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MOBILITY

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ABOVE
to expand their
COOLING SYSTEM
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HYDROGEN MASS FLOW

MODEL PREDICTIVE
VS PID
J U LY 2 0 1 7

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JULY 2017 • VOLUME 30 • NUMBER 7

28
COVER STORY

Mobility rises above


Soaring freedom is inspiring users to expand
their range—and even take flight.
by Jim Montague

37
SALARY SURVEY

Steady as she goes


Compensation has stagnated. Will the calm persist,
or are rising winds in the offing?
Features
by Nancy Bartels

WEB EXCLUSIVE

Hydrocarbon leak detection


Wireless sensors sound the alarm if fluids reach retention
ponds.
by Patrick Vieira, VEGASE Controle
www.controlglobal.com/articles/2017/hydrocarbon-leak-detection-in-
tank-farms

CONTROL (ISSN 1049-5541) is published monthly by PUTMAN MEDIA COMPANY (also publishers of CONTROL DESIGN, CHEMICAL PROCESSING, FOOD PROCESSING, PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURING, PLANT SERVICES and
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www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 7


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CONTENTS

Departments

11 EDITOR’S PAGE 44
Fresh air
Amazing things can happen when we
have to go beyond the status quo.

12 CONTROL ONLINE
Our most recent, valuable and popular
offerings at ControlGlobal.com

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14 FEEDBACK 44 ASK THE EXPERTS
OPA Forum can make standards; Hydrogen mass flow
Cybersecurity isn’t O&M How can we measure H2 for custody
transfer? Must we cut into the pipe?
16 LESSONS LEARNED
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Optimization of cooling systems 46 ROUNDUP Flowmeter
One of the few processes whose Calibration road trip
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through optimization. that used to require bulky handhelds RUGGED &
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Can things of yore deliver the gold? 47 CONTROL TALK
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EDITOR’S PAGE

Fresh air
Amazing things can happen when we have to go beyond the status quo.

MY family has several older cars built before tance and morality of the reasons, the simple fact
1994, when automakers switched the refriger- that we stop doing what we’re used to doing and
ant in air conditioning (A/C) systems to R-134a have to look for a better way lets us apply new
because Freon R-12 is among the chlorofluoro- knowledge, materials and methods that often lead
carbons banned by the 1989 Montreal Protocol to very significant improvements.
to prevent further damage to Earth’s ozone layer. And opportunities for those ready to seize
Earlier cars can be retrofitted to use R-134a, but them. You may not love Elon Musk any more than
R-12 is readily available and my R-12 cars have you love Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Gates
remained R-12. or Jobs, but you have to appreciate the range and
But this year, when I asked about service for a scale of their aspirations and accomplishments.
recently-acquired 1963 Studebaker Avanti, my lo- For example, Musk recently vowed to build
cal shop told me it no longer recharges R-12 sys- a 100 MW, 129 MWh lithium ion battery-based
tems. The Avanti sat for 20 years and the A/C was power storage facility in South Australia within
completely empty. I have the certification to buy 100 days of signing the contract, adding that if his PAUL STUDEBAKER
R-12 and the equipment to evacuate, leak-test company, Tesla, fails to meet the deadline, the fa- Editor in Chief
and charge systems, so I can properly fill it with cility would be free of charge (that’s not a pun). pstudebaker@putman.net
R-12. But at about $3 per ounce and 48 ounces On July 7, South Australian Premier Jay Weath-
to fill an Avanti, R-12 is expensive. If the system erill announced that a deal had been struck. Tes-
then doesn’t work properly, I have to pay the shop la’s megabattery will be paired with the Hornsdale
Googling “Studebaker
to remove and recycle it, so I can make repairs, Wind Farm, which is being built near Jamestown
R-134a conversion” gives
and then buy more. So, I searched the web to re- in the state’s mid-north region. The launch date is
you a trip back through
view the conversion options. expected to be in December this year.
time to the birth of
Googling “Studebaker R-134a conversion” The facility will be made up of thousands
Internet forums and the
gives you a trip back through time to the birth of of Tesla car batteries packed into hundreds of
mindsets of mid-1990s
Internet forums and the mindsets of mid-1990s refrigerator-sized units spread across a field. Com-
owners and mechanics,
owners and mechanics who were not at all happy bined, they will be able to power 30,000 homes.
who were not at all
about being enlisted to help save the environment. Musk says it will cost him $50 million or more if
happy about being
Comments range from rants about how “heavy” he can't install it within the 100-day agreement
enlisted to help save
R-12 molecules can’t possibly reach the ozone Many other locations have been identified
the environment.
layer and pseudoscientific rebuttals to the chemis- around the world where grid-scale battery storage
try of ozone depletion to “I just use propane, don’t is needed to stabilize renewable energy.
smoke, and plan to avoid accidents.” In its day, an Avanti cost more than twice as
Despite widespread grousing and some folks' much as an ordinary car. Its high-compression
willingness to screw the EPA, the law and their 289 cubic-inch V-8 with its hot cam and Carter
cars, the Montreal Protocol was an apparent suc- AFB four-barrel carburetor was rated at 289 hp,
cess: the hole in the ozone layer is shrinking and and would push its 3,200-pound curb weight
automotive A/C systems work better than ever. from zero to 60 in about 9.5 seconds. Today, the
I’d argue that we see a similar effect for emis- Tesla Model S targets a similar market and clocks
sions regulations that led to fuel injection; fuel 0-60 in as little as 2.3 seconds, which is faster
efficiency requirements that are spurring lighter than the fastest fossil-fueled production Porsche.
designs, turbocharging and direct injection; and That’s progress.
greenhouse gas concerns that are pushing us
away from fossil fuels and toward electric vehicles.
Say what you will about the soundness, impor-

www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 11


CONTROL ONLINE

WHITE PAPERS
2017 State of Technology Report
Blogs & News
on temperature and pressure
Fixes for deadly deadband
While there are some cases where measurement
deadband is helpful, in most applica- SPECIAL REPORT

tions the effect is extremely detrimen- This anthology of recent coverage from Control magazine and Con-
tal and confusing. Hear Greg McMil- trolGlobal.com highlights recent developments in temperature and
lan’s thoughts in his latest blog post. pressure measurement, and includes a resource guide to web-hosted
www.controlglobal.com/blogs/con- papers, programs, videos and other educational materials on the topic,
troltalkblog/fixes-for-deadly- including “Taming temperature and pressure,” “Secrets to good vessel
deadband temperature and pH control,” “Living on the edge with surge control,”
and more. STATE OF TECHNOLOGY 2017

TEMPERATURE
Inability to correlate network http://info.controlglobal.com/sot-2017-temperature-pressure- AND PRESSURE
MEASUREMENT
anomalies to process conditions measurement
leads to denial-of-service or worse
Joe Weiss: "Since network monitoring
programs can only interrogate network Webinar: Revolutionize project execution
packets, any changes to process sens- Thanks to their critical function of translating signals to data and their
ing before they become packets can't location between the control room and field instruments, the once
2 01 7
be detected by network monitoring humble role of input/output (I/O) systems is expanding rapidly. Configu-
solutions." rable and, soon, self-configuring I/O are poised to revolutionize system
www.controlglobal.com/blogs/unfet- engineering, installation, commissioning, communications and mainte-
tered/inability-to-correlate- nance. This presentation will update attendees on progress toward the
network-anomalies-to-process- vision, and show how it’s already working in brownfield and greenfield
WEBINAR SERIES
conditions-leads-to-self-inflicted- applications to contain costs, meet project schedules, and keep auto-
denial-of-service-or-worse mation off the critical path. Join us on Aug. 23.
http://info.controlglobal.com/smart-i/o-revolutionize-project-execution
Live from Rockwell Automation
TechED 2017
The editors of Control and Control Profiting from the IIoT
Design bring you the latest news and Industrial organizations are relying on the Industrial Internet of Things
actionable intelligence from the Rock- (IIoT) to deliver trillions of dollars in business value by driving innovation in
well Automation TechED 2017 event. operational efficiency, business management, safety and security. Fulfill- Profiting from
the IIoT
Read our coverage here. ing this promise requires new solutions for integrating intelligent industrial
Author: Dr. Peter G. Martin

www.controlglobal.com/ devices, regulating them effectively, and optimizing operations around


industrynews/2017/live-from-rockwell- them. Providing part of the solution is a new breed of controller, which will
automation-teched-2017 be a key automation component for the IIoT. Read the new whitepaper at
http://info.controlglobal.com/white-paper-2017-profiting-from-iiot_cn schneider-electric.com

Calibrating pressure instrumentation TECHNOLOGY REPORT

E-NEWSLETTERS From calibration interval, accuracy and documentation requirements


through automating calibration pressures on the plant floor, today's tools
ControlGlobal E-News Calibrating Pressure Instrumentation
offer multiple ways to streamline maintenance and ensure performance of
Multimedia Alerts
pressure instrumentation. This special report from Fluke details common
White Paper Alerts
issues, tips on calibration frequency, and other information to take the
Go to www.controlglobal.com and pain out of pressure calibration.
follow instructions to register for our www.controlglobal.com/whitepapers/2017/calibrating-pressure-
free weekly e-newsletters. instrumentation Sponsored by

12 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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FEEDBACK
1501 E. Woodfield Road, Suite 400N
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173

In Memory of Julie Cappelletti-Lange,


Vice President 1984-2012
OPA Forum can make standards
In “Finding the gaps” (Control, May ’17, p. EDITORIAL TEAM

22, www.controlglobal.com/articles/2017/ Editor in Chief


Paul Studebaker, pstudebaker@putman.net
the-open-process-automation-initiative-
presents-predictable-challenges-in-io-sys- Executive Editor
Jim Montague, jmontague@putman.net
tems), the assertion that the Open Process
Digital Managing Editor
Automation Forum is "is not a standards- Kyle Shamorian, kshamorian@putman.net
developing body, which means they will
Contributing Editor
either have to adopt existing standards or John Rezabek

work with another standards-developing Columnists


Béla Lipták, Greg McMillan, Ian Verhappen,
organization such as ISA, FM or UL to cre- DESIGN FOR
SIS RELIA
BILIT Y

Stan Weiner
T CONDITION
GE OF ASSE
TAKE CHAR

ate any required documents” is inaccurate. INVISIBILIT


Y OF PROC
ESS CONT
ROL

CAN WE CONT
ROL THE
CLIMATE?
Editorial Assistant
Existing standards are adopted where Lori Goldberg
they are fit for purpose. But the objec- DESIGN & PRODUCTION TEAM
tive is for the Open Process Automation
VP, Creative & Production
Forum (www.opengroup.org/open-pro- Steve Herner, sherner@putman.net
cess-automation), a Forum of The Open Does this mean we have to rely on IT Art Director
Group (www.opengroup.org), to publish to fill the gap? I don't think so. IT certainly Jennifer Dakas, jdakas@putman.net

this "standard of standards" on its own be- has some experience that's essential, but Senior Production Manager
Anetta Gauthier, agauthier@putman.net
half. (A list of members is at http://reports. they lack the ICS skills that are at minimum
opengroup.org/membership_report_OPA_ just as essential as understanding the vari- PUBLISHING TEAM

Forum.pdf.) Furthermore, The Open Group ous technical security functions available Group Publisher/VP Content
Keith Larson, klarson@putman.net
operates as a publisher of consensus in- for protecting an ICS.
dustry standards and also is a recognized I believe that the present focus on Midwest/Southeast Regional Sales Manager
Greg Zamin, gzamin@putman.net
PAS submitter to ISO if de jure standard- network security is not enough to protect 704/256-5433, Fax: 704/256-5434
ization is needed. ICS. For example, I've seen many systems Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager
LOREN BAYNES, THE OPEN GROUP where classic OPC connections were Dave Fisher, dfisher@putman.net
508/543-5172, Fax 508/543-3061
l.baynes@opengroup.org protected by OPC firewalls, but the OPC
West Coast/Mountain Regional Sales Manager
server side controlled read/write authoriza- Jeff Mylin, jmylin@putman.net
847/516-5879, Fax: 630/625-1124
Cybersecurity isn’t O&M tions server-wide, so allowing a write to a
Joe Weiss’ recent “Unfettered” blog post specific tagname.parameter would autho- Classifieds Manager
Lori Goldberg, lgoldberg@putman.net
on the responsibility gap between cyberse- rize a write to any tagname.parameter. This
Subscriptions/Circulation:
curity and operations (www.controlglobal. is not exactly good security, though at net- Jerry Clark, Jack Jones, 888/644-1803
com/blogs/unfettered/the-continuing- work level all seems to be fine. This type
EXECUTIVE TEAM
cyber-security-gap-between-it-security- of knowledge is not known by IT people,
President & CEO
operations-and-maintenance-o-and-m- even if they've made the effort to follow John M. Cappelletti
organizations) mentioned a lot of great the SANS training. To be a good indus-
VP, Circulation
points. I think industrial control system trial cybersecurity engineer, you need to Jerry Clark
(ICS) cybersecurity is a separate discipline understand the target in all its dimensions: VP, CFO
not so easily added to the existing tasks process engineering, process automation Rick Kasper

of operations and maintenance (O&M) or systems, IT infrastructure, and cybersecu- Foster Reprints
Corporate Account Executive
the ICS admin. It is a task in a fast-moving rity technology and operations. Jill Kaletha, jillk@fosterprinting.com
219-878-6094
world that requires a wide range of skills To protect against cyber crime, with its
and a steep learning curve—this is not the primarily generic attacks, protecting the IT Finalist Jesse H. Neal Award, 2013 and 2016
typical O & M culture, which is driven by infrastructure might be enough, but pro- Jesse H. Neal Award Winner

today's issues, rather than by next week's tecting industry against targeted attacks Eleven ASBPE Editorial Excellence Awards
Twenty-five ASBPE Excellence in Graphics Awards
threat. If you add as a consideration that requires a much wider skillset. This skillset
ASBPE Magazine of the Year Finalist, 2009 and 2016
most plants have a very small team of peo- is only available to specialist teams with Four Ozzie awards for graphics excellence
ple responsible for ICS (often one or two), a mix of people bringing together all this
then it's up to the personal effort of one or knowledge.
two employees how well cybersecurity is SINCLAIR KOELEMIJ
addressed. sinclair.koelemij@gmail.com

14 • JULY 2017
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LESSONS LEARNED

Optimization of cooling systems


One of the few processes whose efficiency can be doubled through optimization.

