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2006




ExperTune and TiPS Announce User’s Conference

ExperTune and TiPS have announced their 2007 User’s Conference, to be held April 17-19, in Austin, Texas. The conference theme, "Build a Stronger Automation Foundation", captures the essence of the event, which will focus on technologies and techniques that restore and strengthen your automation infrastructure.

ExperTune and TiPS share a common philosophy: "The best operations run on a foundation of excellent basic automation." Both companies help their clients ensure that control system fundamentals are being leveraged successfully to deliver safety, quality, reliability, and profits.

John Gerry, President and Founder of ExperTune, says "Many of our clients and business partners are leaders in the field of process control optimization. We expect this to be an outstanding learning opportunity for everyone."

"There is such a wide range of experience related to alarm management and its influence on control. This conference brings people from different perspectives together to share and learn. It will be an invaluable forum for anyone involved in designing or using regulatory control," adds TiPS President, Bob Weibel.

The 3-day conference will be held at the Marriott Courtyard adjacent to the Austin convention center. The program includes hands-on training, case studies, and roundtables, including presentations from notable industry leaders. Conference attendees will try out optimization techniques from classrooms equipped with wireless networks connected to full-scale process simulations.

For more information on the conference, visit www.expertune.com/UG2007.aspx, or contact ExperTune at +1 (262) 369 7711.

About TiPS:
TiPS is a pioneer in alarm management software, producing the first version of LogMate in 1990. LogMate has been refined over 16 years and hundreds of installations around the globe. TiPS prides itself on quality, stable, feature-rich products that excel against the highest standards of value. TiPS is a thought leader in alarm management, committed to education and empowerment of our current and future clients. Find out more at http://www.tipsweb.com.

About ExperTune
For 20 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software that runs in thousands of plants world-wide. PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software oversees the optimization of an entire plant. PlantTriage® optimizes the entire process, including equipment, operations, and controls. ExperTune's full suite of optimization tools is designed to increase the efficiency of processes. The company's analysis tools include interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency analysis, and process modeling.

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ExperTune’s PlantTriage Guarantees Savings

ExperTune is so confident that PlantTriage® delivers bottom-line results that it will provide software and services for free, in exchange for a share of the savings. This offer comes after repeated successes in process plants worldwide. With this “Software for Savings” offer, clients receive PlantTriage software, service, and training, completely free of charge. In return, ExperTune receives a 25% share of the resulting savings, such as energy reductions, production increases, and waste/scrap reduction.

"After talking with dozens of existing clients, and hearing for myself how PlantTriage has saved millions, I am 100% convinced that PlantTriage will deliver these bottom-line benefits to any process plant. This offer puts our money where our mouth is." says Kevin Gibbs, newly-appointed CEO of ExperTune.

The PlantTriage Performance Supervision System identifies and prioritizes the biggest opportunities for improvement in process plants. Typical industries using PlantTriage include Oil & Gas, Metals & Mining, Chemicals, Pulp & Paper, and Utilities. Integrated tools enable drill-down to solve root-cause performance problems.

ExperTune’s offer includes a full license to the PlantTriage software, configuration and start-up service, training, and expert analysis services. The offer is valid worldwide, with services provided through ExperTune’s global network of process and control experts.

Mr. Gibbs continues "Our software delivers results, and we’ll prove it. You won’t pay a penny until you see the impact to the bottom-line."

For more details on the "Software for Savings" offer, contact ExperTune at +1 (262) 369 7711.

About PlantTriage®
PlantTriage® is a Performance Supervision System, designed to improve the performance of equipment, operations, and controls. PlantTriage extracts data from existing control systems, using industry-standard OPC communications. Based on ExperTune's award-winning control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® then makes prioritized recommendations for performance improvement. With integrated control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® is the only complete performance supervision system. For more information about PlantTriage®, visit www.plantTriage.com.

About ExperTune
For 20 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software that runs in thousands of plants world-wide. PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software oversees the optimization of an entire plant. PlantTriage® optimizes the entire process, including equipment, operations, and controls. ExperTune's full suite of optimization tools is designed to increase the efficiency of processes. The company's analysis tools include interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency analysis, and process modeling.

