Last updateSun, 06 Oct 2019 10am

Rockwell Automation eases Model Predictive Control With Pavilion8 Software

Rockwell Software Pavilion8 Model Predictive Control (MPC) software now delivers a more user-friendly configuration environment, step-by-step prompts, warning diagnostics and flexible work flows to simplify building, maintaining and adjusting highly complex process models.

“Pavilion8 software has long been known as being among the most powerful software for solving highly challenging control problems, and it is now also among the easiest to use,” said Michael Tay, Pavilion product manager for Rockwell Automation. “The solution builder tools within the software now offer MPC configuration in a modern Windows environment, giving users a more familiar and streamlined experience. For example, users can now execute right-click mouse operations and complete copy-and-paste-type actions to develop applications in the software, helping them deploy their solutions faster and reduce training and adoption times.”

Pavilion8 MPC v5.0 software remains control system independent, but smoothly integrates with the PlantPAx process automation system from Rockwell Automation and includes four key enhancements.

Windows-based configuration and support – An improved overall user experience for expert and inexperienced users alike begins with the updated, Windows-based solution builder tools, which improve work flow by enabling users to create a customized working environment and providing access to online help. For example, problems that arise during configuration will now prompt helpful, context-sensitive warning and error messages. Users can simply click on these messages to receive detailed model-creation steps that will guide them toward a resolution. Users can also more easily modify past work to simplify model maintenance and re-use.

Multivariable run-time controller – Users will also discover new time-saving features in version 5.0. The robust run-time controller has been updated to allow users to add new predictive disturbance measures in half the time as the previous version, and easily compare differences in MPC application versions. Users now can easily sort, re-name, add, delete, compare and copy MPC variables and software supporting a flexible work flow, which can help reduce troubleshooting time. Output variables, such as powder moisture from an industrial dryer or reactor pressure in a vessel, can also be used as inputs to a nonlinear control model to help simplify deployment. Multiple developments that enhance integrating control models simplify and improve run-time performance.

Continuous controller monitoring – Users can now configure their process models with specific metrics for production, quality, energy usage and other factors. They can also continuously measure their processes according to these metrics and use historical records to track ongoing benefits. The software incorporates new data efficiencies to provide a faster and more responsive trend environment, particularly for those supporting larger and more demanding systems.

Supports modern browsers and operating systems – To make the Pavilion8 experience more consistent with other software environments and improve overall ease of use, Rockwell Automation re-designed the software’s user interface to align with current technology standards. This includes support for newer browsers like Internet Explorer 11 and operating systems, such as Windows 2012.

Pavilion8 software is the leading Rockwell Automation platform for MPC and real-time environmental management. It is also the first platform to combine empirical and first principle models into a single composite model. With proven return on investment when applied to a wide range of industries, continuous processes and equipment, Pavilion8 software uses an unrestrictive and robust configuration approach. This allows it to adapt to changing business needs and to flexibly meet simple linear to the most challenging nonlinear processes.


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Emerson announces new Energy Management Information system for insight into energy performance

Emerson Energy Management.jpgEmerson Process Management, a business of St. Louis-based Emerson (NYSE: EMR), today unveiled Energy Advisor, a real-time energy management information system that automates the process of monitoring and managing energy consumption across mills, plants, and refineries. With real-time, meaningful information about a site’s energy performance, process manufacturers can identify inefficiencies and irregularities and take corrective action, saving on average 5 to 10 percent in energy costs annually.

In energy-intensive process industries like chemical, metals and mining, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and refining, where energy is often 30 to 50 percent of their operating expense, these savings can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

“Energy Advisor is a natural extension to Emerson’s Smart Energy Management portfolio,” said Peter Zornio, chief strategic officer, Emerson Process Management. “In 2011, we announced the company’s commitment to improving our customers’ industrial energy efficiency and we began focusing on how to help our customers best optimize combustion processes, steam systems, and on-site electrical generation. In 2013, Emerson unveiled its pervasive sensing strategy that extends wireless technologies beyond process controls to include the extensive use of wireless sensors to monitor energy consumption in our customers’ operations. Energy Advisor leverages this technology with analytics to provide visualization of the full energy picture, helping companies make smarter decisions with real-time insight into site-wide energy performance. ”

Energy Advisor pulls energy data from various sources, including (but not limited to) Emerson’s DeltaV™ and Ovation™ distributed control systems, as well as its wireless infrastructure, to provide real-time analysis and historical context. Using Emerson’s unique process models, manufacturers are now able to analyze and compare three critical items: the amount of energy a system is designed to use, what it has used over time, and what it is consuming in the moment.

“Many manufacturers are looking at their energy performance, but it is usually in hindsight and is often an incomplete picture, with data culled from disparate sources,” said Barbara Hamilton, energy management program manager at Emerson Process Management. “To increase energy productivity and eliminate waste, manufacturers need more than historical data. They need real-time insight into what is going on to drive continuous improvement behavior. That is what Energy Advisor delivers.”

Energy Advisor integrates seamlessly with current site control and information systems, allowing a straight-forward and cost-effective implementation. Key features of the technology include:

  • ​Consumption Monitoring: identifies and logs root causes for energy over-consumption events.
  • Data Integrity Checker: verifies integrity of energy data before it is used.
  • Energy Target Calculator: creates models from past historical data to predict target energy consumption. Optional process models from Emerson provide theoretical targets as well as other energy-related performance indicators.
  • Standard Reports: including cost per unit of production, energy performance trends, and electrical demand cost.
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Schneider Electric releases Wonderware Alarm Adviser

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, has released Wonderware® Alarm Adviser to work with industry-leading Wonderware InTouch®, Wonderware System Platform, Vijeo Citect® and ClearSCADA® software products. Based on industry recommended standard alarm management practices, Wonderware Alarm Adviser is an interactive, web-based application for visual analysis of historical alarm data. It provides an instant view of alarm activity for a specified time period, allowing engineers to quickly analyze alarm patterns and identify nuisance alarms that can lead to operator distractions.