IN recent months, I discussed some non-industrial transportation cost and a decrease in the approach
processes, such as control of the economy or cli- results in a decrease in the air transportation cost.
mate change, automation of smart cars, the risks The optimum approach (ΔT) is determined by col-
of cyber terrorism, the potentials and limitations of lecting the total operating cost of both the tower's
artificial intelligence, etc. Now, I'll return to some fans and pumps, and setting the setpoint of TIC-1
more traditional topics, focusing on control and op- in Figure 1 to the approach (A0) that corresponds
timization of industrial processes. The first process to that minimum cost value on that curve. TIC-1 is
I'll discuss is optimization of cooling syatems. then configured to control the fan speed.
There are few processes whose efficiency can be Optimizing the cooling tower pump operation:
doubled through optimization, but cooling sytems The "range" of the cooling tower is the difference
are one of them. The coefficients of performance of between the water temperatures entering and leav-
unoptimized cooling systems are between 2.5 and ing the tower, and the optimum range (R0) is the
3.5, meaning that one unit of energy can remove 2.5 temperature difference (Tctws - Tctwr) that corresponds
BÉLA LIPTÁK to 3.5 units of energy from a process. Optimization to the optimum approach (A0) that results in the
liptakbela@aol.com can double this coefficient to 6 or 7. minimum cost of both the pump and fan operation.
Most cooling systems consist of four heat trans- The setpoint of TIC-2 in Figure 1 is Tctwr, and TIC-2
fer steps. Heat is first passed from the process manipulates the speeds of the cooling tower pumps.
to chilled water, then from chilled water to Freon, Optimizing the chiller compressor operation:
Lowering the ΔP across then from Freon to cooling tower water, and finally The yearly operating cost of a chiller is reduced
the users reduces the from cooling tower water to ambient air. by about 1.5% for each 1 °F (0.6°C) reduction in
yearly pump operating In each step, heat is transported by fluids that are the temperature difference across this heat pump.
cost by approximately kept in motion by electric motors (M1 on fan, M2 To minimize this difference, both the chilled water
50 cents per gpm for on compressor, M3 and M4 on pumps, as shown in supply temperature (Tchws) and the return tempera-
each psid. Figure 1). The cost of operating the whole system is ture (Tchwr), must also be maximized.
the sum of the costs of operating these four motors. Figure 1 shows how Tchws is maximized by the
If we call the total saving 100%, 60% of that is ob- TIC-3 controller, which manipulates the speed
tained by optimizing the compressor, 15% by each of the chiller compressor. The setpoint of TIC-3
of the two pumping stations, and 10% by the cooling is set by the valve position controller (VPC-1),
tower fans. Savings can be estimated as: which keeps increasing the TIC-3 setpoint until
• 1.0 °F reduction in cooling tower approach the opening of the most open control valve, which
(A0) reduces the operating cost by 1.0%. is serving the highest process load, and rises to
• 1.0 °F reduction in cooling tower water tem- 90%. If the opening of even the most open valve
perature (Tctws) reduces the yearly cost of is less than 90%, the TIC-3 setpoint is increased,
chiller operation (M2) by 3.0%. and if the opening exceeds 90%, its setpoint is re-
• Each °F reduction in chiller ΔT reduces the duced. This is called load-following control.
yearly cost of chiller operation (M2) by 1.5%. Optimizing the chilled water pumping opera-
• Yearly pumping costs are reduced by about tion: The combined cost of operating the chilled
$0.5/GPM for each PSID. water pumps and the chiller compressor itself (M4
Optimizing cooling tower fan operation: The + M3) is a function of the temperature drop across
"approach" of a cooling tower is the measure of the evaporator (Tchwr - Tchws). Because an increase in
how closely the cooling tower water temperature this ΔT decreases compressor operating costs (suc-
(Tctws) approaches the wet bulb temperature (Twb), tion pressure rises) while it also decreases pumping
which is the air temperature at 100% humidity. An costs (the higher the ΔT the less water needs to be
increase in approach results in an increase in water pumped), the aim of this optimization strategy is to

16 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


8FSFPOCPBSE
LESSONS LEARNED

M1 Approach (A) = Tctws – Twb


SP = Twb + A0 Range (R) = Tctwr – Tctws
TIC
1
DA Cooling > or TY – high signal selector
Air at Twb SP = Tctws + R0
tower A0 – optimum approach
CTWP – cooling tower water pump
M2 TIC CHWP – chilled water pump
2
CTWP DA DA – direct acting
Tctws Tctwr
ER – external reset
Freon liquid Tc < < FSHL – high/low flow switch
Freon vapor
Condenser SP Integral only HLL – high/low limit
TIC HLL
Let-down valve M3 1 PDIC – pressure difference indicating controller
DA 3 VPC Setpoint 90%
Compressor 1 PSH – high pressure switch
TT RA RA – reverse acting
1 Chilled water supply R0 – optimum range
Te SP – setpoint
Evaporator TY Twb – wet bulb temperature
< < Integral 1
Tctws – cooling tower water supply temperature
PDIC SP HLL VPC only TCV Other Tchwr – cooling tower water return temperature
FSHL P1 1 2 2 SP = 95% 1 user
3 valve Tc – Freon temperature in condenser
RA
PSH Feedback (ER) DA FC openings Te – Freon temperature in evaporator
1 TCV – temperature control valve
TIC
4 DA TIC – temperature indicating controller
Start TT – temperature transmitter
Stop Cooled VPC – valve position controller
Typical
process process
M4 fluid cooler
FSL CHWP Tchwr
2 Chilled water return

TYPICAL COOLING SYSTEM


Figure 1: Cooling systems consume energy at the motors M1, M2, M3 and M4 driving fans, pumps and compressors. (For other equipment con-
figurations refer to Chapter 8.13 in Volume 2 of the Instrument Engineers’ Handbook.)

maximize this ΔT. This is the case in Figure 1, where, from reaching the manipulated variable.
The ΔT will be maximum when the VPC-1 is set at 90% and VPC-2 at 95%. This is the case during startup, when the
chilled water flow rate is the minimum. Therefore, when the most open valve is controller is switched to manual, when
As the chilled water temperature (Tchws) is less than 90% open, VPC-2 will lower high and/or low limits are placed on the
already controlled, this ΔT will be maxi- the setpoint of PDIC-1, and VPC-1 will controller output, or in case of "selec-
mized when Tchwr is maximum. This goal increase the setpoint of TIC-3. When the tive control" (when the controller is not
can be reached by measuring the open- opening of the most open valve exceeds selected for control or when the output of
ing of the most open chilled water valve 90% (but has not yet reached 95%), a cascade master is blocked because the
in Figure 1 and, if it is not yet 90% open, VPC-1 will slowly start lowering the set- loop has been switched to slave control).
further open it. This increase in open- point of TIC-3, while VPC-2 will continue To prevent this "integral wind-up," the
ing can be obtained by lowering the ΔP to lower the setpoint of PDIC-1. feedback to the integral mode is taken
across the process users (lowering the If VPC-1 did not lower the TIC setpoint from an unblocked signal, such as the
setpoint of PDIC-1). This lowering of the sufficiently (or if the lowering was not fast valve opening or the measurement signal.
ΔP across the users reduces the yearly enough) and the most-open valve reaches This is called "external reset."
pump operating cost (M4) by approxi- 95% opening, VPC-2 will take fast correc- In Figure 1, the load-following controls
mately 50 cents per gpm for each psid. tive action by quickly raising the setpoint of VPC-1 and VPC-2 will be stable only if
The setpoints of the two valve position of PDIC-1. Thus, no user valve will ever be they're integral-only, with their integral time
controllers (VPC-1 and VPC-2) will deter- allowed to open fully and go out of control. settings adjusted to about tenfold of the
mine if these adjustments are to occur Naturally, this will only be the case if the integrals of their cascade slaves (TIC-3 and
in sequence or simultaneously. If both pumps and chillers are sized correctly (to PDIC-1), which are usually several minutes.
setpoints are adjusted to be the same, be capable of meeting the load) and the This is needed to keep the optimization
simultaneous action will result. But, if VPCs are correctly tuned. loops stable when the selected valve open-
one adjustment is economically more Tuning, limits and external resets: ing signal is either cycling or noisy. The
advantageous or safer than the other, the The integral (also called "reset") control high/low limits (HLL-1 and HLL-2) on the
setpoint of the corresponding VPC should mode integrates past errors, and there- setpoints of the slave controllers serve to
be set lower than the other. fore, its output will saturate if it’s blocked keep them within safe limits.

18 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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Can things of yore deliver gold?


The benefits of upgrading to get more information may easily justify the cost.

FOLLOWING a brief “swoop-down” to quickly important, especially for those who rely on a 4-20
remedy some process equipment issues, a plant mA signal—any digital diagnostics, algorithms
experienced erratic behavior of a critical valve— or memory has to function on low current (less
critical because it provided surge control for a than 4 mA). So, the I/P converter is designed to
large compressor. No one was comfortable pro- be energy-efficient as well. A larger orifice in the
ceeding with the startup with this valve behaving flapper-nozzle means more power is consumed
erratically. Manual control was out of the question, in analog circuitry and less is available for device
and the plant manager put the startup on hold. (“thing”) intelligence and memory.
The controls technician saw no obvious cause, Silicon for processors and memory has made
but he remembered a tip from witnessing a factory great strides in the 30-plus years since the first
technician performing a rebuild during a recent products were introduced. But wherever the mi-
shutdown. The factory techs routinely replaced croprocessor world interacts with the physical
a pneumatic relay—a small component that’s ef- world, we have transducers, like the I/P converter
JOHN REZABEK fectively an amplifier for the positioner’s current- with its 0.009-in. orifice. No matter how magical
Contributing Editor to-pneumatic (I/P) converter. He removed the our silicon gets, it still needs mechanical, electro-
JRezabek@ashland.com existing relay and found the culprit: water droplets pneumatic converters and actuators to move a
could be seen on the gasket surface of the relay. valve and affect the process.
After blowing out the air supply piping and replac- If, like us, you have a population of smart po-
Positioners are designed ing the positioner’s supply regulator (airset) with sitioners from around 1999, how much more ca-
and manufactured to one that included a filter, he installed a new relay pable are the positioners you would specify today?
function in all manner and reassembled the instrument. The erratic be- These days, we’re pondering what things we might
of harsh and hazardous havior was gone, and the startup proceeded. want to connect to the Internet or the cloud. Like
environments...but most This positioner was a recent-vintage, fieldbus panning for grains of gold among the silt and ef-
aren't designed to work digital valve controller (DVC). But like all position- fluvium coming from our many generations of mi-
underwater. ers used on air-actuated valves, it has at its heart croprocessor-based devices, we must be choosy
a flapper-nozzle I/P converter. Positioners are de- about what things we monitor. We want to detect
signed and manufactured to function in all man- the beginnings of malfunctions that delay the
ner of harsh and hazardous environments—ex- plant startup, or cause instability and shutdowns.
treme heat and cold, explosive atmospheres, even For the facility’s most critical valves, should you
in driving rain or hose down—but most aren’t de- merely add a HART multiplexor or a wireless
signed to work underwater, and all function best adapter to a vintage positioner? When over 50% of
with clean, dry instrument air. issues can arise from moisture in the instrument
At a recent conference, Fisher Controls DVC air, it might make more sense to replace the entire
specialist Sean Raymond told us an easy majority device with one that can routinely detect impend-
of the troubleshooting calls he gets are revealed ing degradation in the mechanical “circuitry.”
to have wet instrument air as their root cause. For the plant whose startup was delayed, the
“There’s a nine-thousandths orifice in the I/P con- cost of lost production would have paid for a
verter—it doesn’t take much water to screw it up,” dozen of the jazziest, feature-laden positioners,
Raymond said. The orifice is tiny because instru- and the software to monitor them. Operations and
ment air isn’t free, and lower demand can matter maintenance organizations shouldn’t assume that
in a total-cost-of-ownership comparison. It’s also a they can merely connect our “things” from the
concern where natural gas has to be used in lieu last century and reap the benefits—sometimes a
of air and low emissions are a priority. device upgrade, perhaps even a protocol upgrade,
The “power budget” of the positioner is also is required, and is easily justified.

