The value of field engineers

Posted by Mike Robb on June 18, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

A good field engineer can help improve the process controls based on knowledge and experience, potentially saving money by being able to quickly diagnose problems.

Have you ever worked on a process that was designed based on a computer simulation model? The model can be a very effective design tool to predict how mechanical systems will react with one another. These predications can then be used to help with the design process to allow you to make control philosophy changes and correct problem areas within the control scheme. The models are typically used to assist in the feasibility of large scale process control changes to validate a new control philosophy but can be an expensive investment. There are also limitations—the model can only account for the variables that you know, and the more variables that are present the longer the model will take to ... Continue Reading

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

PID math demystified, part 4

Posted by Scott Hayes on June 11, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

You’ve see the equations, but have you thought about how those elements work together? Part 4: Feed forward

In the first three blog posts (see Part 1Part 2, and Part 3) we covered the basics of PID math. We started with the basic proportional-only controller and worked in the integral and derivative components. Well before get too far, let’s review the proportional-only controller... Continue Reading

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

Growing recent graduates into controls engineers

Posted by Bruce Brandt on June 5, 2014 @ 1:19 pm

Too many recent engineering graduates have never set foot inside a process plant before, or they have very little experience with process control systems. An old friend of mine tells a story about his first project meeting after joining an engineering company fresh out of school. The lead engineer kept saying that it was a “grassroots project,” so my friend finally asked “How do you make paper out of grass roots?” We’ve all been there in one way or another, but what we do isn’t brain surgery. It isn’t even rocket science—though it’s closer. So how do we teach our new graduates to be controls engineers? Many newly minted engineers have never set foot in a process plant or if they have my experience is they got very little exposure to the process control system. The many control theory classes, from my experience, don’t seem to be very tied to the real world but focu... Continue Reading

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

Webinar Recap: Front-End Loading for Control System Migration

Posted by Paul Galeski on June 2, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

Webinar Recap: Front-End Loading for Control System Migration We’re glad so many of you could join us for the Front-End Loading (FEL) webinar on Thursday! Speakers Nick Sands, Matt Sigmon and Charles Skeen addressed a number of common migration concerns and shared how a three-step FEL process can help minimize risk and identify potential process improvements. If you couldn’t make it to the webinar, here’s a brief recap of what you missed: The Project Dilemma Do you want your project done fast, cheap or well? Without FEL, you’ll be facing challenges with all three. And the further along you get, the more expensive it becomes to make changes to your initial project plan. The most common mistake that occurs in the absence of front-end loading is the failure to establish complete requirements for systems and control functions. “Going ah... Continue Reading

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

Programming PLCs: Keep the documentation clear and simple

Posted by Miguel Gutierrez on May 21, 2014 @ 10:24 am

Poor programmable logic controller documentation and housekeeping can lead to unnecessary troubleshooting and downtime. Keep it simple in order to avoid the possible risks and confusion.

There are different rules and programming methods that are needed based on the hardware and software being used. Programming in a Siemens programmable logic controller (PLC) is not identical to programming in an Allen-Bradley PLC. There are general good practices that should be followed in any programming. The obvious is to have the program function and control as desired. Maintaining good documentation and housekeeping are good general practices in programming. Code should be easily read and understood by programming colleagues and customers. Poor documentation and housekeeping can add unnecessary time to troubleshooting, downtime, and programming. Programming structure... Continue Reading

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