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2010




Trend the Process on Your Mobile Device

December 2010

ExperTune's PlantTriage now provides real-time trending of process variables on your mobile phone. Live data from a control system is relayed to your cell phone's browser. This feature allows users to have immediate access to control-room data, even when working remotely out in the plant.

Proven in hundreds of plants worldwide, the PlantTriage control performance monitoring system automatically diagnoses and prioritizes process, control, and instrumentation problems, 24 hours a day. Integrated analysis and tuning tools improve plant results by focusing effort on the most critical issues.

"Once you detect a physical problem with an instrument or a valve, you may have to walk 15 minutes to repair it. Once it is repaired, you need to see if you truly fixed the problem. Rather than walk back to the control room, now you can simply check your phone.” says George Buckbee, ExperTune’s Vice President of Product Development.

The trending tools provide immediate trends of process variables, setpoints, and controller outputs. Users can zoom, span and scale the trends to see details. Other features of the PlantTriage Control Performance Monitor are also available directly via a cell phone browser. For example, users can browse through reports and dashboards that pinpoint instrument issues, valve issues, and tuning problems.

John Gerry, President of ExperTune, adds, "These mobile tools add a new level of efficiency for plant engineers and technicians. By eliminating wasted time, plants can focus more effort in the right place."

The new tools are included in the version 10 release of ExperTune's PlantTriage software. More details can be found at www.planttriage.com.

About ExperTune's PlantTriage®
For 24 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide.  PlantTriage® Control Performance Monitor oversees the optimization of an entire plant, including equipment, operations, and controls.  The PlantTriage suite of optimization tools are designed to increase the efficiency of processes.  The tools include swing or oscillation detection and elimination, interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency response, and PID tuning tools. ExperTune is a member of the OPC Foundation.  PlantTriage also seamlessly integrates with the ProcessApex Unit Operations Evaluator. For more information, set your browser to www.planttriage.com.

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Tune Cascade Loops from a Web Browser

September 2010

ExperTune Inc announces the capability to tune cascade control loops directly from the Web browser interface of the PlantTriage Loop Performance Monitor. This greatly streamlines the tuning process, according to ExperTune's Founder John Gerry.

The PlantTriage system monitors control system performance continuously, 24 hours a day. It automatically diagnoses and prioritizes process, control, and instrumentation problems. Integrated analysis and tuning tools improve plant results by focusing effort on the most critical issues.

Typical cascade control loops involve two instruments, two controllers, and a single control valve or variable-speed drive. Cascade controls are designed to reduce variation, by offering faster response to process upsets. The outer loop provides a setpoint to the inner loop. Unfortunately, says Gerry, "Most cascade loops in plants are poorly tuned, resulting in constant oscillations and interactions between the inner and outer cascade loop."

The new tools allow users to tune both loops, with a single bump test, directly from a web browser interface. Oscillations are eliminated because the PlantTriage tools select tuning constants that are outside the range of interaction. The new tools are also fully integrated with PlantTriage's "Active Model Capture Technology", so dynamic models and controller tuning can be developed based on normally-occurring events, such as operator setpoint changes.

Mr. Gerry, a member of the Process Automation Hall of Fame, who was recently awarded the position of ISA Fellow, says "Cascade control, especially cascade tuning, is often mis-understood. These tools make it simple to tune loops the right way, which will help to stabilize plant operations, improving quality and energy efficiency."

The new tools are included in the version 10 release of ExperTune's PlantTriage software. More details can be found at www.planttriage.com.

About ExperTune's PlantTriage®
For 24 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide.  PlantTriage Control Performance Monitor oversees the optimization of an entire plant, including equipment, operations, and controls.  The PlantTriage suite of optimization tools are designed to increase the efficiency of processes.  The tools include swing or oscillation detection and elimination, interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency response, and PID tuning tools. ExperTune is a member of the OPC Foundation.  PlantTriage also seamlessly integrates with the ProcessApex Unit Operations Evaluator. For more information, set your browser to www.planttriage.com.

