ICEnews November 2012

All "that's cool" in Instrumentation and Control Engineering - "It's Purely Technical" - For Engineers by Engineers!

Please support our sponsors below, they make ICEnews possible

Welcome to the New Look "It's Purely Technical" November 2012 issue of ICEnews, the Instrumentation, and Control Engineering news source. ICEnews is a compendium of useful information which we endeavour to issue quarterly.

We want to make this newsletter a source of information that YOU can use in YOUR job, while also keeping you informed on what is happening in our industry both directly and indirectly. We welcome your Press Releases, information, AND any technical articles you may have that could be appropriate for this newsletter or our web site. If you have something you would like to contribute, please send it to ICEnews.

ICEweb’s primary purpose is to disseminate information about Instrumentation, Control, Electrical and Fire & Gas Engineering to you the practitioners and developers of these arts. Our quarterly publication ICEnews is another mechanism to get this information out to you.

We strive to get you high quality mainly technical information for free with direct access to technical papers where possible, without those time consuming pesky registration links which only add more unsolicited mail to your inbox.

Subscribe to this newsletter by registering your e-mail address via ICEweb or sending a note with the subject ‘subscribe ICEnews’ to ICEnews. Generally you will only get one email per quarter.

Want a Piece of ICEweb's "286,000 HITS PER MONTH ACTION"? Advertising in ICEweb or ICEnews is a Tremendous way of promoting your Business - Great pages available at Very Cost Effective rates
To sponsor/advertise in ICEweb or this newsletter, please contact Jim Russell, ICEweb Director. Benefits of advertising sponsorship, in addition to being prominently displayed in the newsletter include a web link to your corporate site from your listing and any related articles, “top billing” of your article(s) in the appropriate news groups and your company name highlighted in any articles in which it appears. As an ICEnews 2012 "special" we are offering (1) A basic suppliers listing for FREE if you supply a reciprocal link on your website and (2) A 50% discount on standard prices for unsponsored pages for the first year. . Contact ICEweb for further information.

The authors encourage you to support our newsletter sponsors and also appreciate if you tell those companies to which you reply based on this newsletter that the inquiry is based on an article in ICEnews. Thank you.

As an ICEnews member you are on our mailing list so that we can keep you up-to-date technical information.

Please let us know what you think of ICEweb and ICEnews, any feedback is appreciated as we aspire to "Achieve Excellence in Automation"

At ICEweb/ICEnews we take Spam very seriously and aim to make any information that we send out useful and informative.

Should you no longer wish to receive information from ICEnews, please reply to the advice of ICEnews issue email with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line or contact ICEnews and just put “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

If you select either of these options we will remove you from the list. If you wish to continue to receive the information you do not need to take any action.


ICEart - Technical articles related to Instrumentation and Control (Just "click" on the Hyperlink for the full article or paper)

PML Goes to Mars: Far-Out Thermal Calibration - Sometimes the chain of measurement traceability – the unbroken series of links between a calibrated instrument and the official NIST standard – can get pretty long. But 250 million kilometres is remarkable, even for NIST. That’s the current distance between the Curiosity rover on Mars and the temperature labs in Gaithersburg, MD, where the calibration process began for several small but critically important temperature sensors that monitor the rover’s power generator.

The Future of Automation - Mike Caliel from Invensys has an interesting view - Attempting to define the “future of automation” is a real challenge, especially considering the complexity of today’s industrial operations and automation systems. Nonetheless, emerging trends are already beginning to have an impact on manufacturing, framing the future of how our customers will operate in the years ahead. This is an exciting time for an exciting field, and I am enthusiastic about the possibilities and opportunities the future presents. For years, industry has focused too heavily on technology, rather than on the solutions the technology provides and the issues they solve. But that is going to change. Good technology is essential, but only if it is being used to extract value from the industrial operation it controls. When considering the future of automation, therefore, we must take into account three fundamental aspects of the plant: technology platforms; how those platforms are applied; and the personnel who will use those applications.

Walk This Way - The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has developed a walking gait recognition system that, in combination with other tools, can help track an individual though a CCTV monitored area by analysing the way that they walk.

New Standards Committee on Intelligent Device Management - The International Society of Automation (ISA) has established a new standards committee, ISA108, Intelligent Device Management. The committee will define standard templates of best practices and work processes for design, development, installation and use of diagnostic and other information provided by intelligent field devices in the process industries.


ICEbooks – Useful Books, Software and New Releases related to Instrumentation and Control

Need Some Technical “know-how”? ICEweb has a page which details a selection of excellent Instrumentation, Automation, Control, Electrical, Electronic and Information Technology books from IDC Technologies. These can be purchased from ICEweb . Also detailed are other links to more useful references.

What’s in your pocket? Why not fill your pocket with an IDC pocket guide. Their six Engineering Pocket Guides are bursting with over 500 pages of valuable information. The six titles include: Instrumentation, Electrical Engineering, Data Communications, Formulae and Conversions, Electronic Engineering and Industrial Automation. Whether you are interested in just the one title or if you need the whole set send an email to books@idc-online.com .


ICEbus - Information on any of the 26 different bus systems in use in the area of Instrumentation and Control.

