Distillation columns: Product composition control – process identification models

Posted by Jim Ford on November 13, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

This technique can help reconnect information and actions that are separated by time.

Distillation columns are among the most common unit operations for separation and purification in process industries. Control of the composition (purity) of one or more of the product streams is invariably critical for economic operation of the column. For precise composition control, on-stream process analyzers are often employed to measure composition of the critical product. For example, monitoring the amount of a key impurity that must be kept below a maximum specification limit in the product. For light hydrocarbon service, such as an olefins plant or natural gas liquids distillation, a gas chromatograph (GC) is often the instrument of choice for product composition analysis. One GC can be designed and programmed to analyze several streams, thereby minimizing overall installation and m... Continue Reading

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Maximizing the effectiveness of technical training

Posted by Paul Galeski on November 13, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

Use current technologies to reduce training costs and improve what your students retain.

Posted by Ric Gibson on November 05, 2013
How many times have all of us attended training for a week or two, maybe longer, only to come away with ten pounds of manuals, a hat emblazoned with the OEM’s logo, and a screwdriver? Training is expensive—in tuition, travel, and time away from your shop. But embarking on a project involving an unfamiliar platform without training will cost a lot more. How can we maximize the return on our training investment? Sure, we’ll come away with some hands-on experience with a scripted training scenario in a classroom environment where you probably had to share a workstation with another student. How much knowledge will we have retained when the time c... Continue Reading

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What is FactoryTalk?

Posted by John Boyd on November 13, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

This platform turns up in many places, and can do many things, but there aren't many that really understand it. Here is a quick guide to explain the basics.

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PID math demystified, part 3: More on derivative control

Posted by Scott Hayes on October 25, 2013 @ 9:19 am

Consider how a PD controller would work, without an integral function. Would you ever want to use that approach?

To investigate how derivative action works, let’s look at a proportional derivative or PD controller. PID controllers are far more Conceptually, the derivative in this case refers to how fast the error is changing. So, if we take the change in error divided by the change in time we get the slope.common than PD alone, but we already have an understanding of the integral component’s effects from the first two parts of this series, so we don’t need to review i... Continue Reading

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An HMI is more than just icing on a cake

Posted by Miguel Gutierrez on October 23, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

Since it’s the way that users interact with a control system, don’t underestimate the importance of an effective HMI. It makes a huge difference to users now and down the road.

There are multiple HMI (human machine interface) platforms to choose from, with different styles and preferences driven by many kinds of variables. Driving variables can include integrator preference, customer preference, industry preference, technical support/availability, integrator support/availability, off the shelf software versus custom software, budget, and what best fits. Regardless the platform and driving factors, an HMI makes a control system complete. An HMI application might originate at a computer in Anytown, USA, with an integrator at the helm that probably had too much coffee. But at the end, the HMI application will live, change, and grow with the end-user. The bottom line for an ... Continue Reading

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