Archive of Project Management - MAVERICK Ideas

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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More Than A Story, A Process Narrative Can Define Your Next Automation Project

Posted by Jason Montroy on November 27, 2012 @ 10:55 am

I recently sat down with an automation manager responsible for a subsection of a large manufacturing business. His company is embarking on an effort to standardize the use of process control narratives for all automation projects. To my surprise, the concept of process narratives was new to him. He didn't understand their purpose. But he was intrigued and asked many good questions I was happy to answer.

What is a process narrative? MAVERICK_Blog_Automation

Simply put, a process control narrative is a written description of a manufacturing process that d...

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4 Rules For Designing Safety into Control Systems

Posted by Brad Ems on November 13, 2012 @ 9:47 am

When you see a talk about safety, your first expectation is probably something on proper PPE, procedures or other aspects of safety that are typical fodder for safety “toolbox talks.” What I’d like to discuss in this post, at least in a very general way, is how to design safety into your process control system. First off, a disclaimer: I am an engineer, although not (yet) a PE and I have no certification in any safety-related field. I do have roughly 30 years of experience in working around heavy equipment, much of it quite dangerous to life, limb, and property if the risks are not properly ...

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Conflict in the Workplace: What to do When Two Worlds Collide

Posted by Bruce Brandt on November 6, 2012 @ 11:25 am

  Recently I attended a session with a panel of security experts who were discussing process control system security. There were quite a number of surprising revelations from this gathering including the need to ensure that your facility’s control system isn’t found by a search engine called Shodan. It may sound like the villain of some cyberpunk novels, but can be a real threat to the security of your control system. I’d never heard of Shodan, so I was more than a bit taken aback that something like this existed and was regularly being used by hackers to attack industrial control systems. Hearing that the number of systems that can be found using this search engine numbers in the thousands was even more of a shock....

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Scoping Automation And Control Projects

Posted by Shane Hudson on October 23, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  The approach taken during front-end engineering feasibility studies and scope development frequently determines whether an industrial control project will be successful. Unfortunately, budgetary and timing constraints normally limit the approach and resources used during these critical phases of project development, which ultimately result in unanticipated costs, technical complications, and schedule delays during subsequent project implementation. Scoping Automation And Control Projects For example, plant operations or maintenance personnel are routinely tasked with developing project scopes and capital budget estimates in a short period of...

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