Archive of System Integrator - MAVERICK Rethinking Automation

Having The Right Tools In Your Arsenal

Posted by Miguel Gutierrez on February 5, 2013 @ 10:38 am

Everyone Starts Out Green, But Getting A Handle On A Few Important Resources Will Move You To The Experienced Side Much Faster

Have you ever been on a project where everything went as planned? If you’re like me, the answer is no. I would like to say yes, but who would I be kidding? Issues can vary from bad wiring, incorrect instrumentation calibration, wrong equipment specified or delivered, equipment installed in the wrong place, poor documentation, communication issues, seized motors, and so on. That’s a list that doesn’t end. Devoting enough up-front time on a project will minimize surprises during commissioning, but as much as one plans and prepares for a project, there are always issues, and those issues will need to be resolved by you. Having the right tools in your arsenal will make all the difference in finding the best solution quickly. Tools are not limited to s...

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Avoid Mistakes through Design and Migration Planning

Posted by Paul Galeski on January 17, 2013 @ 10:11 am

Regardless of your plant’s age, your control system is now one of its most critical components. You cannot operate effectively in the 21st century without a modern control system designed for the way your plant works now—and for the way it will work in the future. Upgrading your control system is much more than a “rip and replace” exercise.

Selecting a Migration Partner

Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade your control system, the first step is to pick a migration partner and begin the planning and design process. A migration partner could be a DCS manufacturer /OEM, the manufacturer of the system be...

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Initial Settings For PID Controllers

Posted by Jim Ford on January 15, 2013 @ 10:03 am

Let’s say you’re the lead configuration engineer on the automation portion of a green-field plant installation project, and you need to give your start-up guys a head start with a set of default PID tuning constants. You want to hand it over in a way that the board operators can place some of their basic controls in auto mode with the expectation that the loops will control fairly close to their setpoints without significant oscillation. The following table offers some time-tested default values for gain, integral time, and derivative time that will work in most common situations as a starting point during initial unit start-up. If your control system uses other tuning constant units (e.g., reset for the integral action, then you’ll have to do the conversion – I’m sure you can handle it).

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