Download Cascade image.




Software Diagnoses All Aspects of Control System Health

June 2010

ExperTune's PlantTriage® Control System Monitoring Software now has tools to diagnose the health of instruments, valves, and controls.

For years, ExperTune's patented "Control Loop Health" approach has accurately identified problem control loops, based on technical and economic factors. Several new tools provide more specific performance metrics and diagnostics for each control loop component: the instrument, the valve, and the controller.

The Valve Health measurement, for example, combines information about control valve sizing, application, and mechanical performance, to give an overall picture of the valve's health. PlantTriage's "context-sensitive drill-down" also provides the next level of detail, including measures of each specific aspect of performance, such as "% valve stiction".

Likewise, Sensor Health uses real-time data to look at common symptoms of instrumentation problems. The Controller Health tools focus on aspects of actual control performance, including variability, inability to hold setpoint, and dynamic response.

John Gerry, President and Founder of ExperTune, was recently inducted into the Process Automation Hall of Fame. Asked about the new metrics, Gerry says "The team at ExperTune is always focused on blending engineering expertise with real-time information. The goal is to provide accurate, actionable, real-time advice. This new approach provides a straightforward way to diagnose specific control loop issues – from high-level performance metrics, straight down to root cause."

The new tools are included in the latest release of ExperTune's PlantTriage software. More details can be found at www.planttriage.com.

About ExperTune's PlantTriage®

For 24 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide.  PlantTriage® Control Performance Monitor oversees the optimization of an entire plant, including equipment, operations, and controls.  The PlantTriage suite of optimization tools are designed to increase the efficiency of processes.  The tools include swing or oscillation detection and elimination, interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency response, and PID tuning tools. ExperTune is a member of the OPC Foundation.  For more information, set your browser to www.planttriage.com

Download PC Health image.




Finding the Root Cause of Process Upsets

May 2010

A new whitepaper from ExperTune, "Finding the Root Cause of Process Upsets", can be downloaded at no-charge from:  www.expertune.com/RootCause.aspx.

The white paper explains new methods to identify and resolve the root cause of process upset conditions. Finding the root cause of upsets is critical to permanently solving process upsets.  Solving the root cause issue saves time and increases efficiencies faster than other methods.  For example, attempting to tune all affected control loops involved much effort compared to finding and fixing the one root cause of the upset. 

The whitepaper shows how to identify and track down the two different primary categories of process upsets.  One approach involves large-scale correlation analysis using existing real-time data from a process data historian. New graphical techniques are used to show correlation as patterns of color, simplifying the analysis.

John Gerry, President and Founder of ExperTune, says "We are seeing people develop tremendous process knowledge in a very short time. When engineers graphically see the process interactions, they immediately zoom in to root causes. This approach has efficiently solved many long-standing problems at our customer's process plants."

The tools and techniques have been proven in dozens of plants, including refining, chemicals, pulp & paper, and other process industries. The white paper includes an example case study showing how hydrogen swings were eliminated saving over 50,000 MMBtu annually.

ARC Advisory Group is presenting a webcast on these topics, on May 24, 2010. To register, visit ARC Webcast Root Cause Analysis. After May 24, 2010, a recorded version of the webcast will be available at: Past Webinars.

About ExperTune's PlantTriage®
For 24 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide.  PlantTriage Control Performance Monitor oversees the optimization of an entire plant, including equipment, operations, and controls.  The PlantTriage suite of optimization tools are designed to increase the efficiency of processes.  The tools include swing or oscillation detection and elimination, interaction analysis, modeling, robustness, linearization, valve wear analysis, pH linearization, time series analysis, MPC performance improvement, 6-sigma, frequency response, and PID tuning tools. ExperTune is a member of the OPC Foundation.  For more information, set your browser to www.planttriage.com.  the efficiency of processes. Its PlantTriage monitors and assesses the entire plant, ensuring optimal operation. 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.

Download Root Cause image.



 

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