A Construction Manager Weighs in on Engineering Design

Posted by Robert Fayard on September 25, 2012 @ 8:56 am

First of all, let me say the design engineer is the heartbeat of a project. He or she spends many hours at the customer’s site in rack room panels, field panels, on top of columns, on furnaces, turbines, reactors, hot, cold, etc. Communication with the design team is one of the keys to a successful project, and I do appreciate a good set of drawings! All projects have lessons in them, if we’re open to recognizing them and willing to learn. If I or my colleagues learned something from a project, then we need to pass this information on to keep the same mistakes from ha... Continue Reading

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Are You Solving The Wrong Problem?

Posted by Bruce Brandt on September 19, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

“We need quatre binaries on this loop.” At this point, I’d heard this statement on what seemed like every loop we were discussing. I was in a meeting in Paris to define the DCS requirements of a paper machine project with the engineering company. “Pour quoi?” I asked. Okay, I don’t really speak French, but I’d picked up a couple of things since arriving in France, and every time the engineer said that he had to have four discrete outputs associated with a control loop, it meant that I had to use a more expensive piece of hardware. So I finally asked the right question, “Why?” The answer stunned me. The only DCS he knew required the user to hardwire outputs back to inputs to generate an alarm! I explained to him that our system didn’t work that way, and so we started over in defining the system. If I’d never asked why, I’d have quoted a very o... Continue Reading

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The Foundation Upon Which Batches and Recipes are Built

Posted by John Clemons on September 12, 2012 @ 8:43 am

In a recent discussion, I mentioned the S88 standard on Batch Control.  I referenced it with regards to recipes and specifically talked about the management and dissemination of recipes.  I got a lot of feedback on all that and I wanted to say how much I appreciate getting comments and questions. If you’ve looked at the S88 standard at all you know there’s a lot in there.  I mean a lot of information that is very powerful.  I can say without a doubt that a lot of people spent their blood, sweat, and tears in learning lessons over many, many years that were all incorp... Continue Reading

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Power Plant Control Systems In A Smelter Complex

Posted by Mike Robb on September 11, 2012 @ 8:17 am

Isolating A Large Power Generating System When It’s Driving A Variable Load Creates Some Special Control Challenges

Power plant control systems have their own unique design issues, however when dealing with island systems, there are even more things to consider. Take for example a large aluminum smelter complex – such plants can have their own power generation facilities, as large as 2,000 MW, which is enough to power a small city. These operate with only a small tie breaker connecting them to the grid for emergency purposes. These complexes try to maint... Continue Reading

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Addressing Batch Process Control with S88 Recipes

Posted by John Clemons on September 6, 2012 @ 8:52 am

I received a lot of feedback on my recent posts on recipes and specifications.   I was asked why I didn’t mention the S88 definitions for recipes and how it fits with the point I was trying to make. Well, I think that’s a pretty fair point and I wanted to get into that a little bit today.  If you recall, I was making a couple of major points about recipes and specifications. First, there are a lot of people throughout the company that use some part of the recipes and/or specifications in their jobs from time to time.  In fact, there’s probably a lot more people t... Continue Reading

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