Consequences of Focusing Too Much on Technology

Posted by John Clemons on August 13, 2013 @ 9:59 am

As you’re launching a new project, ask yourself a tough question: Can you justify what you’re doing for solid business reasons, or are you simply captivated by a cool technology? MAV Blog

Over my career, I’ve seen a lot of projects make a lot of mistakes. One of the most insidious mistakes is when a project gets focused on the technology being implemented and not on the business. There might be a lot of valid reasons for emphasizing the technology, but when technology gets more important than the business, there will be some serious consequences. There’s just no way around i... Continue Reading

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My Plant is Running Just Fine

Posted by Chad Harper on August 6, 2013 @ 6:43 am

Please don’t talk to me about technologies and work practices that can improve my plant performance. I can’t stand the idea of disrupting my current situation with anything new even if it is better.

fine – adj. – Satisfactory; acceptable “So, how is the plant running?” “Just fine.” With all of the progress we’ve made in technology, process engineering, safety and abnormal situation management, we have little to show for it in the process industries. Where did we go off track and what can we do about it? How do we insist that “satisfactory; acceptable” is not good enough. Engineering workforce Not too long ago, production companies had ... Continue Reading

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Is that Light Supposed to be Blinking?

Posted by Bruce Brandt on July 30, 2013 @ 8:22 am

If finding an alarm on your HMI is like playing Where’s Waldo, you might want to reevaluate some of your operator display graphics. A process upset is no time to try and remember what a flashing light means.

Do you ever get the feeling that trying to find what’s an alarm on your HMI graphics is a bit like playing the “Where’s Waldo” game? There are so many things blinking and so many colors on the screen that you can’t tell which one wheres-waldo2just went into alarm. Is it an important alarm? Could be, but how can y... Continue Reading

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Earned Value In Control Engineering Projects

Posted by Brad Ems on July 23, 2013 @ 8:23 am

There is a scene in the screen adaptation of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” where a struggling businessman comes to speak with the protagonist, Hank Reardon, in his office and the following exchange takes place: Paul Larkin: They say you're intractable, you're ruthless, your only goal is to make money. Hank Rearden: My only goal is to make money. Just so. We are in this business to make money. But that raises the question for us controls professionals: How do we know our projects are making money? It’s relatively easy to make the determination at the end of a project, but unfortunately, by that time it is too late and a project may have not yielded what was expected or, even worse, lost money. So the... Continue Reading

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Studio 5000 – The New Rockwell ControlLogix Programming Software

Posted by John Boyd on July 22, 2013 @ 9:06 am

You will be surprised when you install the latest version (v21) of the Rockwell Automation ControlLogix programming software and see you can’t find RSLogix 5000 icon anymore. If you look under the Rockwell Software program folder you will see a new program “Studio 5000”. New icon, splash screen and the Studio 5000 Logix Designer, but in version 21 once you select your project you are ported over to our old familiar friend RSLogix 5000. Studio 5000 is the product. Logix Designer is the first capability of the product. controllogix studio 5000 Logix Designer is RSLogix 5000 with optimal connectivity to Studio 5000... Continue Reading

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