Category Archive: Human Machine Interfaces

Nov
16

Exceptional Opportunities in Process Control – Startup and Abnormal Conditions

Startups, grade transitions, and abnormal conditions are the most difficult, operator intensive, hazardous, and inefficient periods of plant operation. Operators often believe these conditions require operator evaluation and action. The conditions are thought to be too special and the response too situation dependent to automate. The operators are right in saying these periods of operation …

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Dec
07

Past, Present, and Future of Automation – Part 6 (Operator Interface)

Line “D” of a pet food plant never operates as well as the other lines. Line “A” has the best performance. The operators for line “D” say that line “D” is different and it can’t do better. When a line “D” operator gets sick, a line “A” operator fills in on Line “D”. Line “D” …

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Dec
01

Past, Present, and Future of Automation – Part 5 (Benchmarking and Opportunity Assessment)

One of my favorite cartoons is Einstein at a blackboard with his equations for the “General Theory of Relativity” all leading up to one concluding equation “Time = Money.” In this same vein, the great movie line comes to mind: “show me the money” . More than ever, if you want to do neat things …

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Dec
28

Biggest Opportunities for Process Control Improvement – The Operator (Online Metrics)

Who is living with the process every minute? Who changes the feed rates or charges? Who changes the modes and set points of the control system? Who starts or stops batches or unit operations? In most plants, it is the operator, yet the displays and education of the operator haven’t changed much in the last …

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