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ExperTune Appoints CEO for PlantTriage Expansion

Due to the rapid growth of PlantTriage® sales worldwide, ExperTune has appointed Kevin Gibbs as its Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. His primary focus will be managing the continued growth of PlantTriage sales.

John Gerry, President and Founder of ExperTune, says "Kevin brings extensive experience with rapidly-expanding software companies. Kevin has both the qualifications and the drive to take ExperTune to the next level." Prior to joining ExperTune, Kevin was CEO of SpiritSoft, where he was responsible for strategic direction and development worldwide.

As process plants have continued their search for reduced energy costs and increased production, PlantTriage sales have risen dramatically. Mr. Gerry adds "Kevin is a leader with strategic vision. By adding Kevin to our team, we will continue to expand the market while at the same time maintaining our role as the leader of innovation in process performance."

About PlantTriage®
PlantTriage® is a Performance Supervision System, designed to improve the performance of equipment, operations, and controls. PlantTriage extracts data from existing control systems, using industry-standard OPC communications. Based on ExperTune's award-winning control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® then makes prioritized recommendations for performance improvement. With integrated control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® is the only complete performance supervision system. For more information about PlantTriage®, visit www.plantTriage.com.

About ExperTune
For 20 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software that runs in thousands of plants world-wide. PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software oversees the optimization of an entire plant. PlantTriage® optimizes the entire process, including equipment, operations, and controls. ExperTune's full suite of optimization tools is designed to increase the efficiency of processes. The company's analysis tools include interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency analysis, and process modeling.




Online Training Explodes the Myths of Plant Performance

ExperTune is offering free web-based training to improve plant performance. "The 6 Myths of Process Performance" identifies the "right things" to focus on for improved process performance. The myths represent outdated methods of plant performance improvement. Each myth is debunked in a short 5-minute video.

Suddenly plant personnel can see exactly where to focus their efforts. The old methods, or "myths", of performance improvement are no longer relevant. ExperTune's free on-line training videos expose the "right things", and explode these common myths. The 6 Myths of Plant Performance are:

  1. Tuning is Everything
  2. Averages Are More Important Than Dynamics
  3. There Isn't Time to Look at Everything
  4. Each Unit Operation is an Island
  5. Analog Instruments Can't Deliver Diagnostics
  6. You Can't Show the Value in Dollars and Cents

John Gerry, President and founder of ExperTune, says "Most process plants are awash in a sea of data generated by their control systems. The '6 Myths' series explains how to focus on the right real-time performance measures to get better plant results. The secrets of better performance are exposed as we de-bunk each myth."

Each training session debunks one of the 6 myths. For example, in Myth 1:"Tuning is Everything", we discover that tuning is the last thing you should examine. What about process noise, linearity, disturbances and interactions, valve sizing and performance, controller design and operator changes? Focus on these items first to multiply the benefits of controller tuning. In "Myth 2: Averages Are More Important Than Dynamics", we learn that plant dynamic behavior actually drives the plant results, such as cost, quality, and throughput. Focusing on the right measures of dynamic performance will deliver plant performance results proactively.

Mr. Gerry adds, "All the process data you need is readily available via OPC. Condensing the data into meaningful real-time performance measures keeps everyone focused on the most important issues. Those who have adapted their methods to use this information are now saving millions of dollars."

Each of the '6 Myths' sessions is a short video, including live demonstrations and practical examples. The videos are presented in standard Windows Media (.wmv) format. The 6 Myths series are available at Myths.

About PlantTriage®
PlantTriage® is a Performance Supervision System, designed to improve the performance of equipment, operations, and controls. PlantTriage extracts data from existing control systems, using industry-standard OPC communications. Based on ExperTune's award-winning control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® then makes prioritized recommendations for performance improvement. With integrated control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® is the only complete performance supervision system. For more information about PlantTriage®, visit www.plantTriage.com.

About ExperTune
For 20 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software that runs in thousands of plants world-wide. PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software oversees the optimization of an entire plant. PlantTriage® optimizes the entire process, including equipment, operations, and controls. ExperTune's full suite of optimization tools is designed to increase the efficiency of processes. The company's analysis tools include interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency analysis, and process modeling.