20 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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Wireless flowmeter woes


Innovations in energy conversion and storage promise to open up our options.

THOUGH wireless sensor networks are growing The problem, therefore, returns to one of
in use and adoption, one area where there aren't power, or more accurately, the lack thereof.
many options is flow measurement. Before get- However, there is hope, as I recently learned
ting too excited, let me explain. Yes, the ubiqui- via an article in my smart phone’s newsfeed, sug-
tous orifice plate is still the most extensively used gesting that, as a result of improvements in energy
measurement technique, and yes, because it uses storage in the next decade, electric vehicles will
a differential pressure (DP) transmitter that's avail- be lower-cost than combustion-based engines.
able with wireless technology, flow restriction is a Whether or not you believe the lifecycle cost anal-
viable wireless measurement technique. But it's ysis of electric vs. combustion, the important part
only one of a broad range of available flow mea- is that applications in the commercial/consumer
surement technologies used by industry. We also market such as these will drive the technology.
know (as evidenced by the range of different flow Then, because of the large-scale production, the
measurement technologies) there are many argu- same developments will be able to transfer to in-
IAN VERHAPPEN ments to be made that there are better technolo- dustry, including the automation sector to address
Senior Project Manager, gies than orifice-based flow, for a wide variety of our relatively minor energy storage challenge.
Automation, CIMA+ reasons, including pressure drop and accuracy. One option along with better energy storage
Ian.Verhappen@cima.ca So, it’s unfortunate that we're unable to use them is to find ways that the sensor can be a source
as a complete wireless solution. of supplemental power, without negatively af-
Most other flow measurement technologies fecting the measurement. Flowmeters such as
require more power than a DP flowmeter. Since ultrasonic, magnetic or Coriolis, where the meter
One option along with power is presently the Achilles’ heel when it needs to drive a signal into the fluid and measure
better energy storage is comes to wireless sensor networks (WSNs), we a response, aren't likely candidates to also supply
to find ways the sensor have a problem. I see power as the main reason energy to the signal-generating circuitry. However,
can be a source of for the limited range of wireless flow measurement measurement techniques that use another form of
supplemental power, options. Other than DP, there are some wireless mechanical energy to generate the sensed signal,
without negatively rotating paddle meters on the market, but these such as vortex, turbine, paddle or nutating disc,
affecting the units still require an external (i.e. battery) power for example, might be able to use the associated
measurement. source, tend to be focused on the water/utilities vibration or frequency to at least supplement or
industry, and aren't using one of the standard reduce the energy draw from the primary energy-
WSN protocols, so they generally will not integrate storage system. Bearing in mind that the technol-
well with other devices in our facilities. ogy being used for micro and nano machines may
Another challenge with certain flowmeters is be transferrable to this challenge and consider-
that some technologies send their signal as a ing I'm a chemical engineer, it will take someone
pulse output rather than analog. If we're trans- more brilliant to see if this is even feasible. What's
mitting as a digital signal, this shouldn't be a impossible today may be commonplace tomorrow,
problem, other than if it's necessary to convert largely because of advances such as we're already
to analog at the receiving end, the receiver must seeing in fields such as energy storage.
have the capability to manage the pulse-to-flow We may be experiencing a shortage of wire-
calibration factor. If the field device is configured less flow measurement options today. However,
by output pulses, then the more logical option I'm confident that over the next couple of years,
would be to digitize the signal at the field end, a significant number of new choices will be avail-
requiring modification of the device firmware—a able, thus reducing our flow measurement woes in
necessity anyway to be compliant with the chosen those difficult to reach and measure locations we
protocol(s). all have in our facilities.

22 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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IN PROCESS

HUG connects plants, users to IIoT future


Honeywell Users Group Americas 2017 highlights solutions to help users benefit from the Industrial Internet
of Things (IIoT) right now.

WHAT will take to get you into the Industrial Internet of Things “It takes a few weeks to deploy, instead of 8-10 months,” said
(IIoT) today? Multiple useful answers to that question were pro- Kapur. Experion Elevate moves capital expenditures (CapEx)
vided to more than 1,300 attendees at the 42nd annual Honey- to operating expenses (OpEx), and it’s flexible. Users can start
well Users Group (HUG) Americas 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. small, and add and delete as equipment and needs change. “It’s
The conference by Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) focused secure, because the software is always updated,” he added. “It’s
on delivering Honeywell's Connected Plant strategy for helping a fundamentally different way to do this.”
process engineers and their organizations join in and profit from A second cloud-based application by HPS is Uniformance
IIoT-based connections and solutions. Connected Historian, which handles historian and analytical
"Challenges facing manufacturers and plant operators today capabilities. “Will process control move to the cloud? Maybe,
haven't dramatically changed in the last 40 years," said Vimal maybe not,” said Kapur. “But Experion Elevate and Uniformance
Kapur, president of HPS. "Safety, efficiency, reliability, productiv- Connected Historian are here today and are much better, so why
ity and security continue to drive innovation across industries. not use them?”
What's changed is our ability to better address these challenges. Just as connected process control lets experts improve plant
Today, we can leverage the power of the Internet to employ a reliability and leverage process licensors, and just as connected
broader range of data to transform operations. At Honeywell, assets allow plants to work with equipment OEMs to optimize
we call it the Connected Plant. Manufacturers are looking to and improve equipment reliability, Kapur stated that connected
increase production from existing assets while managing finite people let organizations use the Internet to understand compe-
investment dollars. Connected Plant can help them do it.” tence, analyze skill gaps, and provide training. “We understand
Kapur reported that Honeywell’s efforts to support Internet- needs analysis—the competency requirements of an operator or
empowered capabilities and its product releases over the next technician,” said Kapur. “How can we know their skill levels, do
18 months will center on five technologies: virtualization, the a gap analysis, and provide the most effective training? We can
cloud, connected plant, digitalization and virtual reality. use plant data in real time to determine individual competency
and do training intervention, online and customized for different
Cloud aids human connections roles rapidly and using virtual reality, to raise skill levels. Con-
One way Honeywell is leveraging virtual and cloud technologies necting people is the most critical leg to make the Connected
is with Experion Elevate, a cloud-based SCADA application that Plant vision into reality.”
eliminates needs for an on-site data center and backup system. Connected processes, assets and people products are now in
applications such as heat-exchanger monitoring, shift handover
and vessel lifecycle, and Kapur added that Honeywell will re-
lease additional applications during 2017-18.
In conjunction with the Connected Plant, HUG visitors took in
many of Honeywell’s other new industrial automation technolo-
gies, including:
• LEAP for Operations extends Honeywell's Lean Execution of
Automation Projects (LEAP) efficiency principles to optimize,
simplify and run ongoing operations more efficiently;
• Honeywell Trace documentation and change management
software to reduce configuration errors, improve trouble-
shooting, reduce unplanned shutdowns, and improve audit-
ing and regulatory compliance; and
• Secure Media Exchange (SMX) program to reduce cyberse-
curity risks and operational disruption by monitoring, pro-
tecting and logging use of removable media such as USBs.
GROUP HUG CONNECTS USERS
“Connecting people is the most critical leg to make the Connected For more detailed coverage of Honeywell User Group 2017, visit
Plant vision into reality,” said Vimal Kapur, president, HPS, at the www.controlglobal.com/industrynews/2017/live-from-2017-honey-
opening of Honeywell Users Group Americas 2017. well-users-group-americas

24 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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IN PROCESS

Digitalization drives Siemens Summit


The mash-up of software, IT, the Internet "When we bought UGS Corp. in 2007,
and other digital technologies with real- people wondered how its software would
world, plant-floor equipment, applications contribute to what we do. Now, everyone
and manufacturing systems is causing knows that they've got to embrace digitali-
plenty of upheaval in most industries. zation, and for Siemens, this meant billions
However, these earth-shaking forces can in investment in devices and software to
be reined in and successfully managed, bring the virtual and physical worlds to-
and some of the main resources for doing gether to deliver true business value."
it were at the Siemens Automation Summit
2017 on June 26-29 at the Waldorf Astoria Scalability fuels value
Resort in Boca Raton, Fla. The three-day However, Batra explained the difficult part
user conference featured keynote ad- of extracting value from digitalization is that
dresses, more than 50 end user presenta- return on investment (ROI) must be pro- ONES + ZEROES = VALUE
tions, training workshops product exhibits. duced quickly. To help its customers navi- "Time to market is the most important
"The focus on digitalization has never gate this disruptive environment, Siemens driver in business today, and digitalizing an
been stronger," said Raj Batra, president, recently organized its multi-faceted Digital organization's value chain is key to staying
Siemens Digital Factory USA (www.sie- Enterprise program. This strategy optimizes competitive," said Raj Batra, president,
mens.com/businesses/us/en/digital-factory. a company's value chain with Siemens in- Siemens Digital Factory USA, at the opening
htm), during his opening keynote address. dustrial software and automation portfolios, of Siemens Automation Summit 2017.

WHERE THE INDUSTRY TURNS


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MODEL 521 MODEL 1049


The Model 521 is a sliding The Model 1049 Secure-Gard
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MODEL 1078 sealed, pneumatically intended for installation
on atmospheric and low-
The Model 1078 actuated control valve
designed for maximum pressure storage tanks,
Vacu-Gard is a pilot- vapor recovery systems,
operated valve, corrosion resistance in pure
chemical service. and process systems.
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MODEL 3100
MODEL 987 The Model 3100 is a
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The Model 987 is a pneumatic control designed to vent the tank
valve designed to control moderate vapor away to atmosphere
to severe corrosive applications but and to relieve vacuum
may be applied in general service pressure within the tank.
applications also. The 3100 is a weight
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26 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


IN PROCESS

communications, security and services, cautomated.com) in Sterling Heights, of the fuselages of Boeing 777 aircraft.
and helps users transition from integrated Mich., designed, installed and main- This robotic system was commis-
engineering to integrated operations. tains the Boeing FAUB cradle-control sioned at Kuka Aerospace, and is sup-
"Luckily, digitalization is a very scal- system to reduce manual riveting and ported by Intec at Boeing's headquar-
able world, so participants can start cradle manipulation during assembly ters in Everett, Wash.
small, and quickly work up to bigger en-
terprises," added Batra. "Time to market
is the most important driver in business
today, and so digitalizing and integrat-
ing an organization's entire value chain is
key to staying competitive. We do this by
making a digital twin of that value chain,
and use it to create the most holistic ap-
proach and solution for our customers."

