Posts Tagged ‘context’
Monday, October 22, 2012 @ 06:10 PM gHale
By Gregory Hale
Good safety isn’t just about good products and technology, it also involves getting data to the right people in the proper context so they can make the right decisions.
“This business is always changing,” said Gary Freburger, president of Invensys Operations Management’s systems business during his keynote address Monday at the 2012 Americas Triconex Technical Conference in Galveston, TX. “The rate of change is much more aggressive than it has been 20, 10 and even 5 years ago. We don’t change very quickly. We have to support systems that are 25 to 40 years old. That is challenging and an opportunity at the same time.”
Part of today’s view of safety is much different than it was in the past, Freburger said. “There is functional safety, process safety and occupational safety. Safety today really means all three of these things.”
All the data that is flowing into systems today makes it much more difficult for operators to understand what is truly going on. While this data overload is a problem, there are solutions.
“Software development is going to be more relevant,” said Rick Morse, vice president for the Control and Safety Solutions business at Invensys. “It will have the context of what is going on. Integrated context will give you an idea of what you should be looking at.”
“There is a lot of change in the industry to real time critical control,” Morse said. “There are different ways to do things. The devices on the plant floor today are just as powerful as the technology for the moon shot.”
To catch up on the new advances and boost productivity and safety, the catch is people have to be willing to change the way they do things and approach their jobs.
“Change is not comfortable word for this industry,” Morse said.
He added Invensys was making changes in their approach on how they approach the market.
“We are not changing the basics,” Morse said. “We are talking about adding stuff that allows you to get more out of your technology. We are also changing internally to get better synergy among product groups.”
One of the ways they feel they have to go is to take the complicated processes and make things as simple as possible.
“We have very sophisticated products, which means we have to send an engineer out to help with technical issues,” Morse said. “We have to simplify. If we have to send an engineer out to help, we have missed out on something. We need to simplify and streamline all processes throughout the workflow.”
“The commitment to be thoroughly current is important,” Freburger said. “We have some customers that have technology that is 20 to 30 years old and they say it works and whatever we add to it just has to plug in.”
Another area that has a huge safety concern is the aging workforce that has the potential to lose a good share of its knowledge base in the next few years. Freburger said Invensys is looking at ways to capture knowledge to help keep plants up and running.
Part of the change is showing where and what the company will be doing in the future. That is where Michael Chmilewski, vice president, control at Invensys comes in.
He showed a fairly detailed 10-year roadmap for Triconex hitting some of the highlights like wireless peer-to-peer, process safety management, virtualization, and security.
“We have to be vigilant and provide the tightest security as possible,” Chmilewski said.
“The shift is from being reactive to proactive for safety,” Chmilewski said. “You have to look at the current performance and reporting and making sure you know what will happen.”
In the end, whether it is safety or process control, it always comes back to communication.
“We need feedback. We need to listen and learn. There are areas where we haven’t done as good a job, but we are getting better. We have to ask ‘what is it we can do to help you be successful?’ ” Freburger said. “We have the commitment to be continually current.”
Thursday, April 7, 2011 @ 09:04 AM gHale
The data hitting the plant floor every day continues to rise, but the idea of what all that information means still remains a mystery. Operators need that data put in context, especially in a safety environment.
That is where Machu Picchu comes into play as ACM Automation Inc. and Invensys Operations Management inked an exclusive deal to bring a process safety support solution to market. Invensys will now offer ACM Facility Safety’s process safety decision-support software, Machu Picchu, to the global process industry.
Despite all the moves toward safety, “the incident rate in process safety continues to increase,” said Steve Elliott, environment & safety excellence principal for Invensys. “We want to help our clients become better in terms of operational safety management.”
The whole idea is to capture safety information early on in the design phase and then when the user gets to operations and maintenance, they will have help in maintaining decision making, Elliott said.
“ACM takes data from HazOps, adds its own expert knowledge, and puts it into the HMI. When an event or trigger happens, it takes the information and contextualizes it and then gives the possible consequences,” Elliott said. “It looks at the safeguards taken out of service and looks at the consequences.”
In a safety situation, data is coming at operators in all directions, and sometimes they can become overwhelmed with the information.
“Part of it is having the right contextual impacts and understanding the consequences,” Elliott said. “There is no shortage of data. The challenge is putting it in context for better decision making. This helps people understand what the consequences are in the decision making before they say yes or no.”
This tool does not replace alarm management at all, said Constantine Lau, global marketing director at Invensys. “We are providing additional value to the system by giving a complete holistic view of things.”
The tool is able to give guidance to mitigate and minimize the process risk. Additionally, it can capture enough knowledge to enlighten newer workers coming on board after the Boomers start the retirement phase. It will build all the experienced workers knowledge into the system for all to work with.
This new tool should enhance Invensys’ Triconex safety software.
Machu Picchu provides visibility into process risks and combines expert knowledge of the plant’s risk parameters, diagnostic alarms and historical operator observations to monitor the integrity of all safeguards it then calculates the level of risk caused by a deviation and provides operators a set of pre-engineered contingency plans or detailed instructions on how to address abnormal situations.