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Interaction Mapping Finds Root Cause of Plant Upsets

PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software now includes a simple color-coded interaction map. On this map, users can quickly identify the most important process interactions. Process Interaction Mapping also displays lead and lag data, making it much easier to find the root cause of process upsets.

Process upsets in one part of the plant are multiplied by process interactions. Upsets and interactions directly affect bottom-line cost and quality. Finding the root cause of the upset is the key to stabilizing the plant, and achieving the highest levels of performance. PlantTriage Process Interaction Mapping shows all of the interactions, and helps to find the source of variation in minutes.

PlantTriage continually monitors and performs 60 assessments of performance for every control loop in the plant. The new Process Interaction Map evaluates this real-time data to display interactions between process variables. The color-coded display focuses attention on the most important interactions.

John Gerry, President and founder of ExperTune, says "Finding the root cause of upsets in a large plant can be a tedious and time-consuming job. Our goal with PlantTriage is to help engineers and technicians save time and effort by focusing on the most important aspects of the process. Process Interaction Mapping saves time and takes the guesswork out of root-cause analysis."

Process Interaction Mapping displays the extent of interaction between one process variable, and every other process variable in the plant. Both periodic upsets and steady-state upsets can be seen. From a simple web browser interface, the user can narrow their search based on any number of criteria, such as unit operation, type of measurement, economic value, oscillation, or over 80 other criteria.

Process Interaction Mapping also establishes the lead or lag relationship between variables. This information can be used to help identify cause and effect. The "leading" variable is typically the root cause of the upset. Eliminate the root cause of the upset, and the entire plant benefits.

Mr. Gerry adds, "With the PlantTriage tools, opportunities jump right out at you. It is immediately obvious where to focus your attention. With Process Interaction Mapping, people are solving some of their most difficult process interaction problems, and showing a direct improvement to cost and quality."

About PlantTriage®
PlantTriage® is a Performance Supervision System, designed to improve the performance of equipment, operations, and controls. PlantTriage extracts data from existing control systems, using industry-standard OPC communications. Based on ExperTune's award-winning control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® then makes prioritized recommendations for performance improvement. With integrated control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® is the only complete performance supervision system. For more information about PlantTriage®, visit www.plantTriage.com.

About ExperTune
For 20 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software that runs in thousands of plants world-wide. PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software oversees the optimization of an entire plant. PlantTriage® optimizes the entire process, including equipment, operations, and controls. ExperTune's full suite of optimization tools is designed to increase the efficiency of processes. The company's analysis tools include interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency analysis, and process modeling.

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Simple, Actionable Diagnosis Available Anytime, Anywhere

PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software now includes a simple, text message diagnosis for every loop in the plant. The diagnosis is immediately available to any technician or plant engineer via their web browser. Each diagnosis is an actionable item providing fast resolution of problems.

The simple message diagnostic for each loop tells exactly where to focus, whether it is a sensor, controller, or valve-related issue. The new diagnostic identifies specific control loop problems or specifies control loop performance as "OK".

PlantTriage continually monitors and performs 60 assessments of performance for every control loop in the plant. The new simple diagnostic message distills those 60 assessments into one simple text message or diagnostic. Diagnostics are prioritized based on the potential improvement to operations.

Some of the possible messages are: "Oscillating due to valve", "Sluggish Tuning", and "Failed sensor". Each diagnosis is "actionable", meaning the user can take immediate action to correct the problem based on the message.

Automated diagnostics help plant personnel to use their time wisely. According to Michael Kennedy, Global Process Control Engineering Manager at Columbian Chemicals, "Considering the limited number of skilled personnel, there are limits to what we can accomplish. To remain competitive, we need the right tools to streamline process improvement, while adding a greater leverage to our existing knowledge and skills."

John Gerry, President of ExperTune adds, "We have the technology to monitor and diagnose the most common causes of control loop failure, across the entire plant, automatically. PlantTriage® removes the guesswork from control loop maintenance. Why should engineers and technicians waste time, when they can have the answers delivered right into their hands?"