Foundation Fieldbus, Fourth Edition - Ian Verhappen and Augusto Pereira

The fourth edition of Foundation Fieldbus significantly expands the subject matter of the earlier editions of this popular book not only to help you stay current with this evolving technology but to also enhance your understanding of Fieldbus. This edition provides in-depth coverage on Fieldbus communications and configuration, including calculation of macrocycle for Control-In-Field and in the Host system and how the different forms of communication on the H1 network work with each other to make Control-In-Field possible, including the use of these different methods to optimise network bandwidth.

Part of the field network evolutionary process includes a need to understand better how the changes in Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL), Field Device Tool (FDT), and Field Device Integration (FDI) will affect the way Fieldbus and other networks work together with asset management systems of the future, and your interaction with field devices.

More comprehensive step-by-step procedures are discussed for each stage of a typical FF installation: Inspection and electric commissioning to ensure cable integrity, H1 Network commissioning, configuration, and communications tests in the segments and the spurs. Several new photographs and explanations help emphasize the proper installation procedures so you can quickly identify and prevent potential problems when installing Fieldbus systems.

The contents of the entire book are then put to use with a full sample network design. The example is based on a typical simplified distillation tower and includes sample calculations/documentation-based.

The fourth edition explains Foundation Fieldbus in a convenient, easy-to-understand way, regardless of your level of experience; a novice wanting to learn what FF is all about or an experienced user looking for a few more tips and a single handy reference.

New FOUNDATION Fieldbus System Engineering Guidelines Now Available - The Fieldbus Foundation have announced the release of a major revision to its AG-181 System Engineering Guidelines. AG-181 is a comprehensive guide that includes best practices and recommendations for a complete Foundation fieldbus installation, from engineering and design through commissioning, startup, operations, and maintenance. The guide includes recommendations on topics from selecting cable to wiring installation, grounding, implementing plant asset management systems, and best practices for project management. The new edition of AG-181 has been reformatted and reorganized to make it easier to read and access information. Some content has been rewritten to include more up-to-date information. This includes sections covering the Fieldbus Intrinsically Safe Concept (FISCO) fieldbus design rules, cable length, surge protection and segment scheduling. A section on the use of existing wiring has also been added.  A download of the new engineering guidelines can be found here.

Fieldbus Foundation Announces First Registered Isolated Device Couplers - The Fieldbus Foundation have announced registration of the first isolated device couplers based on its Foundation H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device coupler test specification. Devices from MTL and R. Stahl successfully completed the foundation's rigorous registration process. As part of a Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, isolated device couplers are installed where the fieldbus trunk (i.e., home run cable) is connected to the various device spurs. Isolated device couplers are specifically designed to allow automation end users to connect more devices per coupler while permitting live segment work in hazardous plant areas. These couplers provide isolated, conditioned power to multiple fieldbus devices and protect against short circuits caused by excess current in a spur. By enabling more devices per segment, they also help reduce controller input/output (I/O) points and associated installation costs.

Fieldbus Foundation Announces Updates To HSE Interoperability Test Kit - The Fieldbus Foundation has announced updates to its High Speed Ethernet Interoperability Test Kit (HSE ITK), including the addition of transducer block test profiles for both wired and WirelessHART® devices. The transducer blocks bring information from both wired and WirelessHART devices into the Foundation fieldbus infrastructure, and are a key element of Foundation for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology.

Fieldbus Foundation Releases Updated DesignMATE Segment Design Tool - The Fieldbus Foundation has announced updates to its DesignMATE software tool, a software download that allows plant automation professionals to audit segment layouts. The updates cover DesignMATE's library of registered devices, and revised terminology used within the software to align with current Foundation fieldbus installations. The user-friendly DesignMATE automatically audits segment layouts for conformance with the Foundation physical layer specification, which is based on the international IEC 61158-2 (Type 1) standard. End-users can feel confident their fieldbus infrastructure will work with desired parameters such as cable length, number and type of installed devices, and selected power supplies.

Human-Centered Design (HCD) in an FDT/DTM Environment - Tom Wallace - We Need a New Way to Interface With Field Devices That Increases Productivity, Reduces Training Needs, and Reduces Human Error - The process industry faces a perfect storm of factors that will change how we interact with field devices. Plants are becoming larger, more complex and subject to more regulation. Plants will have more devices, more different device types, and the devices themselves will be more complex. Also, devices and communication protocols are becoming more complex and capable. In addition, we're facing the loss of experienced workers with their replacements being less experienced and fewer in number. We face doing more work and more complex work with fewer and less experienced people. We need a new way to interface with field devices that increases productivity, reduces training needs, and reduces human error. This new way will use human-centered design (HCD) - from Control Global.

Obtaining Stranded Information and Diagnostics - Most plants have hundreds, or even thousands, of HART devices, but not all of these are delivering the full range of process variables, calibration, maintenance and diagnostic data to plant operators and maintenance departments. This is because they have no means of delivering that data to the control room. One reason is that some legacy control systems are analogue, meaning they have no access to the digital HART data thus preventing operators from taking full advantage of the device intelligence. To achieve maximum insight, the existing control system must be upgraded by installing HART I/O interface cards and software modules - from SA Instrument & Control.