Award-winning digital
During his keynote address, Batra also
announced the recipients of Siemens'
12th annual Customer Recognition Excel-
lence Awards. The four winners are:
• Tenaris Bay City (www.tenaris.com)
just completed a $1.8-billion, auto-
mated seamless pipe manufacturing
facility in Bay City, Texas, which em-
ployed all aspects of Siemens' Totally
Integrated Automation (TIA) portal,
Integrated Drive Systems (IDS) and To-
tally Integrated Power (TIP) solutions.
The 1.2-million-sq-ft facility includes
a hot rolling mill, heat treatment and
finishing processes, and has a produc-
tion capacity of 600,000 tons.
• Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. (www.
janssen.com/us) in Titusville, N.J.,
transitioned from traditional batch to
continuous manufacturing, installed a
Simatic PCS7-based line control and
SCADA (LC&S) system at its Janssen-
Ortho plant in Gurabo, Puerto Rico,
and secured the first U.S. Food and
Drug Administration approval for con-
version from batch to continuous for
its Prezista medicine for treating HIV.
• Shaw Industries Group (https://
shawfloors.com) reports that its new,
700,000-sq-ft, carpet-tile plant in
Adairsville, Ga., became its first major
installation to use safety PLCs and safe
communications to I/O and drives,
which saved on wiring/installation, and
delivered improved diagnostics.
• Intec Automated Controls (www.inte-

www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 27


IF you can't see the forest for all the tems (www.mrsystems.com), a CSIA-cer- us more information about sites," says individuals, brings in transparency and ments, mobility enabled better mainte- Eric Lauber, project engineer at Matrix,
trees, it's time get up above those trees. tified system integrator in Norcross, Ga. MR's Touchton. "We'd already been doing visibility to show what's going on, lets nance accuracy, less errors due to man- adds that mobile interfaces also make it
Because the need to know what's go- "He even kept the telescope for awhile 3D renderings of facilities, but drones can managers see from a high level how ef- ual entry, and immediate and thorough easier for users to employ metadata—or
ing on in process applications always during the transition period." add a lot of data because many water/ ficiently their operations and facilities are data tracking." information about other data collec-
demands more data and finer resolution Similarly, when human-machine inter- wastewater plants don't have any aerial running, and lets users interact with each To aid these efforts, Lee reports that tions—to improve their decisions. "Previ-
from more places, one useful indicator face (HMI) and SCADA systems gained pictures, which can help them orient and other more effectively," says John Lee, Matrix produces software for tablet PCs ously, we might know how many process
just sparks the desire for more. That's Ethernet and Internet networking that let place equipment during design and instal- manager of the Manufacturing Systems and other mobile tools that queries opera- inspections were made for scheduling
why, after process control engineers and them move out of the control room, and lation, or show, for example, where special and Solutions division at Matrix Technolo- tors for their one- or four-hour checks, data and staffing," he says. "But now, we ac-
other plant-floor professionals gain mo- bring data in and send instructions out via mounting brackets need to be installed." gies (www.matrixti.com), a CSIA-certified reads and log entries for their processes, cess central data repositories with mo-
bile tools and software, they still want to handheld interfaces, tablet PCs and smart system integrator, this time in Maumee, and asks dynamic questions based on the bile devices, put that data into histori-
accelerate and diversify their capabilities phones, it was logical and probably in- Information on the move Ohio. "Mobility can assist maintenance different shifts peculiar to each applica- cal and future contexts, compare the
even further, and extend them to new lo- evitable that they'd keep going. Recently, In the past, if the proverbial mountain of rounds, data collection and commission- tion. "As production workflows get more performance of different sequences and
cations and applications. they've been going beyond fixed wireless data couldn't come to its users, then they'd ing. Where users previously gathered digitized, mobility can help enforce them, teams, gain insights and find bottlenecks
"We had one user with a telescope devices to take to the skies with multi- have to go to the information. However, information on Excel spreadsheets and and make sure that standardized, required we couldn't expect to know about before,
pointed at a level instrument on an el- rotor drones, also known as unmanned some recent mobility solutions are loosen- sampled, audited and validated it, mo- steps and action sequences are per- and make adjustments for individual ap-
evated water tower across town, which aerial vehicles (UAV), which are typically ing up the constraints of that old reality, bile devices let them collect and analyze formed, tracked and followed up," he adds. plications and clients."
he used regularly until we added a su- equipped with cameras, video recorders, and just as often putting "wheels" on data data much closer to real-time for almost "This also gives users better analytics about
pervisory control and data acquisition laser or radar measuring instruments, and and bringing information back to users. immediate feedback and distribution to operations per day, overall process perfor- HMIs everywhere
(SCADA) system and radio," says Robert other support devices. "Mobility can be transformative be- other users. In one large refinery where mance, or how long future installations or Not surprisingly, mobility these days
Touchton, chief design officer at MR Sys- "We use drones because they can give cause it gives more data to the right we worked with thousands of instru- other changes will take." often means proliferating interfaces in

MOBILITY Defined, tailored, protected mobility


Eric Lauber, project engineer at Matrix Technologies (www.matrixti.com), a CSIA-certified
system integrator in Maumee, Ohio, reports that, "Mobility means different things. Within

RISES
a plant, it can mean not being tied to a particular station, and being able to move around.
Soaring freedom Or, it can mean not being in a plant at all, and accessing applications via tablet PCs and
is inspiring users mobile phones off-premises. More recently, some of those tablets can be rated for Class I,
to expand their Div. 2 safety environments, or comply with non-intrinsically safe (IS) requirements, which are

ABOVE
range—and even often needed in food processing and petrochemical facilities. The point is, each situation is
unique, and we have to ask questions to learn what each one needs."
to take flight.
Before buying and installing mobility devices, Lauber explains, it's important for users to
by Jim Montague
ask and answer several questions:
• In what operational area are mobile devices going to be used?
• What restrictions exist in those areas?
• What safety levels are required?
• How durable must mobile devices be to be viable in those settings?
• If durability is unavoidably limited, how many spare devices will likely be needed?
"If you're going to use mobile devices in tank fields and other outdoor applications, they'll
also have to deal with inclement weather and need protection," says John Lee, depart-
ment manager of the Manufacturing Systems and Solutions division at Matrix. "These are
the same questions we have to answer for cabinets, panels, electronic components and any
other equipment in those environments."
Lauber explains, "It may turn out that a mobile device requires a hot work permit to be used.
In these scenarios, its use must be treated like welding or similar actions. Some recent consumer
devices, like the Galaxy Note 7 mobile phone, are known to catch fire, so devices need to be tested
and certified for use in industrial areas."
Lee adds that Matrix has always interviewed clients and onsite stakeholders about their
business needs, pain points and what they're trying to accomplish before trying to standardize
their work processes and further digitize their applications, and that mobility is a logical add-
on to this process.
"If a customer wants to start using iPads, then we also talk about security because home
use is different than the proper execution, requirements, solutions, safety and protecting intel-
lectual property needed in manufacturing," he explains. "If staff wants to take tablet PCs home
28 • JULY 2017 from work, is critical information going with it? There's a lot to be gained with mobility, but us-
ers have to follow sensible procedures and best practices."
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...On the Go! To manage increasing demands on their water/wastewater, trans-


portation, environmental and renewable power systems more ef-

C ONNECT 씮 C ONFIGURE 씮 D OCUMENT ficiently, Carson City Public Works (www.carson.org/government/


departments-g-z/public-works) recently deployed several mobile and
DevComDroid Communicator App virtualization technologies. The utility daily purifies and delivers more
Full DD access to HART instruments using than 22 million gallons of water and recycles 6.9 million gallons of
your Android device wastewater, controls solar plants that generate 748,000 kwh per year,
and manages the municipality's truck fleet and traffic signals.
DevCom2000 Communicator Software New technologies adopted include iPads and smart phones that
Full DD access to HART instruments using your allow the utility's operators and managers to increase their remote
Windows device monitoring capabilities across three Nevada counties. The devices
were integrated with Wonderware SCADA software that Carson City
HART Modems (Interface Hardware) has used since 1992, and with its Wonderware InTouch HMI software,
Bluetooth, USB and RS232 models both from Schneider Electric (www.schneider-electric.com). Remote
operations were brought to the mobile interfaces by implementing the
Wonderware Mobile Reporting application with SmartGlance software,
which makes their information, key performance indicators (KPIs) and
Wonderware Historian data easy to read and manipulate using smart
phone screen navigation (Figure 1).
“SmartGlance gives our staff instant access to KPIs and process
information on their iPads and smart phones, which increases situ-
ational awareness and allows us to be more efficient,” says Darren
Schulz, deputy director at Carson City Public Works.
James Jacklett, electrical/signal supervisor at Carson City Public
Works, adds that, "Integrating with Wonderware also gives us real-time
status indications, alarm notifications and communications historization
for effective monitoring of our transportation, power and water systems,
providing better operational readiness.”
So far, Schulz and Jacklett say their Wonderware-enabled iPads
and smart phones have reduced operations staff hours by 15% due to
drive-time savings, and allowed the department's more than 120 staff-
ers to transition their workweek schedules from five eight-hour days to
four 10-hour days.
Likewise, when Prima Frutta (www.primafrutta.com) in Linden, Ca-
lif., sought to revamp its cherry production line in 2015 to make it the
world's largest by increasing throughput 50% without increasing staff,
it enlisted Industrial Automation Group (IAG, www.automationgroup.
com), a CSIA-certified system integrator in Modesto, Calif., to help with
the upgrade and expand its existing implementation of Ignition SCADA
software from Inductive Automation (https://inductiveautomation.com)
to the new cherry line. Ignition lets Prima Frutta to share line data with
10 managers and 900 workers via more than 120 screens scattered
throughout the facility.
“Every second counts, so it's very important to provide data to our
staff on the plant floor,” says Tom Augello, production manager at
Prima Frutta. “If a change is coming, whether it’s in size, quality or va-
riety, our people have a very short time to react, so we put that infor-
mation up, flash alerts or use different colors to make sure everyone

30 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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MOBILE PROCESS INTERFACES

sees it. The large productivity increase we’ve seen with Ignition
is from these added screens.”
Beyond its larger, fixed monitors, Prima Frutta uses 10 tablet
PCs from Dell to directly control the cherry line. The tablets have
stationary holders, but they can also be carried around the plant
for full SCADA with Ignition and networking via four wireless ac-
cess points from Moxa (www.moxa.com).
Jason Kieffer, project manager at IAG, reports that Prima Frutta
could have used industrially hardened tablet PCs, but chose less
costly, consumer-grade tablets because they’re easy to replace if
needed, and were easy to implement with Ignition. IAG also mim- ALWAYS-ON AWARENESS
icked Prima Frutta's existing servers by building a digital twin of Figure 1: Operators and managers at Carson City Public Works use iPads
them at IAG's office, which let the integrator develop the new appli- and smart phones with Wonderware by Schneider Electric's SCADA, HMI
cation in its native environment, and accelerated its installation and and SmartGlace software to improve operational awareness and efficiency
accuracy. “It was so quick. Within two hours of pulling a tablet out of their water/wastewater, solar power and transportation applications,
of the box, we were running the application on it," says Kieffer. "We and save 15% on drive-time hours. Source: Schneider Electric
were really surprised at how quickly it went.”
Greg Sinigaglia, production manager at Prima Frutta, con- systems (DCS), building panels, and implementing numerous
firmed that using Ignition on the tablets and larger monitors valves, instruments and other components.
saves time and money. “Let’s take grading of the fruit as an ex- "We just installed a good-sized biofuel project with 600-700
ample,” says Sinigaglia. “Before, we had to walk down and look instruments and valves, and expanded another biofuel plant with
at the quality and see what the sorters were doing. Now, with Ig- 1,200-1,400 instruments and valves, and we thought there had
nition, we have all this information displayed on screens. There’s to be a better way than the outdated, 15-pound, $6,000-$7,000
no more running around from spot to spot.” handheld we'd been using to program, test and commission HART
valves, check instruments and do loop checks," says Peter Love, se-
Simplicity = usability nior systems engineer for automation at Kice. "Eventually, we came
Just like a hiker with a lighter backpack, mobility in process fa- across DevComDroid smart device communicator from ProComSol
cilities is greatly aided by newer tools that are simpler and lighter, (https://procomsol.com), which costs $1,000-$2,000, and includes
which allows them to be used more frequently. For instance, a Bluetooth HART modem and app for doing complete HART de-
Kice Industries (www.kice.com) in Wichita, Kan., designs and vice configurations with an Android smart phone."
builds industrial air systems for the flour milling, biofuels, food DevComDroid uses registered device description (DD) files
and energy industries, and staff in its system integration division from the FieldComm Group (https://fieldcommgroup.org) for
always welcome better ways to migrate large distributed control complete access to all features of a HART device. All members
of Kice's onsite teams can use it, including electricians, field
commissioning staff and plant DCS operators.
"The main advantage for everyone is that DevComDroid is a
NEW AZBIL SMART ESD DEVICE FOR
lot less weight because all we're carrying is an Android smart
SAFETY INSTRUMENTED SYSTEMS
phone and the 2 x 3 x 3 in. modem in our pockets. This porta-
Azbil's Smart ESD Device 700
bility means we can have it with us at all times, and use it more
series (700SIS) acts as the
interface for an emergency often," explains Love. "Also, the battery on the old communicator
shutdown valve in a safety In- only lasted two or three hours, so we had to haul a spare around.
strumented system. Compliant DevComDroid lasts as long as our smart phone battery, which is
with the IEC61508 interna-
usually all day. The modem also has wire leads that allow it to be
tional standard for functional safety, the 700SIS
has been certified for applications that require SIL clipped to a scissor lift, or otherwise brought close to an instru-
3 according to IEC 61508. Its partial stroke test ment, while we make changes from a safe distance. With the old
(PST) function for online diagnosis of emergency communicator, we'd have to be right at the device."
shutdown valves helps to maintain and improve
Beyond the benefit that HART data appears the same on a smart
the safety integrity level while reducing the cost of
operation and plant design. Advanced integration phone as it does on the older communicator, Love adds it's easier
using HART communication is also possible. to apply software updates to DevComDroid and store information by
just plugging in the smart phone. "A multivariable flow transmitter
Azbil, www.azbil.com/products/bi/iap/products/
has a commissioning process, so you have to backup data from the
hfbs/index.html
communicator to a PC. However, most communicators have been

32 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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MOBILE PROCESS INTERFACES