About PlantTriage®
PlantTriage® is a Performance Supervision System, designed to improve the performance of equipment, operations, and controls. PlantTriage extracts data from existing control systems, using industry-standard OPC communications. Based on ExperTune's award-winning control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® then makes prioritized recommendations for performance improvement. With integrated control loop optimization tools, PlantTriage® is the only complete performance supervision system. For more information about PlantTriage®, visit www.plantTriage.com.

About ExperTune
For 20 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software that runs in thousands of plants world-wide. PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software oversees the optimization of an entire plant. PlantTriage® optimizes the entire process, including equipment, operations, and controls. ExperTune's full suite of optimization tools is designed to increase the efficiency of processes. The company's analysis tools include interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency analysis, and process modeling.

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Performance Supervision Ensures Optimal Model Predictive Control

PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software now supervises Model Predictive Controllers (MPC).  The goal of Model Predictive Controller supervision is to ensure that MPC controllers continue to run optimally. 

PlantTriage uses economic information and controller data to calculate assessments that quickly indicate if the MPC controller is continuing to provide a high return on investment.  Assessments that are unique to PlantTriage ensure MPC control at optimal levels.  Without performance supervision in place, MPC controller performance often degrades over time, even to the point of being disabled by operations.

John Gerry, President of ExperTune says "Many of our clients invested heavily in advanced controls, and then discovered they weren't able to sustain a good return on that investment. With PlantTriage in place, MPC controllers are held to a higher standard. This, in turn, delivers bottom- line results to oil refineries, chemical plants, and process plants everywhere."

Within PlantTriage®, MPC controller performance is tracked, trended, and historized at the controller, unit, plant, and site levels. Web-based visualization tools display the information in an intuitive manner. Drill- down capabilities are used to drive analysis to root cause.

A unique MPC assessment included with PlantTriage is Controller Entropy. This innovative performance assessment actually detects and tracks when a controller is making moves which result in cycling between constraints. In other words, the controller is making moves or changes, but no improvements or benefits result. A low Controller Entropy indicates the MPC Controller is effectively reducing costs.

PlantTriage also includes another unique assessment called Controller Degrees of Freedom. Degrees of Freedom assesses the degree that MVs are free to control the process. Small values indicate the controller is providing cost reduction.

According to Mr. Gerry, "To achieve the best overall results, each part of the plant must perform at its best. PlantTriage® performance assessment ensures that every valve, every instrument, every controller, and every process is at its best. From mundane mechanical linkages to sophisticated advanced control algorithms, PlantTriage® keeps the whole plant running smoothly."

About ExperTune:
For 19 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software that runs in thousands of plants world-wide. PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software oversees the optimization of an entire plant. PlantTriage® optimizes the entire process, including instrumentation, controllers, and valves. ExperTune's full suite of optimization tools is designed to increase the efficiency of processes. The company's analysis tools include simulation, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearizer, time series analysis, multivariable, statistical, frequency response, and PID tuning tools. ExperTune is a member of the OPC Foundation. For more information, set your browser to http://www.expertune.com.

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ExperTune Receives Patent for Loop Health Metrics

The U.S. Patent Office has issued a patent for Control Loop Performance to ExperTune, Inc. ExperTune has invented methods and programs to calculate overall Control Loop Performance based on process, control, and economic measures. This patented technology is a core component of ExperTune's PlantTriage® Performance Supervision System. U.S. Patent #6,993,396 was awarded to John Gerry, President and founder of ExperTune, Inc.

PlantTriage® gathers data from the control system, performs a series of numerical assessments, then combines them with economic data to provide a dimensionless measure of control loop performance, or "Control Loop Health". Using this single number, process plant personnel can prioritize process improvement efforts and maintenance activities.

Control Loop Health can be customized at each plant site to emphasize those measures of performance that relate to the business strategy. For example, one site may emphasize a reduction in oscillation and variability, while another may focus on alarm rates, maintaining loops in normal mode, and speed of control response to upsets. These measures become customized Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs.

