ARC Forum: Product Advances

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 @ 02:02 PM gHale

New products are hitting the street as a series of companies launched them at the ARC World Industry Forum this week in Orlando, FL.

One of the new products offerings came from PAS.

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Having complete visibility into a process is a vital aspect for any operator on the plant floor, so along those lines, PAS launched inBound, an application that makes plant operators continually aware of safe operating limits.

This will give operators more visibility into the process and a greater understanding of the safe operating limit information maintained by groups within the plant and is not readily available to operators, said Eddie Habibi, founder and chief executive of PAS.

Operators are generally unaware of the design and safety limitations of the processes they operate. That is where inBound comes in. It is a layered application that aggregates, validates, and displays physical constraints such as a vessel’s Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP), design constraints such as relief valve settings, and safe operating limits.

Users can manually enter, calculate or import these constraints into inBound from engineering applications and databases. inBound enables engineers to develop a boundary hierarchy and automatically detects and reports deviations from that hierarchy, such as an alarm setting that is higher than a pressure-relief valve setting. This capability provides assurance that configuration parameter changes such as alarm limits and instrument ranges remain within the safe operating envelope of the plant.

inBound displays safe operating limits in real time and in context within the plant’s existing control system graphics, enabling operators to proactively monitor and take action as needed to prevent violation of limits.

“Exposing these limits in context enables operators to visualize the process’s proximity to boundaries in real time, and take action before an excursion occurs,” Habibi said.

Apprion also unveiled their new product line.

Wireless security provider, Apprion unveiled two new applications, ION Collaboration and ION Mustering, both integrated into the ION System.

ION Collaboration is a real-time communication system that allows work teams to communicate collaboratively with message streams filtered according to topic, avoiding unnecessary distractions. Built in a similar fashion to social networking systems, plant, field, or control room personnel can post critical messages on a topic-specific “stream,” so all members of a team are up to date on events and activities related to a particular process.

Each activity feed has its own secure stream, and user groups end up created so only members of that group have access to a specific wall or information stream. Mobile users can view and contribute to the stream via mobile devices such as phones or electronic tablets. Tailoring communications so everyone contributes and receives relevant messages, and in real-time, vastly improves communication within and around an industrial facility, leading to enhanced productivity and safety.

ION Mustering Application provides wireless technology and the integrated ION dashboard to verify the location and status of all personnel during an emergency. The solution leverages real-time personnel tracking via WiFi, GPS, or RFID Tags and visual confirmation of the safety of every individual within a facility, providing a fast, accurate and more efficient system than traditional manual processes. When an alarm activates, all safety wardens can immediately identify which personnel are already in the mustering area and who might be missing. Personnel icons on regional maps show specific location as well as a visible trail of recent movement.

These new industrial applications together provide for a unique yet critical approach to team collaboration, personnel safety and efficient workflow in daily activities. Like all ION Applications, they are easily integrated into the ION System to provide limitless functionality. For example, when combined with ION Video, safety wardens have access to a visual check on mustering areas to identify personnel and view live status. ION Emergency Notification activates an audible alarm for hazardous situations and evacuation and field personnel can communicate their status in a live activity feed via ION Collaboration.

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