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News Releases

2012


Stop Plant Cycling at its Source

Process plants can now diagnose and eliminate cycles in minutes. ExperTune's PlantTriage speeds up problem-solving by immediately finding the most likely source of oscillation problems. By resolving the problem at its source, plants can achieve improvements in safety, quality, efficiency, and energy usage.

The new tools extend the oscillation analysis features of ExperTune's PlantTriage software, and are included in the standard set of PlantTriage tools. PlantTriage identifies all process cycles by monitoring the plant 24 x 7. The software automates the engineering analysis, completing a Fourier Transform and identifying key periods of oscillation. The software then filters the information so only the most likely sources of the problem will be identified.

"Process cycles are dangerous. They stress equipment, and cause upsets throughout the plant. In the past, oscillation problems were difficult to solve, and took days of engineering effort," says George Buckbee, Vice President of Product Development at ExperTune. "By automating the engineering analysis, we can confidently find a solution in minutes. Plant engineers save hours of analysis time, and solve more problems faster than ever before."

The new oscillation analysis tools are fully integrated into PlantTriage's web browser interface. A pre-configured "Problem-Solver" report for oscillation analysis comes standard with PlantTriage. The report can be viewed on-line, emailed, exported to Excel, or even scheduled for email delivery whenever PlantTriage finds a significant issue. No programming or SQL skills are required.

"Our clients are gaining a competitive advantage by stabilizing their plants. There is simply no reason to continue living with the high cost and risk associated with plant cycling," says Buckbee. "Working with PlantTriage is like having a team of engineers who never sleep."

The cycle detection and analysis tools are included with all PlantTriage systems, version 11.01 and higher. Existing PlantTriage users receive the features at no charge, as part of their software maintenance agreement.

About ExperTune
For over 25 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide. ExperTune's PID Loop Optimizer is the industry-leading control loop tuning software, having won dozens of awards over its history. PlantTriage® Control Performance Monitor software 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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ExperTune Simplifies Level Control with Non-Steady-State Tuning

ExperTune software now includes non-steady-state (NSS) modeling features for integrating control loops. These tools provide fast, simple modeling and tuning of level controls.

Level controls can be difficult to model and tune with traditional methods, because level signals are rarely at steady-state, unless the controller is already well-tuned. This is largely due to the integrating nature of a level controller. The new tools work with all other integrating processes, such as gas tank pressure controls.

New techniques developed by ExperTune allow the user to develop level control models and tuning, even when the process has not achieved steady-state. This means that users can develop excellent tuning for level controls, even when little data is available.

"In looking at thousands of level controllers and their tuning, we have noticed a pattern." says George Buckbee, Vice President of Product Development at ExperTune. "Level controls are typically some of the worst-tuned controls in process plants. Level controls have very different dynamics than most other controls, such as temperature, pressure, and flow. These new tools make it simple to tune level controls, even while the level is moving."

Non-Steady-State (NSS) tuning integrates seamlessly with ExperTune's PlantTriage and PID Loop Optimizer software. ExperTune's tools also provide unique capabilities to tune for both tight control and surge-tank scenarios. An integrated wizard, based on the level-tuning techniques of F. Greg Shinskey, is also included. By answering a series of simple questions, the user can develop optimal tuning for surge tanks.

Non-Steady-State modeling is included with PlantTriage version 11 and higher, and with PID Loop Optimizer version 21 and higher. Non-Steady-State Tuning for level controls adds to ExperTune's existing NSS capabilities for other loop dynamics.

About ExperTune
For over 25 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide. ExperTune's PID Loop Optimizer is the industry-leading control loop tuning software, having won dozens of awards over its history. PlantTriage® Control Performance Monitor software 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 Non-Steady State Tuning image.


Invisible Plant Changes Can Now Be Seen

Plant Operators can now see at a glance how their plant is changing over time. PlantTriage's new CompareMap tool focuses operator attention on changing plant conditions. The tool highlights the biggest changes in plant performance, and provides drill-down into corrective actions.