UP, UP AND UAV data into an SQL database, and pre-


Figure 2: MR Systems uses its Phantom 3 pares it for use by Inductive's FactoryPMI software,
quad-copter 4K camera with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels to which can create dynamic applications for analyzing
fly at less than 300-400 feet and conduct surveys lone worker whereabouts. KSB calls this solution its
for wireless/radio installations. The drone can stay Personnel On Site Tracking System (POSTs). It's now
up for about 30 minutes on one battery charge, and set up on KSB’s servers, and users only have to pay
can travel at up to 50 mph. Source: DJI $100 per GPS unit and $80 per month for unlimited
monitoring, alerts and reports.
limited in how much configuration data they could store—maybe To protect mobile users wherever they're located, Jason
100 procedures—so active-stop and storage operations were Schexnayder, sales director for the ecom division of Pepperl+Fuchs
needed to free space," says Love. "With smart phones and tablet (www.pepperl-fuchs.com), reports it recently launched the world's
PCs, we have far more data storage available, and transfers are first explosion-proof tablet PC approved for use in Zone 1/Div. 1 and
easier to file servers, other PCs and the cloud. Plus, we can backup Zone 2/Div. 2 settings. Developed in cooperation with Samsung,
configurations, store them a PDF documents, and email them. With Tab-Ex 01 can retrieve data in real time, interact with remote ex-
the old communicator, we also had to deal with complex file formats perts and backend systems, and use optional cameras to capture
and proprietary software to handle configurations. and respond to maintenance errors and other issues.
"In all, I think we've saved 25-30% on our commissioning "All kinds of technologies related to mobility, such as Blue-
time based on what we do all day, added portability and bat- tooth, RFID, tablet PCs, smart phones, cameras, WiFi and cel-
tery life, and the fact that we can do more by having our smart lular, are combining to provide more data and enable better de-
phones with us all the time. Plus, an old communicator can't cisions," says Schexnayder. "However, if you need redundancy,
email you at 1 a.m., but a smart phone can do it. Also, a lot of then you're going to need at least a couple of them."
system integration work is done remotely these days, so we're
also saving on travel and achieving a better quality of life." Driven to drones
Though remote-controlled, multi-prop, miniature helicopters or
Stay safe out there drones for exploring and monitoring process applications may
Beyond keeping networks and communications secure, many seem exotic, some plants report they've been used for years to
users and suppliers stress that effective mobility tools must also examine equipment in especially inaccessible locations, such as
be employed to keep users and applications safe, often by con- towers and remote pipelines and cables. Instead of using cranes
tinuously monitoring their locations. or building scaffolding to reach the top of a flare stack with no
To keep better track of its remote workers, for example, pump ladder, for example, they simply fly a drone to the top, and use
and valve supplier KSB Industrial Services (www.ksb.com) re- its high-resolution video camera to gather detailed equipment
cently adopted Spot LLC's (www.findmespot.com) Tracker device health data and wear-and-tear status. Similarly, power compa-
with satellite-based global positioning system (GPS) chip to keep nies have long used full-size helicopters to let technicians check
track of staffers servicing equipment in remote areas where there power lines, and many of them now use drones, too.
are often no cellular signals. Usually employed by backpack- Touchton reports that MR has employed drones for about a
ers, Tracker was configured by KSB to transmit GPS data in XML year in more than 10 projects. It often helps conduct surveys for
format. Next, Inductive's FactorySQL software collects the XML wireless/radio installations, which means it's no longer necessary
for MR to bring in and raise a tower. The
system integrator typically uses a Phantom
3 quad-copter from DJI (www.dji.com) with
4K (four times high-definition) camera with
1,920 x 1,080 pixels, which costs about
$1,500, though overall UAV prices have
been dropping recently (Figure 2).
MR's drone usually flies at less than
300-400 feet, and can stay up for about 30
SKY-HIGH SURVEYING minutes on one battery charge. Though the
Figure 3: E&C firm IATEC used a DJI Inspire 1 UAV with 12-megapixel Zenmuse X3 camera con- system integrator doesn't race its drones
trolled by Pix4Dcapture flight-planning software and compatible DJI SDK software to conduct an like many recreational users, Touchton adds
aerial, photogrammetric survey of a Petrobras-UTGCA gas-treatment plant in Brazil, fly automatic that DJI's drones can travel at up to 50 mph.
routes in 10 areas, and capture 2,588 images of the 750,000-sq-m plant in just three days. These drones usually operate at a maximum
Source: IATEC and Pix4D distance of three miles, but Touchton reports

34 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


MOBILE PROCESS INTERFACES

that adding an amplifier to MR's has given it a range of up to 20 might be most useful in their own projects and applications. "My
miles. [A video showing how MR uses drones to develop SCADA eight- and 11-year-old kids have flown ours, and even I haven't
graphics is at www.mrsystems.com/videos.] crashed yet," he adds. "One of our other operators did crash re-
"At height, the 4K camera's real-time feed shows the operator cently, but all we had to do was replace a rotor."
where the drone is, and lets us zoom in but still maintain resolu- Likewise, IATEC Plant Solutions, an engineering and construc-
tion, so we can see what's happening," he explains. "The drone tion firm in Sao Paulo, Brazil, recently used a DJI Inspire 1 UAV
is controlled by an app on an iPad, and it can be guided manu- with 12-megapixel Zenmuse X3 camera controlled by Pix4Dcap-
ally, or it can execute a predefined flight. We're using it mostly for ture flight-planning software and compatible DJI SDK software to
video surveys of projects, so we're not using it to help assist any conduct an aerial, photogrammetric survey of a large Petrobras-
operations yet, though it could be used for that purpose." UTGCA gas-treatment plant in Brazil. The survey was needed to
However, as MR's operators gain experience with their Phan- update 3D models, drawings and databases of the plant, but the
tom 3 drone and its controls, the applications where it can be job needed to be done without costly laser scanning or a risky,
applied will almost certainly multiply. For example, a drone with time-consuming visual inspection (Figure 3).
a tether and power cable could remain aloft 24/7, and serve in "Using telemetry data from GPS and GloNaSS satellite sys-
place of a tower. "For now, we just want to rent a laser or radar tems, Pix4Dcapture's app allowed Inspire to automatically fly
unit for the drone, put it in the middle of a room or facility, let it routes optimized for mapping," stated IATEC's Luciano Araujo
scan, and automatically pull readings into 3D Max software to and Henrique Marques. "In just three days, Inspire 1 captured
generate renderings. This would let us scan and measure build- 2,588 grid-based nadir and free-flight oblique images in 10 sub-
ings that we usually have to measure and model manually." sections of the 750,000-sq-m plant, and stitched them together
Touchton's advice to other potential drone users is to buy or with Pix4Dmapper software, which is compatible with IATEC's
rent an affordable model, practice with it, and learn where it CAD/CAE software and configuration settings."

www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 35


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SALARY SURVEY

Steady as she goes


The picture of the process industry and the people who work in it has changed little
over the past three years. Will the calm last, or are rising winds in the offing?
by Nancy Bartels

AT first glance, the results of Control’s 2017 Salary Survey look design for today’s control systems.” Apparently, ISA’s new certifi-
like a movie we’ve all seen several times already. The typical pro- cation programs, Certified Automation Professional and Certified
cess engineer has gotten a little grayer, is a bit nearer to retire- Control Systems Technician, haven’t yet made sufficient inroads
ment, has more educational and managerial experience, and is into industry consciousness to make much of a difference, at
earning a bit more, but with a few notable exceptions, he’s much least in the mind of one respondent.
the same guy he always was and confronting the same issues The 2017 process automation professional probably works
and conditions as in the past. in one of three areas: production and plant operations (18.8%);
Unlike the wide-angle view of last year’s reporting where engineering, design and construction (39.2%); or plant mainte-
we reflected on changes over the entire 25-year history of the nance (13.6%).
survey, this year we’ve narrowed the focus to cover only the Another 6.8% are in corporate management—another set of
last three years, and this narrower view shows remarkably little numbers largely unchanged from past years.
change. But the answers to some questions reflect, however No matter what field he works in, our average respondent
obliquely, that this calm can’t last forever. Like every other indus- works hard for the money. Three-fourths (75.9%) of those sur-
try, process automation is only one major political shift of wind, veyed say they work 40-60 hours a week, down 3% from 2015.
economic downturn, technological breakthrough (here’s looking Another 18.1% say they work more. A little over three-quarters
at you, Internet), or natural disaster away from a seismic shift (76.7%) don’t get paid for overtime. This is another set of num-
that will change everything. bers virtually unchanged over the past three years.
But let’s look at the remarkably stable results first. Also, 62% are U.S. citizens, widely scattered across the
country, which is 13 points from the 2015 numbers. In the U.S.,
Process Automation Engineer, V.2017 Texas has the most process automation professionals, with
The average age of the respondents to our survey is 48.5, three 12.7%. The drop in the U.S. number almost certainly reflects
years younger than in 2016. Chances are, he’s a guy. This year Control’s growing overseas readership, the growing process in-
92.0% are men. The closest women have come to cracking the dustries in other countries, and the more international footprint
10% mark was 2015, when their percentage was 9.8%. of many major industry players.
He’s also a college guy. Forty-nine percent have a four-year
degree. An additional 23% have advanced degrees. A little over Show us the money
half (53.3%) are trained as electrical or chemical engineers. While the pay scale in process automation doesn’t put its engi-
This number is virtually unchanged over the past three years. neers in the storied 1% class, the money overall is quite good.
However, he’s not a licensed P.E. Only 24.6% of our respondents The average annual gross pay across the industry is $93,400,
are certified in this way. But, the past three years show a slow down a mere $620 from last year’s $94,020. The detailed
growth, up from 19.8% in 2015. breakdown for 2017 is shown below. Those making more than
One way to account for this is, on average, those without the $60,000 per year have increased from 73.4% in 2015 to 78.9%
P.E. certification earn $4,100 a year more ($93,000) than those now. This number is probably reflective of an aging workforce
with one ($89,300). That suggests the possibility that the engineer with more accumulated seniority. At the same time, we must re-
most interested in the technical nitty-gritty is not as interested in member that this number is an average. We received more than
the managerial track, which tends to offer greater earnings. one comment to the effect that management was “stingy” with
Another possibility was raised by one of our respondents, who wages and benefits. One respondent complained that he hadn’t
is looking for a “more focused professional group qualification had a raise in years, and another suggested that his company
for controls engineers. We work with engineering firms that have paid less than any of the similar companies in the area.
P.E.s on staff that just don’t have the experience or knowledge to It should be noted that these numbers are a reflection of the

www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 37


Under $30K
More than $140K
$31 to $40K 3.5%
SALARY SURVEY 8.0%
14.3%
$41 to $50K 3.2%

$51 to $60K
6.5%
$121 to
$61 15.2% $140K
6.3%
to $70K
age, educational background, seniority, and managerial posi- company, a way get a raise to people without seeming to give
tion of those responding. A little over 65% of our respondents them one, something 9.3%you’re entitled to for putting up with all the
$71
are over 45. About 41% have been with their current company hassle, etc.toWhatever
$80K your view of bonuses, everybody likes to
15.6%
more than 10 years. Almost three-fourths (72.0%) have at least a get one. This is another 7.8%area where the picture remains
$101 to remark-
10.4% $120K
four-year college degree,
Figure 1: andWhat
38.4% haveannual
is your more than
gross10salary?
years of ably steady over$81 time.
to $90K The only ripple in this pond is the 9%
supervisory experience. drop in the number of people$91 receiving
to $100K a bonus is 2016, which
No matter how much is in theUnder pay$30K
packet now, how much more rebounded to nearly 2015 levels this year.
More than $140K
is in it now compared to last
$31 to $40K year is an important benchmark.
3.5%
8.0% Figure 1: What is your annual gross salary?
The multi-year$41comparison
to $50K 3.2% of this benchmark 14.3% in Control’s survey Jobs with benefits
remains fairly steady. Last year showed a small uptick of 3.9% However,
Figuregross
2: How pay,much
raisesdid
andyour
Under bonuses
$30K salaryare only partlast
increase of the com-
year?
(87.3%) from $51 to $60K
2015 (83.9%) 6.5%in those who received raises. In 2017, pensation package.
$31 to $40KThe benefits a company offers
3.5%
More than $140Kthe
fill out
$121 to 8.0% that remains relatively un-
82.7% of respondents reported a raise of $4,000 or less, virtually
15.2% $140K
picture. Thisto is
None $41 another set of features
$50K 3.2% 24.8% 14.3%
$61 6.3%
unchanged overtothe $70Klast three years. Just a hair under a full quarter changed over time. Here are the numbers for the “Big 14” benefits
> $1K 17.3%
(24.1%) reported no raise at all. The complete breakdown for 2017 $51 to $60K
in 2017, which are relatively
6.5% unchanged from the previous two. Flex
is Figure 3. 9.3% $2-$4K
time has grown from being available to 26.2% of respondents $121in
40.6% to
$71
15.6% flat over $61 15.2% $140K
to $80K
Raises as a percentage of salary also have remained 2015 to 32.5% now.
$5-$7K Family leave is a new category we added this
6.3%
7.8% $101 to to $70K10.4%
the last three years. This year, the number 10.4% of people getting year; a surprising 27.4% say it’s available to them.
$120K $8-$10K 2.4%
raises of less than 11% $81 toof
$90K
their salary is 69.1%, up four points According to 9.3%
our respondents, that catch-all category “other”
$71
from the 65% of the previous two years. $91 to $100K $11-$15K 1.3%
includes everything from comp time, a housing
to $80K 15.6%
allowance and fit-
7.8%
ness 1.3%with bonuses for performance to a daily$101
tracking
$16-$20K mealto and,
10.4% $120K
Bonus! $81 to $90K
in one case, “a wife.” That last raises some interesting questions.
$21-$25K 0.6%
The corporate equivalent of your gold star in the first grade, Does one have to take the wife along $91 to $100K
if one leaves the company,
Figure < $25K 1.3%
payback for a job2:well
How much
done didespecially
or an your salary increase
good year forlast year?
your and depending on the answer, is that an incentive to stay or leave?
0 10 20 30 40
None 24.8%

> $1K Figure 1: What


17.3% is your annual gross salary? Figure 2: How much did your salary increase last year?

