical common sense. But, they can have a huge impact on manufacturing quality management and can really make things on the shop floor a whole lot better when it comes to managing quality. What I’m talking about here is the way that manufacturing quality tests and checks are performed, and the way that the results of those tests are then fed back into the manufacturing processes. Let me start with some compare and contrast ideas to get this discussion going. ... Continue Reading

Continue ReadingLeave a Comment
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Tags:

‘Best practices,’ according to who?

Posted by Bruce Brandt on February 14, 2014 @ 10:54 am

While many best practices are based off of decades of experience there are many who don’t follow them for their own reasons.

In my role here at Maverick I’m often asked about best practices, and I’m expected to drive the use of them by our employees. The problem with that is the assumption that best practices are universally accepted as being truly the best, yet I’ve repeatedly run into situations where the best practice I offer up is met with either skepticism or the old “we tried that and it didn’t work here.” The former is easier to address since I can usually offer the names of contacts where it proved itself out. The latter is much harder to overcome. I spent quite a few years working in the utility power industry, which was very much a mature technology when I started. There were many best practices that had come about through decades of experiences, yet ... Continue Reading

Continue ReadingLeave a Comment
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Tags:

Understanding time current curves: Part 3

Posted by David Paul on February 13, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

The final installment of a three-part series about time current curves (TCCs) reviews the coordination of sample curves and the importance of coordination.

Continued from Part 2… Now that the basics of TCCs have been explained, a review of coordination is in order. Our sample curves to coordinate will consist of an MCC with main 800-A fuses, a 1,200-A feeder circuit breaker and the switchgear 3,200-A main circuit breaker. In the uncoordinated system there is overlap of the circuit breaker trip curves, and in some instances the main circuit breaker will trip before the feeder circuit breaker. The main fuse in the MCC is also uncoordinated. While the fuse is not required, it is included in this example because it is typical of an industrial installation. The purpose of the f... Continue Reading

Continue ReadingView Comments (2)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Tags:

Understanding time current curves: Part 2

Posted by David Paul on January 30, 2014 @ 9:17 am

The second installment of a three-part series about time current curves (TCCs) covers short and long time settings, including their purpose and examples of such overcurrents.

Continued from Part 1 The light blue curve represents the circuit breaker settings for the feeder circuit breaker. The lower portion of the curve (below 0.05 sec or three cycles on the time axis) is the instantaneous trip function. The purpose of the instantaneous trip is to trip the circuit breaker quickly with no intentional delay (no more than a few cycles) on high magnitude fault currents. This quick trip protects electrical distribution equipment from damage and keeps arc flash hazard categories low. Clearly these type faults must be interrupted quickly and do not al... Continue Reading

Continue ReadingView Comments (4)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Tags: