Fieldbus & Industrial Networking


Trouble-free plant operation

March 2011 Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

Control loops and advanced control applications across all layers of a plant often depend on the proper functioning of each other for successful process operation. Unavoidably, the performance of these control assets deteriorates over time, and identifying the cause among the vast army of possibilities is key for trouble free plant functionality.

When things go wrong, the first problem is to identify faulty instrumentation and poorly performing loops. This can become overwhelming on large plants, since the more control loops there are, the less the capacity to monitor them individually and the less time there is available to investigate and solve the problems. Without the proper tools, this can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

To help, Matrikon offers an effective monitoring tool that readily diagnoses control problems and can provide detailed on-line reports for every loop tested. It can also be used to affect loop tuning. This technology is the result of extensive industrial experience combined with focused university research.

The cause of poor loop performance is often due to cycling, response speeds, valves sticking, inappropriate proportional band, over/under tuned loop, controller design, interaction with other loops, defective instrumentation and hysteresis. The problem is identifying which one, and this requires investigation. The Matrikon tool pinpoints the cause using its one- screen-all-loops reporting system called Tree-Map coupled with a detailed tabular drill down report.

Tree-Map shows on one screen all the bad loops using a colour code and a proportional box sizing system in order to attract operator attention. The detailed reports display control loop performance analysis for easy interpretation, while also providing remedial action guidelines. Once the causes of poorly performing loops have been identified, users can then optimise and tune multiple loops simultaneously for best possible plant operation.

For more information contact Emmanuel Nsenda, Moore Process Controls, +27 (0)11 466 1673, emmanueln@moore.co.za, www.moore.co.za



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