Alarm Adviser helps reduce nuisance alarms, discover the root cause of an abnormality and detect the most important automation alarms from routine process alarms. Its customizable dashboard provides a range of configurable widgets that allow users to set KPI targets and compare recent and past performance for tracking their improvement over time. The software helps users to filter and examine alarms by priority, time of day, process, alarm category, frequency and plant area to systematically work through and improve each part of the system. It has seamless connectivity to Wonderware InTouch, Wonderware System Platform, Vijeo Citect and ClearSCADA software products.

“Modern control rooms receive more than 1,000 alarms per operator per day, which is far more than the industry recommended limits” said Rob Kambach, Product Manager for Wonderware HMI/SCADA at Schneider Electric. “Alarm overload can distract or confuse operators, which leads to delayed or even inaccurate decisions, especially during plant upsets. This can increase the risk of serious incidents affecting the overall safety of the plant, its equipment and personnel. Alarm Adviser is an advanced, web-based tool for optimizing existing alarm systems to identify and rationalize chatter alarms, and reduce operator workload. The software helps improve operator awareness and plant productivity while minimizing the risks of unplanned shutdowns and equipment damages.”

Alarm Adviser also offers alarm correlation capability, which greatly improves the ability of an engineer to discover the root cause of an issue; this is especially valuable during major disruptions or an alarm flood situation. The software is compatible with tablets and thus enables plant engineers, operators and managers to view alarm metrics anytime, anywhere, from virtually any location. Alarm Adviser supports HTML5 technology for device and operating system independence. Alarm Adviser enables unlimited analysis clients, which gives users the freedom to use the software on as many devices as needed. In addition to HMI/SCADA and alarm management software products, Schneider Electric also offers alarm management consulting and support services across the globe. Alarm Adviser leverages the advantages of being part of both Wonderware and Schneider Electric ecosystems and has seamless connectivity to Wonderware InTouch, Wonderware System Platform, Vijeo Citect and ClearSCADA.

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Schneider Electric acquires foxray software to strengthen process automation portfolio

Schneider Electric foxray softwar.jpgSchneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, has acquired LimeWare, a provider of system analysis and auditing software for Schneider Electric‟s Foxboro Evo™ process automation and I/A Series® distributed control systems. The acquisition provides foxray software to help customers pinpoint and address critical industry challenges.

“Acquiring LimeWare and its foxray software is an integral part of our strategy to help our customers improve their operational integrity and operational insight, while future-proofing their operations,” said Gary Freburger, president of Schneider Electric‟s process automation business. “With additional investment in our flagship process automation offerings, we have even more power to address critical challenges around safety, reliability and efficiency. The ability to more easily tackle pain points, while driving value across the entire process automation chain, is one of the big ideas we are discussing with our customers in Dallas this week, and it remains a major differentiator for our process automation business.”

LimeWare was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Its foxray system management software complements the robust functionality of Schneider Electric‟s Foxboro Evo and I/A Series process automation systems. The solution offers additional capability for configuration management, alarm management, operator action analysis and overall documentation. It includes:

  • Change tracking with a complete change management workflow process;
  • Graphics visualization of the control block loops;
  • Integrity checks to solve all DCS configuration issues;
  • Scheduled reports;
  • Alarms and operator action management and tracking;
  • I/O and FBM spare reserve and tracking;
  • An advance query engine that can quickly fetch any DCS information.

“foxray software is the go-to tool for working with our control system database on a daily basis,” said Scott McWaters, process control engineer, Hunt Refining Company. “From easily locating and reserving spare I/O to improved troubleshooting and insight with the „where used‟ function, system health reporting, operator action reports, alarm history, inhibited alarm tracking and many other functions, foxray has greatly increased our efficiency. The software has been instrumental in our recent alarm rationalization efforts, and the alarm shelving tool will be used to help cut down on the number of call outs to our on-call engineers for nuisance alarm silencing. This contributes to our overall confidence in the integrity of our operation.”


Kepware Representatives to Present on the Internet of Things at Leading Conferences this Spring

A key trend in the industrial automation industry, the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the way that many businesses operate. Kepware Technologies, a software development company focused on communications for automation, today announced that CEO Tony Paine will speak to this technology at the upcoming ENTELEC Conference & Expo. His presentation titled "Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Communications at the Edge" occurs on Wednesday, April 8 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

Several of Kepware's executives and industry experts will also present on the following topics at prominent automation conferences this spring:

"OPC Fundamentals: What Is It, How Is It Used, and How Can It Simplify Your SCADA Communications" and "Simplifying Real-Time and Historical EFM Data Collection for the Oil & Gas Industry" at the International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from May 12-14 at the Cox Convention Center

"Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): Leveraging New Technologies to Solve Old Problems" at The Automation Conference in Chicago, Illinois from May 19-20 at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare

"Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Communications at the Edge" at Rockwell Automation TechED in San Diego, California from May 31-June 5 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt

"It's an honor to have been invited to present at these conferences and be acknowledged as an industry thought leader," said Paine. "These speaking engagements are ideal opportunities to learn from and contribute to the industry-wide adoption of the Internet of Things, and serve as a testament to Kepware's commitment to developing new solutions that enable IoT."