The CompareMap approach compares the plant performance from two periods of time. Performance improvements and deterioration are both instantly highlighted. Operators can immediately focus on important changes in the plant. For example, a shift operator can quickly see what has changed since his last shift.

The high-level plant graphic is based on Tree Map technology. Tree Maps were developed by the University of Maryland, as a way to visualize large amounts of data. Applied to real-time process control data, Tree Maps have been used to provide a snapshot to pinpoint trouble-spots in plant performance.

"Today's plant operator looks over thousands of plant variables daily." says George Buckbee, Vice President of Product Development at ExperTune. "PlantTriage's CompareMap focuses operator attention on the most important aspects of plant performance, enabling the operator to make the most effective use of their time."

CompareMap is flexible, allowing more in-depth analysis by process engineers and control engineers. Over 80 aspects of plant performance can be monitored. These performance measures include production, quality, reliability, and cost-related parameters.

CompareMap is included with all PlantTriage systems, version 10.1 and higher. Existing PlantTriage users receive the features at no charge, as part of their software maintenance agreement.

About ExperTune
For over 25 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide. ExperTune's PID Loop Optimizer is the industry-leading control loop tuning software, having won dozens of awards over its history. PlantTriage® Control Performance Monitor software 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 PlantTriage Compare image.


Control System Diagnostics in One Hour

ExperTune's PlantTriage now delivers control system diagnostics within an hour. PlantTriage Configuration Wizards automate the configuration tasks. These wizards were developed using ExperTune's patented wizard-builder technology.

The new wizards automatically extract the DCS controller configuration, with the user supplying only the most basic information, such as tag names. The wizard then uses its knowledge of the control system to immediately gather data from the control system. This includes gathering loop configuration information such as engineering units and spans, as well as tuning parameters.

PlantTriage then has immediate access to up-to-the-second information about the controller modes, setpoint, and process variable. The collected data feeds ExperTune's PlantTriage, which can diagnose control system issues within an hour after the wizard runs. The diagnostics identify faulty instruments, control valves, and tuning, as well as process issues, such as constraints and upstream disturbances.

Wizards are specific to each type of DCS or PLC. Wizards are available for most common control systems, including:

  • Invensys
  • Honeywell
  • Siemens
  • Rockwell
  • Bailey

"These wizards are a huge time-saver, and they prevent common mistakes,” says George Buckbee, Vice President of Product Development at ExperTune. “In a way, the wizards automate the automation engineer's tasks, freeing them up to act on PlantTriage recommendations and capture the business value immediately."

The wizards are available in ExperTune's PlantTriage Version 11. Existing PlantTriage users will automatically receive the wizards at no charge, as part of their software maintenance agreement.

About ExperTune
For 25 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide. ExperTune's PID Loop Optimizer is the industry-leading control loop tuning software, having won dozens of awards over its history. PlantTriage Control Performance Monitor software 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 One Hour image.


ExperTune's Virtual Classroom Delivers PID Training

ExperTune Inc, the leading supplier of control improvement software, now delivers on-line training for a wide variety of topics related to the control of PID loops. The interactive training is provided by a live instructor, and includes hands-on practice using ExperTune's "Virtual Classroom".

Controls technicians and engineers can benefit from the courses. Course topics include:

  • Loop Tuning—Basic PID Theory and Practice
  • Dealing with Valve Problems—Hysteresis and Stiction
  • Advanced Loop Tuning—Cascade Control
  • Many Other classes specific to ExperTune's PlantTriage software

Students log in via the Internet to the ExperTune Virtual Classroom. There, they have access to course materials, a dedicated simulator, and all the software needed. A live instructor guides students through the materials and ensures that they successfully complete the hands-on exercises. No special software is needed on student computers.

"Your travel costs are zero." says John Gerry, President and Founder of ExperTune. "You can't beat the convenience, and ExperTune's world-class instructors have the depth of knowledge to answer all your process control questions."