Field Device Technology (FDT) - Technical Description - FDT (Field Device Technology) is an interface specification for open data exchange between field devices and automation plants that is standardized by the international standards IEC 62453 and ISA103. In Field Device Technology, two terms are particularly important: DTM (Device Type Manager, or “device driver”) and FDT Frame Application. Both are software components whose functions can only be performed together. FDT provides a common platform for data exchange for all available device drivers (DTMs) produced under this standard. This allows complete and functional access across different network hierarchies to all device functions for devices made available by the DTM. With this capability, every device can be configured, serviced, and maintained via one basically standardized user interface – independent of manufacturer, device type or communication protocol. Information from an automation plant (especially communications or field devices) is needed throughout the entire life cycle of a system or application. FDT provides support with versatile and extremely helpful functions as early as planning and project engineering, then during installation and commissioning, and finally during operation and service.


ICEed - Educational links associated with Instrumentation, Control and Fire & Gas


Call for Papers - If you have an upcoming conference and are calling for papers please contact us.


E-Learning

 

IDC have a range of E-Learning courses Covering Data Communications, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Instrumentation, Mechanical Engineering and Project Management .


Training and Workshop Schedules

IDC have a huge range of workshops and training courses in Australia and USA.

Free Courses! - The Engineering Institute of Technology, in conjunction with IDC Technologies will be running regular hour workshops covering basics, troubleshooting, new developments and much more including;
7 November - Nuts and Bolts of Flow Measurement - The essentials of flow measurement and troubleshooting your next flow system.
5 December - Nuts and Bolts of Pumps - The basics followed by some troubleshooting tips with your next pump installation.
Downloads of slides from past technical courses


ICElinks - Electronic Instrumentation Newsletters and links of Potential Interest to our readers.

A really great website for the latest news is the Read-Out Instrumentation Signpost.

Control Engineering have a great range of newsletters covering;

Are you into Hydraulics? Brendon Casey's Inside Hydraulics Newsletter contains loads of technical tips and money saving techniques.

Automation World offers some electronic newsletters of interest including;

The Flow Control Network has a excellent newsletter for flow "buffs".

Jim Pinto's Website has lots of great content pertaining to Automation.

Looking for some Technical Information on Control, Electrical Instrumentation, Fire & Gas, Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) and many other subjects?

ICEweb has nearly 100 Control, Instrumentation, Fire & Gas, Safety Instrumented Systems core pages and a total of more than 300 pages - It Really is Cool Engineering - By Engineers for Engineers it must be just about the World's first choice for Technical Information.

Search the vast ICEweb Free Technical Engineering Library for information on Control, Fire & Gas Systems, Electrical, Instrumentation and Safety Instrumented Systems.

Loading

 


ICEnew — Great new Technical Links posted on ICEweb.


ICEweb has developed the following pages thanks to our sponsor Prochem Pipeline Products;
Heat Tracing and Bundles - Heat Tracing, Bundles, Heated Hose, General theory, Applications and more!
Instrument Valves, Accessories, Enclosures, Sunshades and Supports
Pressure Regulators - General Theory, Technical Papers, Maintenance, Applications and more.
Samplers - On-Line Samplers Liquid Samplers, Gas Samplers, Solids Samplers, Applications and more
.
Monoflanges, Instrument Manifolds - Technical Data, Specifications, Application Data, Installation, Operation, Maintenance and more.


Just click on the title header to go to ICEweb's super pages on each of the following subjects.


Analysers

ICEweb's Analyser pages cover many types of analysers plus their associated sample systems.

New Publication - Design and Installation of On-Line Analyser Systems - A guide to Technical Enquiry and Bid Evaluation - This publication is intended as a guide to assist in the development of a specification or material requisition for analysers and their associated support systems. The Publication, which supersedes EEMUA Publication 138 S1, should be used for enquiry purposes and the subsequent assessment of the bids presented by the prospective vendors. EEMUA 226 is not intended as a design specification in its own right and design guidance has been deliberately omitted. It should be read in conjunction with EEMUA Publication 138, 'Design and installation of on-line analyser systems'. Price is £51.00.

Online Tail Gas Analysis in Sulphur Recovery - This system monitors real-time concentrations of H2S and SO2 in the Claus process stream, computing the control parameter for a continuously reliable air demand signal - from Applied Analytics.

Measuring Odorants in Natural Gas Pipelines - Local distribution companies (LDCs) employ numerous "sniffers" who judge odorant level in the natural gas product, while generating data from field reports, customer input, and modelling programs. However, interstate pipelines span hundreds of miles that cross through various territories. Dispatching "sniffers" across vast distances is both time-consuming and costly. While "sniff testing" complies and satisfies the minimum criteria set forth in CFR, Title 49, Part 192.625, an on-line process analyzer would provide the same testing functionality with much richer quantitative data (one example: continuous trend data as opposed to discrete data points). On-line odorant analysis allows the transmission companies to schedule the minimum required visits to perform sniffing, and optimize their odorant distribution system in real-time. Secondary benefits allow them to optimize their pipeline performance by studying lag times, odorizer performance, fading effects, and other odorant issues.

Analytical Measurements Protect Recovery Furnace and Boiler in a Pulp and Paper Mill - Dave Joseph and Doug Simmers - Recovery Boiler operations can be improved considerably by using continuous analytical measurements. The information they collect can be used to optimize black liquor conversion and energy extraction in the furnace without compromising safety and reliability of boiler tubes and other components. The Recovery Furnace oxidizes concentrated black liquor, thereby generating feedstock for green liquor and the rest of the Kraft process, and simultaneously producing steam for mill wide use. The furnace is optimized by controlling excess combustion air levels to maximize smelt recovery, prevent corrosion, and maximize steam production. The boiler is optimized for longevity by monitoring the quality of water used to produce steam. This also protects the boiler tubes against corrosion and pitting due to harmful mineral deposits. Effective analytical measurements can assist in optimizing these operations. Additionally, accurate analysis of both combustion flue gases and boiler water can be used to prevent explosive conditions - from Rosemount Analytical.

A Cost Saving Strategy for Desalination Plants - Wireless Liquid Analytical Instrumentation Comes to the Fore -  As new desalination plants are built and present facilities are expanded, plant operators can realise significant cost savings by employing a recent advance in online process instrumentation – wireless technology. Two of the most promising applications for wireless technology are the measurement of pH and conductivity - from Rosemount Analytical.


Analyser Sample Systems

Thanks to our sponsor Haldatec ICEweb's Analyser Sample Systems has a swag of technical papers - so if you need more information on this subject just go to this page for fantastic technical information.!


Burner Management Systems

Thanks to our sponsor Invensys Triconex ICEweb's Burner Management System page has around 70 fantastic technical links , many which are new, to assist you if you work in this area.


Cables

Loads of links to cable information can be found on this page.
Estimating Tension When Pulling Cable into Conduit - When you calculate cable pulling tensions, what friction coefficient do you use? Field responses vary . . . some answer ".5" . . . others ".45," ".4," or ".35" . . . and, recently, a European engineer responded "usually .2 to .3." Who's right?? What coefficient of friction should you use in pulling equations to provide the best tension estimates for better field planning and electrical system design? - from American Polywater.
Air Assisted Fibre Optic Cable Installation
- High Air Speed Blowing, Air-Assist, Push/Pull Installation, Air Blown Cable, and Cable Jetting; all describe new methods to get cable into conduit using air. To date, the primary use of these methods has been to install fiber optic cable. Air-assisted fiber optic installation was developed and explored in the Netherlands as well as the United Kingdom in the 1980’s. While blowing methods are used to install individual fibers in tubes in LAN’s, this article will focus on the outside plant installation of jacketed, multi-fiber cable in duct. While this is typically underground duct, blowing will work for aerial duct installations as well.
Electrical Cable Cleaning Video - For High Voltage Electrical Splicing - This 8-minute training video on CD demonstrates high voltage cable cleaning procedures during splicing and termination. Methods are shown to remove different types of shields and compounds from insulation. The "Do's and Don'ts" of abrasion, solvent spraying, and cleaning techniques are presented, including safe methods for using SpliceMaster® cleaning solvents.
Cable Installation Engineering Video - This 13-minute training video examines the engineering aspects of installing cable in conduit. Topics covered include the nature of cable pulling friction; using software to estimate pulling tensions, determine pull feasibility, and design optimal cable runs; the causes of cable failure; cable/lubricant compatibility; lubricant residue combustibility; cable lubricant specification; and more.
Combustible Cable Pulling Lubricant Residue Can Spread Fire! - Well over a decade ago, fires at the Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama and skyscrapers in New York City focused the attention of cable manufacturers and design engineers on the spread of fire through cabling systems. Today's fire-retardant cables are made from specially-formulated, fire-resistant materials. They are tested to special industry specifications. These state-of-the-art, fire-retardant cables show little tendency to ignite and propagate flame, and, thus, do not support the spread of fire. It is common practice to specify fire-retardant cables, as well as "fire stop" materials, to prevent flame from spreading through electrical penetrations in fire-resistant walls, etc. The prevention of fire spread is addressed in the National Electrical Code (Sec. 300-21), as well as numerous building codes and industrial standards. Prevention of flame spread is also desirable for cable pulling compound residue, since they, too, can be present throughout a conduit system.


Choke Valves

ICEweb's Choke Valve page has links to some fantastic technical information. This includes Choke Valve General Information, Choke Valve Design Specification, Choke Valve Maintenance and Inspection, Common Choke Valve Problems and Solutions , Choke Papers and Applications, Subsea Choke Valves, Choke Control Systems and some great links to technical papers.


Control Valves

A Control Valve Repository which has heaps of great, useful technical information. Fantastic links covering Diagnostic Tools for Control Valves, Valve Sizing, Control Valve Handbooks, Self Operated Regulators, Control Valve Noise Calculation and Prediction, , Positioners, Selection and Application, Maintenance and a mass of other really useful Links to Articles on Control Valves.

Enhanced Maintenance Efficiency with Third-Generation Control Valve Diagnostics - Niklas Lindfors and Juha Kivelä - For more than two decades, maintenance managers and engineers at plants and mills have had a chance to use control valve diagnostics as help when planning shutdown activities. The first diagnostics tools were developed during the 1980s, and since then the technology has taken giant leaps, further providing a wide range of new possibilities. For a rather long time, real-time diagnostic information has been available, including when the process is online, making it possible to predict—and prevent—possible process disturbances. Users are now taking advantage of the additional information available and adopting predictive maintenance strategies to gain more value in the process industry every year. The latest development in the field of diagnostics, the so-called “third generation of diagnostics,” is also playing a role in this transition by further smoothening the shift from traditional corrective and schedule-based to predictive maintenance - from the ISA, InTech and Metso Automation.

Control Valve Actuators - Their Impact on Control and Variability - Chris Warnett - Electric control valve actuators provide excellent performance and are ideal for oil and gas wells in remote production fields. Instrument air supply systems are costly and require significant energy to run. If mains power isn’t available, an instrument air supply isn’t practical, especially when only a few control valves are in use at a location. Solar powered DC electric actuators are ideal for such an application - from Rotork.

How Electric Control Valve Actuators Can Eliminate The Problems of Compressed Air as a Power Medium - Today, a new major technological advance is available that can help control-valve users avoid many of the problems and inefficiencies associated with using compressed air as a power medium. The new solution uses electric power and eliminates dependence on compressed air. This totally electric solution is appropriate and cost-effective for a wide variety of control-valve applications, including those found in such sectors as power generation, chemical, petrochemical, and most other process industries. While the new generation of electric control-valve actuators may not be suitable for all process applications, it is ideal for many situations, especially where users have experienced problems with frozen air hoses, lack of process precision, stick slip, and so on. Therefore, it is prudent for today’s process control engineers to take a serious look at how the design features of the new generation of totally electric control-valve actuators can benefit them - from Rotork.

HVAC Control Valves Ball vs. Globe - No longer a Cost Issue - In the past, ball valves had been attractive to HVAC control contractors primarily because they appeared to be half the price of a comparable globe valve. However, this included the purchase price of the valve only, and not the costs of extra pipe reducers and added installation time. That said, with the advent of new ball valves and more competitively priced globe valves, the decision on whether to use a globe or ball valve is no longer dictated by price. This paper addresses some technical differences between ball and globe valves and makes recommendations on factors to consider when selecting the proper valve - from Siemens.

Back to Basics: Closed-loop Stability - Tutorial - Vance VanDoren - Stability is how a control loop reduces errors between the measured process variable and its desired value or setpoint  - For the purposes of feedback control, stability refers to a control loop’s ability to reduce errors between the measured process variable and its desired value or setpoint. A stable control loop will manipulate the process so as to bring the process variable closer to the setpoint, whereas an unstable control loop will maintain or even widen the gap between them - from the excellent Control Engineering. 


Control Systems

Covering vast array of technical subjects on Control Systems such as Advanced Process Control, Alarm Management, Batch Control, Cascade Control, Compressor Surge Control, Control Room Design, Control Forums, Fuzzy Logic, Decentralised Control, Modelling and Optimisation, Pneumatic Controllers, Process Sequence Control Documentation Standards, Programmable Automation Controllers, Loop Tuning and much more.

ICEweb Advertising - Did you realise that there are over 500 pages on ICEweb!! As an ICEnews 2012 "special" we are offering a 50% discount on standard prices for unsponsored pages for the first year.

Sponsorship of many GREAT pages are available to advertisers.

Page exclusive sponsorship for a year with your logo in a prominent position.

All technical information will have live links to your company.

ICEweb will search for suitable technical information from your website and include this in a priority position on the page.

To sponsor/advertise in ICEweb, please contact Jim Russell, ICEweb Director.

Good Tuning: A Pocket Guide, Third Edition - Gregory K. McMillan - Every practicing instrument, process control, and process engineer will want to have this practical and to-the-point pocket guide on good tuning. Good Tuning: A Pocket Guide, Third Edition is a portable, concise summary of all the practical considerations for tuning loops. It includes step-by-step descriptions of the three best field-proven tuning procedures, a table of typical tuning settings, a summary of valve performance problems, logic diagrams for troubleshooting, and more than 70 “rules of thumb”. Wherever you have data and tuning access, you can estimate the settings for configuring new loops to review and improve the tuning of existing loops.

Loop Tuning Grows Smarter with Wireless - Limits exist on appropriate use of Wireless Loop Tuning Applications. For example, wireless PID tuning can be used in loops with slow response times—minutes or hours—such as temperature loops in larger process vessels, but such wireless control shouldn’t be used where loop response times are fast—sub-one second—or where the inability to control rapid process upsets or conditions could create damaging or dangerous situations or outcomes, expert  Gregory McMillan cautions. “For liquid pressures and compressor surge control, you have to be careful, and probably not use wireless unless you did a lot of investigation. Why? Because very bad things could happen very quickly—essentially instantaneously.” - from automationworld.com.

Addressing the Myths of Model Predictive Control (MPC) - Don Morrison - Not that long ago it was suggested in an industry article that perhaps the time was right to begin considering viable alternatives to PID control. Specifically it was advocated that the advances of model predictive control (MPC) have led to improved benefits that make it an answer to the inherent weaknesses of PID. The notion apparently touched a nerve with PID advocates who felt I was suggesting the complete elimination of PID. In reality, PID control will always have a role in the process industries, and suggesting that it should be completely swept aside is not realistic. It’s important to note, however, that MPC continues to take technological strides that are making it a bonafide alternative to PID that can produce better return in certain cases. Manufacturers have taken notice, and many more are implementing MPC into their plants and reaping benefits - from Honeywell Process Solutions and Automation.com.

Ergonomic Control Room Design Improves Operator Comfort and Safety - Vanessa Graves - As the power industry makes the shift from analog to digital control systems, power utilities are redesigning their control rooms to accommodate the digital control upgrades. The new technology has made it possible for operators to access most of their controls through the monitor and keyboard, rather than standing at the control boards. This represents not only a shift in technology but also a change in the way operators work. Safety is a chief concern for these power plants and a primary focus of control room design. An ergonomic approach to the design of control workstations and the layout of the control room contributes to achieving safety and performance objectives set for power plant control rooms. Effective control room design considers both form and function to create workspaces that facilitate the complex interaction between operators, technology and the environment. Raised flooring, acoustic concerns, indirect lighting and the wellbeing, health and safety of each operator all need to be addressed. Operators in the power plant control room work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Unlike a desk for a typical 9-to-5 office worker, which would be used 40 hours a week, these consoles are used 168 hours a week. Operators don’t get to just walk away if they need a break. So they need to be comfortable while they are at the console. Some things that are considered are knee space, countertop height, monitor height, viewing angles, reach and the amount of space the operator has behind the desk. That being said, an example of something that’s important to operators in terms of comfort is where the cup holders are located. It may seem trivial, but details like this really are critical to operator comfort and plant safety. From the layout of the room to determining the precise placement of every keyboard, mouse and telephone, not a single detail is left to chance - from Winsted Technical Interiors.

Control Room Dimension Recommendations - An excellent guide on dimension requirements -  from Winsted Technical Interiors.

Design to Humans: Lessons in HMI - Establishing a common language is often the first step to master a domain. This is especially true in the area of human-machine interface (HMI) design. HMI is the means by which a user operates a machine, system, or process (via hardwired panels or a computerized console). It also encompasses decision-support devices, such as operating procedures. Bandwidth availability from the modern HMI hardware and software has grown exponentially over the last few decades, and experts agree current Internet and web technologies cannot yet provide what most existing HMI users need: high data rates, high animation capability, and sub-second screen changes. Since humans cannot absorb information at the same rate as HMI bandwidth, it is important to design HMIs that better support the operator. In the petrochemical industry in U.S. alone, we estimate inadequacies in the means to deal with abnormal situations (including HMIs used to identify, diagnose, and deal with those situations) cost between $10 billion-$20 billion to the industry each year - from ISA and InTech.

Interactive Learning Modules for PID Control - José Luis Guzmán, Karl J. Åström, Sebastián Dormido, Tore Hägglund, Yves Piguet - These interactive learning modules have been developed to make it possible to quickly obtain a good intuition and a good working knowledge of PID control. It is part of a series of modules that are designed as a complement to the book, where the modules can be viewed as an attempt to make the key pictures in the book interactive. The modules consist of menus where process transfer functions and PID controllers can be chosen, parameters can be set, and results stored and loaded. A graphic display which shows time or frequency responses is a central part. The graphics can be manipulated directly by dragging lines, points or curves or by using sliders. Parameters that characterize robustness and performance are also displayed. At the moment, three modules have been developed., More modules are under development. The central module is called PID Basics, two auxiliary modules PID Loop Shaping and PID Windup illustrate loop shaping and windup - from Calerga.


Corrosion

Need to know about a corrosion issue? You are likely to find an answer in these pages.


Condition Monitoring

We are looking for more technical papers in this area.


Data Loggers

There are numerous Data Logger technical papers and articles in this updated page thanks to our valued sponsor HINCO.


Design Engineering for Instrumentation, Control, Electrical, Fire & Gas and Safety Instrumented Systems

New AVEVA Electrical offers Plant market up to 30% man-hour savings - Open interface supports use with customers’ existing systems or as part of AVEVA’s Integrated Engineering & Design approach - AVEVA has announced the release of the completely new AVEVA Electrical software application, a feature rich design solution for electrical engineers and designers in the plant environment. Pre-release customer testing has demonstrated man-hour savings of up to 30% when compared to traditional design applications. It is quick and easy to deploy and has a very open interface, allowing it to be used with design applications from other vendors or as part of AVEVA’s Integrated Engineering & Design approach. “Electrical & Instrumentation represents 60% of the maintainable items on a plant facility and the data is accessed by operations and maintenance more often than other disciplines,” said Bruce Douglas, Senior VP Marketing & Product Strategy, AVEVA. “AVEVA Electrical can be used both on new projects and also on brownfield activities where the integration of legacy data is critical. We have worked with numerous customers to ensure that AVEVA Electrical does exactly what they need from design to plant operations. Because of its advanced graphical user interface and sophisticated design rules, we believe that AVEVA Electrical will quickly become the preferred choice for all sizes of plant projects.” The open nature of AVEVA Electrical means it can interface with both AVEVA and third-party design, document management and material control systems”, added Dave Wheeldon, Chief Technology Officer, AVEVA. “As part of our Integrated Engineering & Design approach, this product enables electrical engineers to collaborate fully across inter-discipline design anywhere in the world. The automated deliverables generated by AVEVA Electrical are completely consistent and accurate which can dramatically improve productivity and shorten ROI.” To learn more visit www.aveva.com/aveva_electrical.

