Archive of Asset Effectiveness - MAVERICK Rethinking Automation

Who Will Be In Your Control Room In 2016?

Posted by Bill Tolrud on December 5, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

Control SystemsTake a look at the people in your control room: you probably see a lot of gray hair. How many of those individuals are still going to be there in another three or five years? To answer this question, we need to look at the retirement rate of the baby boomers that are now between the ages of 55 to 65. On January 1, 2011, the first baby boomers turned 65. According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, dated January 30, 2008, the retirement of baby boomers will affect the overall economy and our industries until the year 2020. The industries affected most will be those that have been part of the structure of the U.S. industry buildup: steel and primary m...

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Some Notable Control Features of DeltaV Control System

Posted by Sergei Kuznetsov on March 28, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

Soon after the acronym DCS appeared, more than 30 years ago now, discussions about what system is “best” cropped up among control engineers. The conversations continue today. Which DCS is indeed the best? Or is DCS even needed anymore, when modern PLCs — especially high-end PACs — can allegedly do the job? Over the years I’ve seen a number of different approaches to the control system selection. Some — usually larger — companies take a very methodical approach, with complex criteria that take into consideration an enormous amount of information. Smaller companies look at certain features that are most critical to them, like the proximity of a reputable engineering outfit capable of handling routine maintenance issues. Precious few seek advice from a consulting company. The truth is, a good engineering team (or a lone engineer, as may be the case) can make any contr...

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Protecting Your Plant Floor Investment in the Post-Stuxnet Age

Posted by Erik Goode on March 15, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

Everyone’s heard of Stuxnet. But what does it mean to us now? In any economic climate, businesses desire reliability and predictability in their processes. Thanks to Stuxnet, there’s now more awareness of security improvements on the plant floor. Since insecure systems are a threat to predictability, and unpredictable systems are not safe, this is definitely a good thing. So, if your management threw money at you and said, “fix our processes,” what would you do? For that matter, what would you do if they left out the money part? Here are some actionable thoughts to consider in the areas of design, operational monitoring and incident response. Design Design to minimize the unexpected. Use physical network isolation and access control lists to control communication to and from your different SCADA control networks. Do not share physical networks with no...

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The Key to a Successful Automation Project

Posted by Mike Gavin on March 7, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

Today, project management success is as much about the process and procedures followed during execution as it is about the project managers themselves. Definition, justification, specifications, proposal development, etc., are all important aspects of a successful project, as are the skill, experience and intangible assets of the PM. True success, however, sometimes comes from areas unrelated to one person. From a pure procedural perspective, the Project Management Institute (PMI) specializes in defining the processes for managing efforts in general, but a successful automation effort requires a tailored approach to managing a project. The most successful automation companies develop specific project execution methodologies they use to manage their project portfolios, usually by blending in best practices from various industry experts like ISO, ISA and GAMP. By merging these best prac...

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What’s Holding You Back?

Posted by Paul Galeski on February 29, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

We’ve spent the last few weeks talking to you about DCS migration. Why it’s important. Why, if not done properly, it can be very painful. And why DCS Next is different. Now it’s time for you to talk to us. Start by answering a simple question: What’s holding you back? We typically see three big reasons most companies wait to begin a DCS migration: 1. Cost. Completing a DCS migration can come with a price tag in the millions. But the cost of staying with a legacy system will eventually outgrow the cost of migration. DCS Next takes that cost into consideration. Our experts look at your entire business to give you visibility into your real total cost of ownership (TCO). This means we can highlight the parts of the project that will deliver the highest return first, and the first part of migration can help pay for the rest. 2. Business disruptionContinue ReadingView Comments (1)

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