Custom training courses are also offered. Gerry adds "Online training is the way of the future. Our clients are already asking for more topics. With the Virtual Classroom, you can get the training you need, in the fastest, most convenient way possible."

ExperTune's Virtual Classroom information can be found on-line at www.expertune.com/virtual.aspx. For more information about the Virtual Classroom, contact ExperTune at sales@expertune.com.

About ExperTune
For 25 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide. ExperTune's PID Loop Optimizer is the industry-leading control loop tuning software, having won dozens of awards over its history. PlantTriage Control Performance Monitor software 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

Download Virtual Classroom image.


Program Generates 100% ROI in 12 Months

ExperTune Inc now offers a "Verified Value Program". With this solution, manufacturers get documented business benefits from control system improvements. The program targets a 100% return on investment in 12 months or less.

"We have spent over 25 years proving that process and control improvements deliver millions of dollars in bottom-line benefits." says George Buckbee, V.P. of Product Development at ExperTune. "Unfortunately, many plant engineers have difficulty claiming and documenting the value that they have delivered. This program brings our expertise to the plants."

The Verified Value Program combines ExperTune's PlantTriage software with expert consultation and training. The software automatically identifies and prioritizes opportunities for improvement, while the experts help drive resolution of issues and documentation of value.

According to Buckbee, "The value can come in the form of energy savings, production increases, improved reliability, and better quality."

The Verified Value Program is customized for each manufacturing site. An up-front evaluation determines the scope of the program, as well as the expected costs and benefits. The program targets a 100% return on investment in 12 months or less.

The program targets "Low hanging fruit" to get maximum returns, with minimal capital outlay. Benefits may include equipment repairs, adjustments to control strategies, operating procedures, or tuning.

Documented results are always included in the Verified Value Program. Results are shown most often in terms of increased profitability, but may also include benefits in reliability, quality, safety and environmental areas.

About ExperTune
For 25 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide.  ExperTune's PID Loop Optimizer is the industry-leading control loop tuning software, having won dozens of awards over its history. PlantTriage® Control Performance Monitor software 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.


ExperTune Receives Multiple Industry Awards

ExperTune Inc is being honored with several industry awards. The awards recognize the company's excellence in the process control field. The awards include Automation World's First Team award, Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Award, and Control Magazine's Readers' Choice Award.

ExperTune Wins Awards

ExperTune was selected as "Automation World First Team Category Leader" in the category of Loop Tuning Software. Jim Chrzan, Publisher of Automation World, comments "The First Team Honorees offer outstanding examples of innovation and service. Chosen by their customers, we applaud these leaders and thank them for the inspiration and example they provide to the industrial automation community. Congratulations to them, and thank you to all the end-users who lent their voice to this inaugural program."

For the Control Engineering award, subscribers voted to identify the products they felt were the most exceptional based on technological advancement, service to the industry, and market impact. "Innovative solutions such as ExperTune make manufacturing and other control engineering applications more efficient through smart applications of new technologies. Investments in the best products and software can help solve the most pressing challenges in automation, control, and instrumentation," according to Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering content manager.

ExperTune's selection for a Control Magazine Readers' Choice Award marks the sixteenth straight year that ExperTune has been named. In the article, Control's Editor, Walt Boyes, noted, "All the companies that are listed in the Awards have consistently demonstrated excellence in customer service and responsiveness, and they all deserve congratulations for their efforts."

ExperTune has been supplying controller tuning software to the automation industries, including Rockwell, for over 25 years. John Gerry, President and Founder of ExperTune, comments "We at ExperTune are proud of our record of innovation and customer service. We are delighted to accept these awards, and wish to thank our loyal customers for these recognitions."

About ExperTune
For 25 years, ExperTune has created award-winning optimization software now running in thousands of plants world-wide.  ExperTune's PID Loop Optimizer is the industry-leading control loop tuning software, having won dozens of awards over its history. PlantTriage® Control Performance Monitor software 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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