The Best Way to Discover the Measurable Business Benefits of AVEVA Electrical
AVEVA Electrical Business Value CalculatorThe best way to discover the measurable business benefits of AVEVA Electrical is to see it for yourself. Your local AVEVA sales team will be pleased to show you its many features and benefits.
Using this interactive Business Value Calculator, they will also be able to illustrate the savings that your business could achieve on your typical projects with selected products from the wider AVEVA portfolio. Contact them here.

Shift Handover -The Importance of Continuity - Shift handover has been shown to be a common source of revenue loss and safety incidents in plant operation. Both economic and regulatory pressures demand substantial improvement in the shift handover process. Every engineer knows that discontinuities are invariably a source of weakness, whether in physical structures or in continuous processes. This is particularly true in the case of shift handover but, whereas physical discontinuities may be easy to identify and remove, discontinuities in working procedures can be far more difficult. It has long been recognised in the plant industries that the discontinuities of shift handover are among the most common and potentially serious sources of problems. These can range from minor impacts on operational efficiency to the most serious safety incidents; all incur corresponding levels of economic cost. The root of the issue is the transfer of information from outgoing to incoming shift teams. This paper looks into the problems arising and describes how the latest information management technology can be used to overcome them. To download AVEVA's paper on Shift Handover visit http://www.aveva.com/en/Media-Centre/Business_Papers.aspx 

Sustainable Energy Management - Putting Information Assets to Work in the Process Industries - This paper outlines the challenges facing process plant operators in implementing effective Energy Management strategies. It describes how these challenges may be overcome through the use of currently available Information Management technologies supported by a comprehensive, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). Information Management technology can overcome the technical barriers to effective Energy Management and provide the means to harness an enterprise’s extensive, but often under-exploited, information assets. Such capability supports the key elements of a sustainable, long-term Energy Management programme: best practice methodology and an integrated framework to address its information requirements. Rather than being just a short-term initiative with a single objective, this type of programme constitutes a substantial step on the road to implementing a comprehensive Operations Integrity Management strategy to deliver enterprise-wide business benefits. An Energy Information Management strategy can thus lead to more extensive and sustained optimisation of all aspects of asset operation. To download AVEVA’s paper on Sustainable Energy Management visit www.aveva.com/pr/Energy-Mgmt.

Top Ten Instrumentation Headaches - AVEVA spoke to instrumentation and control experts across the industry and identified no less than ten key areas where other vendors’ instrumentation design technologies fail to meet engineers’ and designers’ requirements. These are the top ten headaches that the engineers and designers face on a daily basis. The good news is that companies can avoid these headaches entirely by deploying the ‘visual engineering’ approach at the heart of AVEVA’s field-proven instrumentation solution. Register to read the full paper here.

A Shocking Waste of Money - Eight Reasons Why Electrical Design Costs More Than it Should - Electrical engineering and design is one of the most complex and demanding challenges facing EPCs and shipbuilders, in new builds, in-plant projects, and marine refit. Recent capital expenditure on electrical engineering and design has been estimated to reach $3 billion in the hydrocarbon plant industry alone. But should we be shocked by this figure? Surely such a complex discipline necessarily comes with a high price tag? Expense is inevitable, certainly. But wastefulness is unforgivable. Unfortunately, the technology used to plan and design electrical systems, just like that used to design instrumentation and control systems, is often just that – wasteful. Because it has been developed with little regard for engineers’ and designers’ natural working methods, it results in cumbersome and error-prone methods of handling data, and prevents users from making effective technical use of the natural synergies that exist between many activities. Register to read the full paper here

AVEVA releases the Latest and most Powerful Version of AVEVA Instrumentation - AVEVA has announced that AVEVA Instrumentation 12.1, an enhanced version of its highly successful and market leading instrumentation and control engineering software is available. AVEVA Instrumentation 12.1, the most powerful instrumentation application on the market and one of AVEVA’s fastest growing products, is available for both plant and marine environments. Like AVEVA’s recently launched brand new application AVEVA Electrical, it has been designed and tested in close collaboration with AVEVA customers who have demonstrated up to a 30% man-hour savings with the new product.“AVEVA Instrumentation has proven to be a highly successful engineering product for AVEVA”, commented Bruce Douglas, Senior Vice President- Marketing & Product Strategy, AVEVA. “AVEVA Instrumentation integrates with AVEVA Electrical, which is a compelling piece of additional functionality to this platform. No other supplier provides such close synchronisation between these two important disciplines enabling true integration. “We are excited to be able to provide the plant and marine markets with two mission-critical applications that are so tightly integrated and offer our customers such compelling quality improvements and efficiency savings.” AVEVA Instrumentation can be implemented stand-alone, integrated as part of AVEVA’s Integrated & Engineering Design approach or with other third party software. New functionality includes an improved intuitive and easy to use interface, with enhanced graphical engineering capabilities. This allows tabular data such as component references to be represented at the click of a button, dramatically increasing productivity. To learn more visit www.aveva.com/aveva_instrumentation.

