Process Analysis Using 3D Plots

When a process is characterized by a large number of correlated inputs then the traditional trend displays available in many control systems are of little help in the analysis of the cause and effect of disturbances. Last week I had the pleasure of co-presenting with Professor Frank Seibert, UT, the results of a field trial conducted on a stripper column and absorber column installed at the UT Pickle Research Center, Austin, Texas. The objective of the field trail was to evaluate the use of 3D plots to analyze temperature measurement variations across these columns. The test facility at UT is shown below.

Some examples of applications that could potentially benefit from 3D plots are temperature and pressure measurements across process units such as boiler tube banks, chemical reactors or columns. Also, 3D plots can potential make it easier to analyze sets of data provided by a spectral analyzer e.g. NIR analyzer.

As explained in the presentation, for control system historian was modified for this field trail to support capture of array data. Also, a web based3D plot interface was developed that utilizes array data collected by the historian. An example of 3D plot showing temperature variations across the absorber column at UT is shown below.


We recorded the workshop presentation we gave on Tuesday, October 5. This presentation is a little over 35 minutes in length and can be accessed using the viewer shown below.

Also, the viewer controls shown above may be used to download the power point file.

Both of the Emerson Exchange workshops on the use of 3D plots for process analysis were well attended. In these sessions, I handed out questionnaires (shown on the last slide of the presentation) to solicit input from attendees on other applications that would benefit from this capability. If you view the presentation and have application that would benefit from this capability, then please feel free to drop me an email message with a description of the application.