$2-$4K 40.6%
Under $30K None 24.8%
$5-$7K More than $140K
$31 to 10.4%
$40K 3.5%
8.0% > $1K 17.3%
$8-$10K$41 to 2.4%
$50K 3.2% 14.3%
$2-$4K
Figure 3: Did You get a raise?
40.6%
$11-$15K $511.3%
to $60K
6.5% $5-$7K 10.4%
$16-$20K 1.3% $121 to
15.2% $140K $8-$10K 2.4%
$61 6.3% 0 10 20
$21-$25K 0.6%
to $70K 66.1% 66.1%
$11-$15K 1.3% 57.1%
Yes Yes
< $25K 1.3% 9.3% Yes
$71 $16-$20K 1.3%
0 to $80K 10 20 15.6%
30 40
7.8% $21-$25K 0.6%
$101 to
10.4% $120K 2015 2016 2017
$81 to $90K < $25K 1.3%
$91 to $100K 0 10 20 30 40
100

80

Figure 3: Did You get a raise? 60 salary did the bonus represent?
Figure 4: What percentage of your
Figure 2: How much did your salary increase last year? 40
Less than 2% 18.9% 20.0% 21.1%
20
None 24.8% 2%-5% 26.6% 23.5% 22.3%
Figure 3:0 Did You get a raise?
> $1K 66.1% 17.3% 66.1% 6-10% 20.1% 21.5% 25.7%
57.1%
Yes Yes 33.1%
$2-$4K Yes 40.6% 11-15% 18.5% 15.0%
15.9% 42.9%
33.9%
$5-$7K 10.4% More than 15% 18.7% 16.5% 15.9%
66.1% 66.1%
2017 2015 57.1%
2016 2017
$8-$10K 2015
2.4% 2016 Yes Yes
Yes
$11-$15K 1.3%

$16-$20K 1.3% 2017


38 • JULY 2017 2015 2016 www.controlglobal.com
0 10 20
$21-$25K 0.6%
Figure 4: What percentage of your salary did the bonus represent?
SALARY SURVEY

Play dates
No matter how much you love what you do, time away is good
for mind and body. As Figure 6 shows, better than three-fourths
FIgure 5: Benefits
of our respondents get three or more weeks of vacation every
year. The numbers for 2015 and 2016 are virtually identical. This Medical 90.2%

year shows a 6.5% drop to 79.9% from 86.4% the year before, Dental 72.8%
which may be reflective of the number reaching retirement age Life insurance 75.5%
and a corresponding drop in the number of those qualified for Disability 61.9%
that big four-week-plus vacation. Pension 31.6%
While these numbers look good on paper, the real issue is 401K 60.6%
whether people actually take the time they’re entitled to. Ameri- Tuition reimbursement 41.9%
cans are notorious for not using their vacation time. According to Stock options 14.3%
New Equipment Digest, a survey by Project: Time Off finds that Profit sharing 19.2%
more than half of those surveyed did not take all the vacation Car 12.9%
time to which they were entitled. They were entitled to 22.6 paid Flex time 32.5%
vacation days, but took only 16.8 of them. That’s just a bit more Family leave 27.4%
than a five-day work week given back to The Man.
Telecommuting 15.6%
It’s a trend that has grown appreciably since 1993. We’ve
Other 3.3%
never asked the question directly, but every year in the free-form
0 20 40 60 80 100
comments section, we find people complaining that they’re too

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www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 39


Car
Flex time 12.9%15.6%
Telecommuting 32.5%
Flex time 32.5%
Family leaveOther 27.4%
3.3%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Family leave
SALARY SURVEY
Telecommuting 15.6% 0 27.4% 20 40 60 80 100
Telecommuting 15.6%
Other 3.3%
Other 3.3% 0 20 40 60 80 100
0 20 40 60 80 100 0 20 40 60 80 100
1.8% 10.7% 23.3% 34.6%
Figure
0 6: How
20 much
40 vacation
60 do 80
you get?
100 1.5%
1.5% 10.2% 21.3% 30.3%
1.8%
31.5% 1.8% 10.7% 34.6%
Figure 6: How much vacation do you get? companies, 38.3% of respondents 1.5%
said their company was hir- 23.3%
10.7% 34.6%
22.8%
Figure 6: How much vacation do you get?
25.6% 1.8%
1.5% 1.5% 10.2% 23.3%
21.3% 30.3%
ing, the best number in the last three 1.8%
14.9% 1.5% years, up a full 14.1%
1.8%
10.2% from21.3% 30.3%
31.5% 2016 and 5.6% from 2015.
3.2% 1.9%
22.8% 31.5% 25.6%
14.9% 22.8% 25.6% Comments in the “other” category reflect a largely unchanged
0 1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks More
14.9% picture. “Flat” and “steady” are frequently used terms. Others
3.2% 1.9% than 4
3.2% 1.9% indicate a mixed bag between a slow, modest improvement in
0 1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks More the picture and an equally modest retraction shown by “slowed
0 1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks than
More4
Figure 7: Are you happy in your work? than 4 hiring, slowed raises,” although one respondent ominously re-
2015 2016 2017 ported “everybody’s quitting.”
35

Figure 7: Are you happy in your work? Job security, certainly


30
25 a factor in a happy workplace, has in-
Figure 7: Are you happy in your work? 20

Yes 2015 creased this year. In 2017, 15 61.5% of our respondents say they’re
2016 2017 35 10

2015 2016 2017 not concerned about 30


35
25
their
5
0 job security, up 4.6% from 2016 and
30
20

Yes 73.0% 79.1% 79.0% a little higher than 1525202015’s 60.5% unworried respondents.
10
Yes 15
5
10
0
No 73.0%3.3% 79.1%
1.8% 79.0%
2.1% So what’s different?
5
0

73.0% 79.1% 79.0% If everything seems to be more or less smooth sailing, what’s the
No problem? Shouldn’t we just kick back and enjoy it? The truth is,
Sometimes 3.3% 1.8% 2.1%
No 3.3% 1.8% 2.1% there are some storm clouds on the horizon. They’ve been there
23.7% 19.1% 18.9%
for some time, but in the eyes ofAD:our Use pie chart for Q 38. Call outs are below.
respondents, too many
Sometimes Figure 8: The Economy Effect
Sometimes companies in the process automation industries are apparently
23.7% 19.1% 18.9%
23.7% 19.1% 18.9% ignoring them. Most of theseAD: Use piehave
clouds chart for
to Qdo38.with
Call outs
ourare below.
aging
Figure
AD: Use pie 8: for
chart TheQEconomy Effect
38. Call outs are below.
workforce and strategies in place (or not)8: to
Figure Thecompensate
Economy Effect for the
Figure 8: How is the current economy affecting your company?
departure of so many talented and experienced people.
10.2% promotions Looking at the numbers, in 2017, according to our survey, 53.0%
19.9% layoffs
Figure 8: How is the current economy affecting yourand raises
company? of respondents said their company was facing a shortfall of employ-
0 20 40 60

Figure 8: How is the current economy affecting your company?


10.2% promotions ees because of attrition by retirement or other reasons. That’s down
19.9% layoffs andpromotions
10.2% raises
19.9% layoffs only slightly from 2015’s 55.3%. T ​ his year, respondents say approxi-
0 20 40 60 80
and raises 0 20 40 60 80

38.2% hiring 19.2% more 12.5% other mately 10.0% of their workforce is expected to retire in the next two
overtime
to five years. That’s up from 5% in 2015.
38.2% hiring 19.2% more 12.5% other And yet, all too often, according to comments from our re-
overworked 38.2%tohiring
take time off, even if they’re overtime
19.2% more
entitled to12.5%it. It’s not un-
other spondents, companies don’t have plans to replace them. They
overtime
reasonable to. assume that the numbers in the process automation report that their companies rely on the usual collection of com-
industry are like those in the general working population. mon recruitment strategies: print and online advertising, employ-
. ment and recruitment agencies, networking and a scattershot
Is it worth . the hassle? of plans for reaching out to young people to encourage them to
One set of questions we ask every year is the level of job satis- Print or pursue engineering careers. They visit high schools and colleges,
online advertising 44.1%
faction our respondents experience. The cluster asks whether participate in STEM activities, hold open houses for interested 38.5%
Linked In, Facebook, or other social media
they’re happy in the automation profession, whether they’d young people and offer internships and/or co-op programs. But
Visits to local high schools, community colleges, and local Printcolleges
or onlineandadvertising
universities 32.4% 44.1%
recommend it as a career to their children, and what providesPrint or online notadvertising
one of these strategies commands more than the38.5% 44.1%44.1%for
Holding open-house events Linked teachers,
In, Facebook, or other social media
the most job satisfaction. Thisand tours for local
is another area students,
where
Linkedthe In, answer
parents,
Facebook, or other
and the and
print
social
community.
online advertising. Next
media
11.5%in popularity is having 38.5%either
Visits to local high schools, community colleges, and local colleges and universities 32.4%
Sponsoring local STEM programs,
remains more or less stable over time. Six percent more of our such as FIRST Robotics in local schools. 15.9%
internships or participating in other co-op programs
Visits to local high schools, community colleges, and local colleges and universities 32.4% at 40.2%.
Holding open-house
respondents say they’reevents and tours
happy for local
in their workstudents,
now teachers,
than
Participating said parents,
in orso in andlocal
coaching the STEM
community.
often the case with 11.5%
As isprograms our12.5%
surveys, the “other” category is re-
Holding open-house events and tours for local students, teachers, parents, and the community. 11.5%
2015. However,
Helping developgiven that the numbers
Sponsoring
process control localand
and STEM for 2016curriculum
programs,
automation and
such this year
as FIRST
at Robotics
local invealing.
localand
high schools “None”
schools. 6.9% 15.9%
colleges and “no strategy” are not uncommon remarks. So
Sponsoring 15.9%
are virtually unchanged, maybelocal
more STEM programs,
people weresuch
Participatingjust in
as
had
or
FIRSTa Robotics
coaching local
inislocal
STEM
schools. not trying to hire,” “no
“company
programs 12.5%
6.4%
present plans to hire, develop or
Teaching process control and automation at localhigh schools and colleges
bad year in 2015. Almost 82% would alsoParticipating recommend in or coaching local STEM
process attractprograms
future employees"6.9% and12.5%
the repressive “unfortunately, man-
Helping develop process control and and automation curriculum Offering at internships
local high schools
and/or and colleges
co-op programs 40.2%
automation as aprocess
Helping develop careercontrol
for their children,
and and another
automation number
curriculum that’s
at local high schools agement doesn’t grasp the
and colleges 6.9%state of the situation.”
Teaching process control and automation at localhigh schools and colleges 6.4% 14.5%
remained stable overTeaching the years, andcontrol
the top Other
process andreason
automationfor liking the schools and
at localhigh Of course,
colleges inertia and/or
6.4% obliviousness are not the only possible
Offering internships and/or co-op programs 40.2%
job remains the love of dealing with technical challenges. That explanations. Some 0 12% of 10our respondents
20 30 in the40.2%
fall 40
lucky cat- 50
Offering internships and/or co-op programs
number continues to hover in the 40-45% range. Other 14.5%
egory of expecting to lose less than 10% of their workforce in the
Other 14.5%
The fact that the economy as reflected in our industry is doing next two to five0 years. Furthermore,
10 20 companies 30 are facing 40 a slowly
50
better may also be making for a cheerier outlook on work in gen- growing economy 0 at best,10 and are20reluctant30to hire or40even replace 50

eral. When asked how the current economy was affecting their workers now. The number of comments we’ve seen over the past

40 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com

Figure 9: How long is your company’s apprenticeship


60
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The SSX and SST protect safety systems by isolating an Designed for applications like partial-stroke testing,
SIS from basic process control systems so that discon- valve diagnostics, and batch-data transfers, the multiplex-
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Teaching process control and automation at localhigh schools and colleges 6.4%

Offering internships and/or co-op programs 40.2%

Other 14.5%
SALARY SURVEY
0 10 20 30 40 50

stepping foot into the facilities.”