John Gerry, President of ExperTune says "With PlantTriage®, it is our goal to streamline the performance improvement process. The patented Control Loop Performance metrics give our clients great insight into the performance of the process. Using these KPI's to maintain focus, our clients have been able to reduce energy costs, improve production rates, and stabilize process operations."

Within PlantTriage®, Control Loop Health is tracked, trended, and historized at the loop, unit, plant, and site levels. Web-based visualization tools display the information in a colorful, graphical, and intuitive manner. Drill-down capabilities are used to drive analysis to root cause. Integrated control loop optimization and tuning tools ensure that problems can be solved quickly.

Control Loop Performance metrics and KPIs are receiving a great deal of attention in the process industry. Without performance supervision in place, the vast warehouse of data that is available from a modern distributed control system can be overwhelming. Focused, customized KPIs, such as the Control Loop Health metric, help to make sense out of this data, and drive out specific actions to improve process performance. The patented methods to determine Control Loop Performance provide a way to streamline the data, and provide focus to improvement efforts.

According to Mr. Gerry, "With so many different pressures facing the process industries, a customized metric for Control Loop Performance is crucial to achieving process performance results. Our clients have been very successful in applying this technology to their specific business environment, whether it is oil refining, pulp and paper production, mining, fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, or other process industries."

About ExperTune:
For 19 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software that runs in thousands of plants world-wide. PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software oversees the optimization of an entire plant. PlantTriage® optimizes the entire process, including instrumentation, controllers, and valves. ExperTune's full suite of optimization tools is designed to increase the efficiency of processes. The company's analysis tools include simulation, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearizer, time series analysis, multivariable, statistical, frequency response, and PID tuning tools. ExperTune is a member of the OPC Foundation. For more information, set your browser to http://www.expertune.com.

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Loop Performance Snapshot Reveals Opportunities

Engineers and technicians can now get an instant understanding of control loop performance, with one glance at the "Loop Performance Snapshot". The Snapshot reveals opportunities to improve both the process and the controller. With this clear, concise view of loop performance, plant personnel can focus their attention on the most important improvements.

The new Loop Performance Snapshot adds a simple, graphical representation of the powerful loop analysis computations in PlantTriage® software, from ExperTune. PlantTriage® automatically monitors plant operations 24x7, using data from existing DCS or PLC systems. After crunching high-speed data from the control system, PlantTriage® assesses the performance of every control loop, and prioritizes plant issues according to economic importance.

John Gerry, President of ExperTune says, "With PlantTriage®, it is our goal to streamline the performance improvement process. The Loop Performance Snapshot delivers all the critical loop assessments in a simple, easy-to-understand graphical format. With this information in front of them, engineers and technicians spend less time with investigations, and more time focused on improving their plant."

The Loop Performance Snapshot includes graphical displays of the most critical loop assessment information, including oscillation detection, comparison of key performance indicators (KPIs), linearity and valve hysteresis assessment, variability, time in normal, dynamic process models, and more. Red/Yellow/Green color codes draw the user's attention directly to problem areas. The Loop Performance Assessment is available in a web browser, or PlantTriage® can e-mail it as a standard PDF file. A subscription feature also allows the snapshot to be delivered on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Mr. Gerry continued, "The Loop Performance Snapshot, when used with the rest of the PlantTriage® tools, increases the effectiveness of these plant personnel by a factor of 3 to 5 times. This provides a huge competitive advantage to those companies who take advantage of this technology to optimize their process operations."

Control Loop Performance is critical to plant operating efficiency. Losses in quality, production rate, energy and materials can all be traced directly to control loop performance problems. With hundreds or thousands of control loops in a single plant, tracking down the source of these problems using traditional methods is complex and time-consuming.

About ExperTune:
For 19 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software that runs in thousands of plants world-wide. PlantTriage® Performance Supervision Software oversees the optimization of an entire plant. PlantTriage® optimizes the entire process, including instrumentation, controllers, and valves. ExperTune's full suite of optimization tools is designed to increase the efficiency of processes. The company's analysis tools include simulation, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearizer, time series analysis, multivariable, statistical, frequency response, and PID tuning tools. ExperTune is a member of the OPC Foundation. For more information, set your browser to http://www.expertune.com.



 

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