Cyber security essentials: Part I

Posted by Josh Bozeman on January 7, 2015 @ 5:11 pm

The first installment of the Cyber Security Essentials series introduces the topic of cyber security and outlines the major concepts to be aware of.

Courtesy: Maverick Technologies “What’s the worst that could happen?” This question is at the heart of so many plant-wide discussions. Deliberations on safety interlocks, alarm rationalization, hazard analyses, job safety plans, and process equipment design routinely center on this premise. Why, then, do some facilities have a lackadaisical approach to the layout and protection of their network security? In this first installment, we’ll introduce the topic of cyber security and outline the major concepts ... Continue Reading

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How to upgrade your control system with limited resources, budget

Posted by Michel Ho on January 5, 2015 @ 5:07 pm

Take advantage of your system integrator’s time and expertise by allowing them to execute acceptance testing methods, freeing up plant personnel.

Are you faced with limited resource and shrinking budget when upgrading your control system? You are not alone. Many of the customers we work with face the same challenges. One way to address both issues at the same time is to have effective factory acceptance testing (FAT) and site acceptance testing (SAT). No matter what the scope is, the strategies to keep testing at a minimum while maintaining effectiveness remain the same. For FAT, those are:
  1. Agree on the FAT plan prior to the actual FAT. This will help to identify gaps and prepare for them.
  2. Let the system integrator test 100% on their internal testing and a sample size during FAT for non critical items such as tag description, engineering unit, I/... Continue Reading

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Webinar recap: High Performance–HMI Done Right

Posted by MAVERICK Leadership Team on December 17, 2014 @ 8:00 am

Webinar recap: High Performance–HMI Done Right We had a great turnout at the High Performance–HMI webinar last week, and we’re glad so many of you could attend. Chad Harper and Lee Swindler were on hand to demonstrate the graphical downfalls of many older human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and discuss the benefits of transitioning to High Performance–HMIs. Thank you to everyone who attended, and especially to those who participated by submitting questions. If you couldn’t make it, you can watch the webinar here or read on for a recap of what you missed: The evolution of HMI The information communicated by the first HMIs wasn’t any different from that of modern-day HMIs, but the way the original HMIs presented it was much simpler. A... Continue Reading

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Assembling a startup team for success

Posted by Ryan Harris on December 16, 2014 @ 11:38 am

Most traditional startup teams are comprised of process engineers, controls engineers, electricians, and mechanists—but don't forget to consider plant personnel, too.

What makes up a great startup team? Many traditional teams are comprised of process engineers, controls engineers, electricians, and mechanists. However, there are additions to the team that should be considered, like plant personal operators, and even shift managers.

For contracted projects, every team needs a plant contact; I am talking about plant personnel directly involved in startup activities. With contracted projects, the execution team is often working remotely, which can be hours or even days away from the plant facility. How do you bridge the gap between execution and implementation? Who is left to support the new systems in the plant? Are they properly trained to maintain the new system? Will th... Continue Reading

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Integrating third-party systems with a DCS

Posted by Tony Kolluri on December 10, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

Several considerations need to be made when interfacing a distributed control system (DCS) to a third-party system, including the choice between using SCADA or peer-control solutions.

Figure 1: Interfacing a distributed control system (DCS) to a programmable logic controller (PLC). Courtesy: Maverick Technologies Interfacing a distributed control system (DCS) to a third-party system—let’s say a programmable logic controller (PLC)—is most commonly done via SCADA or peer-control using various communication protocols. While it appears that it’s just a task of getting the data ‘in... Continue Reading

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