Tricks Of The Trade: Level Control

Posted by Jim Ford on July 23, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

I often say, “Levels are devils to control.” Why? They’re integrating variables; that is, if the level in a vessel is constant, and the valve is opened or closed and then brought back to its original opening, the level will be at a different place in the vessel. Levels are non-self-regulating – they represent an imbalance between the flow of material into and out of a vessel. The tuning challenge is to find the best combination of gain (or proportional band) and integral time (or reset) that attempts to react to material flow imbalances and maintain the level reasonably close to a set... Continue Reading

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Welcome to PlantFloor24

Posted by Paul Galeski on July 17, 2012 @ 4:10 am

Today was the grand opening of MAVERICK’s new 24/7 Operations Center. This occasion marks the official launch of PlantFloor24, the world’s first full-service, platform-independent, 24/7 hardware, software and process support solution. You’ll be hearing a lot about PlantFloor24 over the next few weeks — and about operational support and improvement. This concept will change how plants maintain, monitor and optimize their assets.

"This solution really comprises a spectrum of offerings. On one end, you have manufacturers that will outsource a large portion of their automation services, and on the other you have manufacturers that are just looking for resource augmentation." -... Continue Reading

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How to Define Manufacturing Traceability – Part 1

Posted by John Clemons on July 12, 2012 @ 8:24 am

Traceability is one of those words that’s been around for awhile now in manufacturing and the supply chain and has lots of different meanings.  It just means different things to different people. In the supply chain, its meaning may be more consistent but when you get to manufacturing it really does mean lots of different things to different people. One of my favorite examples is the food industry.  They talk about the notion of “farm to fork.”  And, that sounds good and may even make some sense, but trying to figure out what that really means is tough.  And, when you get in the manufacturing plant it’s even harder.  (So, I’ll save some of that discussion for a later day.) Continue Reading

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Making Equipment Smarter, Shouldn’t Make People Dumber

Posted by Bruce Brandt on July 11, 2012 @ 8:17 am

As I walked into the control room the first thing I heard was, “Why can’t I commission this transmitter?” The technician was pointing to the screen where he was trying to commission some Foundation fieldbus transmitters that had been taken out for service. At least this time he’d remembered to decommission them first. “I don’t know, let me take a look,” I responded as I started sizing up the situation. The first thing I noticed was that the three transmitters were appearing and disappearing from the utility.  That’s never a good sign. “Have you checked the voltage on the segment?” I asked. Of course the answer was no, so I directed him to go to the rack room and check it. Maverick-Tech... <a class=Continue Reading

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Plan for Networking Success

Posted by Jeff Monforton on July 5, 2012 @ 8:28 am

A major part of today’s communication revolves around Ethernet networking. In our world, this is used for either communications or I/O control. The current state-of-the-art network hardware makes the implementation of these types of networks extremely easy and secure. The fact that this is the same technology that is used in every corporation’s IT department makes it even more attractive. However, because of the fact that it has become commonplace has left it open to that age-old adage “familiarity breeds contempt.” Because of its critical nature, you would expect that industrial networking would be the last area in which lackadaisical planning and implementation is encountered. Sadly that is often not the case.Continue Reading

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