In 2017, 64.9% of companies outsourced some work, a number
unchanged over the past three years. The amount individual com-
Figure 9: How long is your company’s apprenticeship panies do hasn’t changed much either. It stands a decimal point 60
program for new operators or engineers?
above or below 53% consistently. The number of companies doing
50
more outsourcing than in the past has fluctuated between 25.0%
58.3%
and 30.0% over the last three years. The 2017 number was 28.6%. 40
There is an added wrinkle to the outsourcing strategy that’s
17.1% 14.3% 30
also unpopular with many respondents. One person in that
4.5% 5.8%
“other” category explains that, “The company just uses the 20
No 1 year 1+ to 3+ years Length H-1B visa program. All local initiatives ended once the visa laws
10
program or less >3 years varies were changed a few years ago.” This ploy is unpopular because
many local engineers feel that these workers are given prefer-0
few years complaining of having to do more work with fewer peo- ence because they’ll work for less money, and that the foreign
ple, and the number reporting work weeks of more than 40 hours workers aren’t as well trained as locally grown talent. Although,
or complaining that they’re too overworked to take vacations would in fairness, the veterans are less than impressed with the skills of
support that. For some companies, at least, the strategy seems to many of them as well.
be not to replace leaving employees unless there’s no other op- One cloud on this horizon is a possible/probable change in
tion. How long that strategy will be effective remains to be seen. government immigration policy. Stricter controls on ​H-1B ​visas
and other regulations could put an end to or at least severely re-
The replacements strict this corporate strategy. Whether that means that outsourc-
Then there's the fact that internships and apprenticeships are ing to overseas workers will decline, or moving entire plants over-
expensive to develop and administer, and developing a process seas will grow, or whether companies will find another way out of
0 10 20 3
control engineer, even one with good basic training in engineer- their difficulty, remains to be seen.
ing, takes years, not weeks. According to this year's survey, There is a final factor that may be influencing corporate reluc-
nearly 60% of companies offer no training at all, and only 18.8% tance to grapple with the retirement bubble: the Industrial Internet
offer a program on longer than a year (Figure 9). of Things (IIoT). This is the first year we’ve asked about IIoT in our
In our additional comments section, veterans have a thing or survey, and as of now, 44.1% of those surveyed say their company
two to say about this state of affairs. They’re very worried about is embracing the technology. That’s a big number for a field that’s
the lack of training. One respondent said, “The focus definitely famously conservative about adopting new technologies that might
seems less toward developing in-house expertise. This is across disrupt carefully tuned processes, especially for one whose useful-
the board—operations engineers, process control/automation ness is still debated and whose actual scope isn’t entirely clear.
engineers, etc. There is little focus/drive to have new engineers After all, what does the term actually cover? Robotics? Arti-
master their craft in any one area prior to moving on or mov- ficial Intelligence? Self-repairing machines? Machines that can
ing up.” Another explains, “Two years is too little to effectively learn? What will its implementation mean for highly regulated
train someone to take over my job. Five years is more appropri- environments? Is it even feasible in certain areas? Will it be the
ate.” A third respondent concurs, and adds, “It takes control kind of game changer its big brother, the Internet, was? Or will it,
systems engineers about three to five years just to get intimately in the end, be as much marketing hype and wishful thinking as a
acquainted with the technologies used by a site, much less the seismic change in the way the industry works?
time it takes to effectively exercise the skillset required.” The answers remains unclear. They’re beginning to come in,
One respondent warns, “[Management is] also unaware of but the picture is still out of focus. However, in the short term, it
how they’re setting the company up for failure by not develop- may be another justification some companies have for not seri-
ing new people to fill the shoes of those that will retire in the next ously addressing the retirement bubble. Why worry about the
five to 10 years.” And there’s this grim warning, “I don’t see the shortfall if the machines themselves can take over the work?
company being able to continue doing what we do in another 10 But given the slowness of many in the sector to respond to
years once everyone hits retirement age.” the demographic problem, even though its shape and scope has
But there’s another strategy for filling in the gaps that’s been been clear enough for at least a decade, the question is, will it
in place for several years, and it’s one that’s a continuing sore respond any more quickly to what could be another major dis-
point for our respondents—outsourcing. One respondent says, ruption to the industry.
“The company is continuing to outsource more and more en- Objects on the horizon are closer than they appear.
gineering roles to India and China. Many process, design and
engineering roles are now performed remotely from Asia without Nancy Bartels is the former managing editor of​Control.

42 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 43


ASK THE EXPERTS

Hydrogen mass flow


How can we measure hydrogen for custody transfer? Must we cut into the pipe?

This column is moderated Q: My aromatic plant consumes hydrogen during on, ultrasonic meters is 3-5% FS, which is no good.
by Béla Lipták startup. A dedicated line supplies hydrogen to If your flow rate is fairly constant (within, say, 2:1)
(http://belaliptakpe.com/), the plant. I would like to install an instrument to and the measurement variation is mostly due to den-
automation and safety measure the mass flow of the gas for billing pur- sity changes, you can add a nuclear densitometer to
consultant and editor of the poses. What kind of flow measurement technol- the clamp-on unit, and expect to get a ±5% AR ac-
Instrument and Automation ogy should be used? curacy over a 2:1 range.
Engineers’ Handbook Since the plant is in operation, the hydrogen Keep in mind that hydrogen gas usually con-
(IAEH). If you have an line should not be cut. So I'm looking for a mass tains some air, which is 14 times heavier than hy-
automation-related question flowmeter that does not require cutting the line. drogen. So, if it's not measured and corrected for,
for this column, write to On the other hand, clamp-on devices I’ve seen the mass flow measurement it will read high.
liptakbela@aol.com. don't have enough accuracy for billing purposes. The importance of hydrogen flow measure-
G.F. HEKMAT ment is increasing. Some expect that, in a couple
hekmatgh@gmail.com of generations, our present fossil-nuclear energy
economy will be replaced by a solar-hydrogen
A: The short answer is that clamp-on sensors are one. They believe our energy source will become
not suited for accounting applications. For that, you solar energy, and it will be stored and transported
need an in-line instrument, such as a Coriolis flow- in hydrogen. Whether this will happen or not, we
meter, with accuracy better than ±0.5% of actual don’t know, but we do know the market for hydro-
reading (AR) over a 100:1 range, or a thermal mass gen flowmeters is already rising. One of the newer
flowmeter with accuracy of ±1% AR to ±2% full applications is in the fuel cell industry, which
scale (FS) over a 5:1 range. The accuracy of clamp- serves both electric cars and solar homes, where
it provides electricity during the night. Fuel cells
Electric current operate by generating electricity, while oxidizing
hydrogen into water (Figure 1).
The specific energy of a kilogram of hydrogen
Fuel in e- Air in
(143 MJ/kg) is three times higher than that of
e-
gasoline (46.9 MJ/kg). The cost of a kilogram of
e- H2O hydrogen is around $5, and it is expected to level
e- off at $2-4. In electric cars, hydrogen is stored in
H+
H2 fuel tanks at around 10,000 psig (700 barg). One
O2 kilogram of hydrogen can provide the same driv-
H+ ing range as one gallon (3.79 liters) of gasoline. In
Unused
Excess gases fuel cell-operated electric cars, the fuel tanks can
fuel H2O out contain 5 kilograms of hydrogen, which can give a
driving range of up to 600 kilometers (375 miles).
Refueling at hydrogen fuel stations takes about 5
Anode Cathode
Electrolyte minutes.
In the U.S., the National Institute of Standards
FUEL CELL-POWERED ELECTRIC CAR and Technology (NIST) specifies the accuracy
Figure 1: The importance of hydrogen flow measure- requirements for the measurement of gasoline at
ment is increasing and the market for hydrogen fuel pumps. They usually use piston-type positive-
flowmeters is rising due to applications such as displacement pumps having ±0.3% AR accuracy,
the infrastructure for electric vehicles powered by meaning that the actal volume of a 10-gallon pur-
hydrogen fuel cells. chase could vary between 9.97 gallons and 10.03

44 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


ASK THE EXPERTS

gallons at the delivery temperature of the gasoline.


For hydrogen, NIST mandates that filling stations (Figure 2)
selling the fuel be able to dole out the gas at least at ±2% AR ac-
curacy (20 grams per kilogram). In addition, NIST Handbook 44,
which has been adopted by all states, stipulates that hydrogen will
be sold by the kilogram. A modified version of this requirement
(S&T Item 339-2) has widened the current accuracy tolerances,
and it's not yet entirely clear what the final numbers will be. In
short, this area of standardization is still in the development stage
and our process control profession can contribute to helping to get
it right.
As of today, the number of hydrogen fueling stations in the world
is reported to be 760, including 35 in the U.S. (32 in Catifornia),
but these numbers are increasing very fast. Building these stations HYDROGEN FUEL STATION
is expensive (about $1 million each) and their refueling precision is Figure 2: NIST mandates that filling stations selling the fuel be able
debatable. While the pumps usually display the sales as accurate to dole out hydrogen with at least at ±2% actual reading (AR) ac-
to within ±0.01 kg, I'm not sure if they really are. When refueling, curacy (20 grams per kilogram). The pumps usually display the sales
the hydrogen is charged into the car's storage tanks, which are as being accurate to within ±0.01 kg (10 grams).
designed to hold the gas at 10,000 psig (700 barg). The availability
of such high-pressure mass flowmeters is limited, but they do exist
and their accuracy ranges from better than 0.5% AR to about 2%
FS (Figure 3).
Naturally, one could also use the ideal gas law (PV = mRT)
to determine the mass of hydrogen in the fuel tank at any one
time (m = PV/RT), where m = mass, P = absolute pressure, V =
volume of the fuel tank, R = the gas constant and T = absolute
temperature. Using this method would also be feasible because,
if the tank is being refilled with pure hydrogen, the tank volume
and the gas constant are known (V and R) and the hydrogen
pressure and temperature (P and T) can be accurately mea-
sured. To my knowledge, this method of mass flow measurement HIGH-PRESSURE MASS FLOWMETERS
has not yet been used, but it could. Figure 3: Examples of high-pressure mass flowmeters include a
BÉLA LIPTÁK Coriolis mass flowmeter by Heinrichs Messtechnik GmbH (left), and a
liptakbela@aol.com thermal mass flowmeter by Bronkhorst (right).

A: While there are many flowmeters that are capable of mea- A: I concur with Bela – use Coriolis. Note, however, the extreme
suring hydrogen gas, only the Coriolis flowmeter corrects for sensitivity of hydrogen measurements to the presence of any
density variations resulting from both temperature and pressure contaminants. One percent of, for instance, oxygen is equal to
changes. All other flow measurements are volumetric, and must 8% hydrogen. You can't rely on the Coriolis meter to determine
be corrected for variations in pressure and temperature. Coriolis the mixture density/composition as you could in liquid phase. So
is the only technology sufficiently accurate to be used in custody if you're purchasing 95% hydrogen on the basis of its hydrogen
transfer operations, such as your application. content, most of your measurement is the contaminants. This is
DICK CARO a matter that hydrogen producers have traditionally been careful
RCaro@CMC.us to conceal in their contracts.
IAN H. GIBSON
A: I recommend that you consider a Coriolis mass flow meter gibs0108@optusnet.com.au
for this application. For additional details and technical guide-
lines, please see www2.emersonprocess.com/siteadmincenter/ A: You can definitely use a Coriolis mass flowmeter. Check with
PM%20Micro%20Motion%20Documents/Hydrogen-Gas-Bene- Micro Motion. I've used it for measuring flow as low as 8 gm/ hr
fits-WP-00539.pdf. hydrogen for gas-phase polymerisation reactors.
RAJ BINNEY DEBASIS GUHA
binney4family@internode.on.net Debasis_guha71@yahoo.com

www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 45


ROUNDUP

Calibration road trip


Many process instruments are gaining a take-out menu of calibration functions that used to be done solely
by calibrators, and traveling with them into the field.

PRESSURE, VACUUM PUMP WEB-BASED CALIBRATION DISPLAY


PGC calibration pump can generate pres- AMS Device Manager V13.5 software has
sure and vacuum in the range of -0.95 AMS Device View intuitive, web-based
to 35 bar, which is -13.7 to 510 psi. The interface with mobile-friendly dashboards
pump has a pressure/vacuum selector, that provide an overview of device health
so users can quickly go between positive and calibration status from anywhere with
pressure and vacuum. A fine adjustment an Internet link to AMS Device Manager.
is provided to accurately adjust generated It also supports definition of device test
pressure or vacuum. PGC comes in a car- schemes, calibration scheduling and cali-
rying case with a dedicated 40 bar/580 bration data management. Test schemes
psi pressure T-hose set and conical pressure connectors suited are defined by calibration interval, test
for use with Beamex calibrators. point and accuracy needs, and set-up/clean-up instructions.
BEAMEX EMERSON AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS
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MULTI-PURPOSE TOOL FOR PRESSURE VERIFICATION EASES CALIBRATION


Fluke 729 automatic pressure calibra- Heartbeat Technology onboard di-
tor automatically generates precise test agnostic and instrument verification
pressures; improves calibration integrity system, when added to Micropilot
by compensating for leaks; and auto- FMR5X free-space radar and FMP5X
matically documents the calibration Levelflex guided radar level transmit-
process for compliance and regulatory ters, reduces the need for calibrations
demands. The 729 features automatic by comparing internal components
pressure generation to 300 psi; calibra- with their reference values to deter-
tion documentation with templates; mine device status. Verification pro-
HART communications; measurement of mA signals on trans- duces a pass or fail statement, and generates a report in compli-
mitter outputs; and sourcing and simulation of mA signals. ance with quality, safety and regulatory requirements.
FLUKE CORP. ENDRESS+HAUSER
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GAUGE GIVES REMINDERS MODULAR SENSORS DO CALIBRATIONS


XP2i intrinsically safe, digital pressure Because of its modular sensors,
test gauges notify users when their cali- meriGauge plus digital pressure
bration is about to expire. Using Crystal gauge lets users buy only the pres-
Engineering’s free ConFigXP software, sure ranges they need. Its 10 small,
XP2i can be programmed to alert users interchangeable Smart Sensors (15
before, on or after its calibration due psi to 3,000 psi) each contain their
date. Users can even select the type own calibrations. meriGauge plus
of alert, from a start-up warning to a has a large, two-line display with a
continuous warning that prevents users backlit digital readout, and guar-
from operating it. XP2i has three alert options: gauge startup, antees accuracy of ±0.02% of full scale plus 0.005% of reading
always, and alternate with reading. from -10 °C to 50 °C and from 0% to 110% of range.
CRYSTAL ENGINEERING, A UNIT OF AMETEK MERIAM PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES
805-595-5477; www.crystalengineering.net 216-281-1100; www.meriam.com

46 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


CONTROL TALK

Opening minds about controllers


Part 2: Cases where it's better or easier to use model predictive control instead of PID.

GREG: In part 1 (Control, June ’17, p. 55, www.con- tions with the traditional general rigorous use of
trolglobal.com/articles/2017/opening-minds-about- open equations to find and attain steady-state
controllers-part-1), we started with a discussion of optimums. What we see are more small, targeted
how to tune your PID with Mark Darby, principal at and simplified approaches to RTO.
CMiD Solutions and part-time lecturer at the Uni-
versity of Houston, who also greatly expanded my GREG: The ability to try out a small MPC built into
horizon on model predictive control (MPC) in our the DCS without the need for a special license or
column, “Model predictive control—past, present interface has led to more and more applications.
and future” (Control, Feb. ’13, p. 55, www.control- These newer MPC provide much tighter control than
global.com/articles/2013/mcmillan-weiner-mpc- the previous PID because of the ability to address
past-present-future). Here we discuss in more detail compound responses and to identify and include
with Mark what MPC can do that PID could not do disturbance variables in the model. The existing PID
as well or as easily. Experts like Greg Shinskey and loop tuning was challenging due to slow, complex
his protégé Sigifredo Nino can get extraordinarily response and the dynamic compensation of a feed-
more out of a PID than the average user, particularly forward missing due to software that couldn't readily GREG MCMILLAN
for challenging multivariable applications, as seen compute the required lead-lag and deadtime. STAN WEINER, PE
in “Distilled analysis of interaction” (Control, Aug.
’14, p. 63, www.controlglobal.com/articles/2014/ MARK: I think it’s helpful to think in terms of two va- Greg McMillan and Stan Weiner
distilled-analysis-of-interaction). ISA Mentor Program rieties of MPC applications: 1) the process unit appli- bring their wits and more than 66
resources, such as Michel Ruel, can also achieve cations, consisting of several unit operations, with an years of process control experience
much more with PID than most practitioners as seen objective of production maximization or energy mini- to bear on your questions, com-
in Michel’s many articles, starting for me with “Show mization and 2) a standalone or targeted application ments and problems.
me the money, part 1” (Control, Nov. ’09, p. 55, that's addressing a challenging control problem with
www.controlglobal.com/articles/2009/Money0911). complex dynamics and/or interactions. Write to them at
controltalk@putman.net.
STAN: What trends do you see in the use of ad- STAN: Why does MPC do better than PID on pro-
vanced process control? cesses with complex responses often due to dis-
turbance variables and recycle effects?
MARK: We continue to see widespread use of
MPC, although with a variable success rate across MARK: Leaving aside the multivariable advantages,
the industry. Continuing enhancements from the MPC, with its flexible model form, can better con-
technology suppliers have been in the areas of trol complex process responses than PID, due to its
closed-loop plant testing and model identifica- limited structure. Note that this assumes the iden-
tion. With the current shortages of knowledgeable tification software can identify sufficiently accurate
staff, which will only get worse with the retiring of higher-order models. Higher-order effects include
baby boomers, we're starting to see technology inverse response, lead effect and compound re-
suppliers enhancing their MPC products to help sponse caused by an embedded recycle in the
guide inexperienced users to the right decisions. process. The MPC will explicitly consider a predic-
Embedded MPC capability in the DCS is allowing tion of the model over the prediction horizon, and
MPC to be used instead of customized advanced will include the predictive effect of all manipulated
regulatory approaches for smaller applications. variables plus the contribution from disturbance
Real-time optimization (RTO) has not lived up to variables. Consider, for example, MPC control of
its promise. Only a few large companies have the an inverse response, with a predictive horizon that
skills to develop and maintain large RTO applica- extends to steady state. The MPC will anticipate the

www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 47


CONTROL TALK

inverse response and not correct in the the plantwide objective is maximum pro- the integrating variable at steady state).
wrong direction as a PID would. duction and limiting constraints lie at the Some MPCs include additional options for
back-end of the plant. By expanding the handling unmeasured disturbances that
GREG: For a simple combination of an MPC to include a series of unit opera- can address error originating from a load
early first- or second-order exponential tions, you can greatly expand optimiza- disturbance on the process input.
response followed by a slow integrator, tion, improve constraint handling, and
like we'd see in a temperature loop on provide a more coordinated solution. GREG: A PID can provide deadtime
a heat exchanger in a recirculation on However, the condition of the matrix can compensation either via a Smith Predic-
a vessel, we could tune the PID for the become challenging. Fortunately, tech- tor or the simple insertion of a deadtime
early response. We could also include the niques exist that can detect and repair block in the external reset feedback,
vessel temperature (heat exchanger input the ill conditioning. as explained in “Common automation
temperature) as a feedforward variable, myths debunked” (Control, April ’17, p.
but this understanding is generally miss- STAN: How well does an MPC handle 42, www.controlglobal.com/articles/2017/
ing. Secondary lags can be compensated unmeasured load disturbances? common-automation-myths-debunked).
for to a large degree by derivative action.
A lag can be added to the controlled vari- MARK: The traditional bias correction for MARK: A few MPCs allow a variable
able via a filter to compensate for a small unmeasured load disturbances on the deadtime. In general, though, a change
lead. What we can't handle well with a PID process input doesn't do as well as a PID in deadtime requires a reformulation of
is an irregular response, like inverse re- for lag-dominant processes where the the matrix, making frequent changes
sponse in boiler drum level control, which PID gain and rate time settings are large. impractical. This would be a nice feature
must rely more on a feedforward, such as This limitation can often be mitigated by for an MPC to have as it would allow, for
steam flow in three-element control. adding feedforward disturbances or by example, deadtime to be expressed as a
incorporating DCS PID temperature loops function of throughput.
STAN: What are the pros and cons of as manipulated variables in the MPC. We
making the MPC bigger to include more can switch to modeling the MPC process STAN: Do you see a trend to seek the
than a single unit operation? as an integrator, so the correction of the MPC to directly manipulate a control valve
slope can provide action similar to what rather than a flow controller?
MARK: MPC size is dictated by process a PID can do. However, due to the way
interactions and expected constraints. integrators are often treated in MPC, this MARK: Direct manipulation of a control
Larger controllers typically arise when uses up a degree of freedom (to balance valve is normally done when either typical
operation or the optimal steady state is at
or near fully open or closed valve position.
In these situations, it can make sense to
“open” the DCS loop and directly manipu-
late the controller output. This approach
may require signal characterization for lin-
earization, and assumes good positioner
tuning, minimal stiction and backlash and
an 86% response time that's not signifi-
cantly dependent on step size. Backlash
can be addressed to some degree by us-
ing a lead-lag on the valve signal. When
stiction or backlash is present, it's advis-
able to incorporate a minimum move limit
in the MPC output. Adaptive approaches
that adjust the controller output to PV
model have also been applied.

GREG: These requirements on valve re-


sponse are important in PID control as well,
Does the real world meet graduates' expectations? See the "Top 10 advertisements and advise- but often aren't met due to an emphasis on
ments" at www.controlglobal.com/articles/2017/opening-minds-about-controllers-part-2. tight shutoff and low cost.

48 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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www.controlglobal.com JULY 2017 • 49


CONTROL REPORT

Be your own reporter


Don't wait for editors and publications. Just pick an intriguing topic to research
and go to town.

ONE problem that irritates me no end is when we panies and organizations. These can be painfully
can't run one of Control's regular departments. slow because many apparently haven't devoted
This month it was the popular Resources column, sufficient resources to bandwidth. However, they
which I enjoy researching and compiling because may also have useful materials that don't readily
it gives readers a concentrated dose of educa- show up in general web searches, possibly be-
tional items, whitepapers, videos and other mate- cause they're also not working on search engine
rials on a different topic each month. optimization (SEO) or promoting their content
Of course, I know can run an unlimited amount more widely. Still, everyone seems to be writing
of articles and other materials online, but I was white papers and shooting videos, and many are
also thinking of an alternative and more flexible useful and worth seeking.
solution. Dear readers, do some of your own re- Fourth, don't neglect newer search and content
search and reporting. venues like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Insta-
Seriously, don't wait for me or some other outlet gram and others. Many chatrooms of old or their
JIM MONTAGUE to come up with something that sounds interest- descendants are still active, but they've been
Executive Editor ing, but is all too often half-baked. You can do joined by a host of more dynamic content-sharing
jmontague@putman.net a fine job on your own. After all, if this was that applications and communities with unique voices
well-known rocket science or brain surgery, I'd and equally interesting materials.
be scanning the want ads, I mean, posting my re- Fifth, make some phone calls. The young folks
Before you hit search, sumé on LinkedIn. have informed me that calling is rude, at least if it
take a minute and really Just pick an intriguing topic and go to town. isn't prefaced by a text or email query. However,
think about what you're Of course, I know everyone can Google what- I've also found that even digital content only goes
after. Just a few ever. However, there are a few subtle investigation so far, and following up with some real people
representative words methods that I think can make many research ef- and pointed questions can generate some excel-
that are likely to appear forts more productive. lent answers. I may just be unlucky, but email
in the material you're First, I've found that simple, two- to four-word responses are typically wishy-washy and unspe-
seeking can be a big phrases tend to yield better search results. Bool- cific. Phone calls have much better give-and-take,
help in finding useful ean search methods are nothing new, but it's im- and if someone isn't answering a question, you
results. portant to avoid long, unspecific descriptions with can say, "Excuse me, but you're not answering
unneeded words. They typically generate huge the question" Plus, when I'm done asking sources
and bad results. what they know, I can finish up by asking who
So, before you hit search, my advice is take they know. I call this the "human bibliography."
a minute and really think about what you're af- Sixth, examine your initial results, refine your
ter. Just a few representative or relatively unique terms, and search again. You know, lather, rinse
words that are likely to appear in the material and repeat, if desired.
you're seeking—maybe a slightly unusual name or Finally, beyond researching editorial and tech-
technical concept—can be a big help in turning nical topics, these basic inquiry steps can be
up useful results. Don't just search for "flowme- used in all areas of life to assist yourself, your
ter." Search for "flowmeter" and "pipe diameters" family and your community. One reporter friend
or "turbidity" or something else. of mine was hit with brain stem cancer many
Second, quality search methods aside, you years ago, but he approached it like another story,
must also be willing to wade through a lot of balo- found one of the early providers of Gamma Knife
ney. With a little practice, you can usually tell in a treatments in the Chicago area, and is still on
second or two if most citations hold any promise. Facebook as of a couple days ago. How's that for
Third, dive into the websites of individual com- reporting?

50 • JULY 2017 www.controlglobal.com


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