AVEVA – the world's leading engineering software provider, whose vision and commitment have completely redefined the plant, power and marine industries.

Find out more about AVEVA Instrumentation and other products here.

Project Management Fundamentals -  John “Jay” Gamble, Jr., P.E. - A good information sheet giving all the fundamentals of Project Management - from CEESI.


Design Engineering Software Database for Instrumentation, Control, Fire & Gas and Safety Instrumented Systems  - Thanks to AVEVA take a look at this page with just masses of information on the Instrument Database Approach to ICE Design Engineering.


Dynamic Process Simulators and Training Systems

Plenty of information on this subject.


Electrical

Many pages with Numerous Technical Links and White Papers on various Electrical Subjects.


Electrical and Instrumentation Enclosures

 

Thanks to our sponsor Weidmuller you can find information on Cabinet design, construction, NEMA and IP ratings, Maintenance, EMC and lots more! This page has been completely reworked and the following links added.


ESD Valves - Shutdown and Blowdown

This comprehensive page includes technical and design information on Emergency Shutdown Valves, Shutdown Valves, Blowdown Valves, Actuators, Fire Safe Actuators, ESD Valve Fire Shelter and Partial Stroke Testing.

Intelligence for LNG Ball Valves - Intelligent valve technology can help to reach the most demanding targets in anti-surge control applications, where fast and accurate operation is needed at extreme service conditions with high pressure differentials and tight shutoff - from our valued sponsor Metso Automation.

Automatic Partial Stroke Testing Prevents Disasters - Janne Laaksonen, Metso Automation - Safety engineers throughout the world are struggling with the problem of how to best comply with new and more stringent safety requirements - IEC requirements state that manufacturers must determine and document precise levels of safety and furnish quantifiable proof of compliance. In light of these requirements, manufacturing companies feel it is necessary to reassess their traditional safety loop testing procedures. In particular, they feel it is important to improve their safety valve testing procedures in order to drive costs down and improve plant safety - from SA Instrumentation and Control and our valued sponsor Metso Automation.


Flow

These pages cover; Coriolis, Metering, Multiphase, Orifice Plates, Ultrasonic, Thermal, V-Cone, Vortex and more!

Flowmeter Selection Strategies Part 2 - How to Choose the Right Technology for Gas Measurements - John Frederick - Covers the topics typically covered in a comprehensive gas flow measurement course. The following describes common types of gas flowmeters and provides guidelines for their selection and usage. It also discusses the influence of basic gas properties on meter performance and examines methods and equipment for accurate calibration - from www.flowcontrolnetwork.com.

Fundamentals of Gas Measurement - Pat Donnelly - This is a super paper on the basics of Gas Flow Measurement. It covers the history, measuring volume, types of flowmeters and temperature correction - from CEESI.

Flow Measurement & Control Forum - Perth, Australia – November 28th & 29th 2012
Featuring - Dr Jesse Yoder - President, Flow Research - Dr. Yoder has over 20 years experience as an analyst and writer in process control. He is the Research Director and President of Flow Research, a US company he founded in 1998. Dr. Yoder specialises in flow meters and other field devices and is dedicated to researching and evaluating flow, pressure and temperature market products. Jesse has written over 40 market research studies in industrial automation and process control including a worldwide infrared study and six worldwide flow meter studies including Coriolis, ultrasonic, magnetic, vortex, and DP flow plus turbine and positive displacement flow meter studies. Flow measurement is fundamental to many industrial sectors such as oil and gas, mining, processing, chemicals and water just to name a few. This forum will focus on applications and problem solving for modern flow measurement and control systems. Measurements and control have huge economic and environmental implications and it is important to stay ahead of the pack, especially by being aware of breaking developments, regulation and best-inbreed practice.

 

 Issues covered will include applications of flow meters with particular reference to performance, sizing, selection, installation, calibration and commissioning. It will showcase industry experiences dealing with flow measurement and control, plus new breakthroughs in solving difficult flow measurement problems. Practical case studies from local and global projects will be used to illustrate technical problems experienced in the field and how these issues were solved. The forum will also include new technologies, applications of these technologies and the most current developments in this critical subject.
Click here to download the brochure


Fire and Gas

Technical Papers covering many aspects of Fire and Gas Engineering. Thanks to Honeywell Analytics this page has been extensively re-modelled with many new links added.

Honeywell Analytics Gas Book - This updated handbook is intended to offer a simple guide to anyone considering the use of gas detection equipment. It provides an explanation of both the principles involved and the instrumentation needed for satisfactory protection of personnel, plant and environment. The aim has been to answer as many as possible of the most commonly asked questions about the selection and use of industrial gas detection equipment.

Performance Based Fire & Gas System Engineering - This WEBINAR features Kenexis President and CEO Ed Marszal in a discussion of how a combination of prescriptive standards and risk management techniques can be used to design a robust Fire & Gas System for use in the process industries. It runs over 2 hours and is just full of great information!

Advancing Quantitative Fire and Gas Detection and Suppression Systems Analysis - Edward M. Marszal, Kevin J. Mitchell and Henry M. Marszal - In this paper, the authors are presenting a basic analysis framework and proposing nomenclature for the purposes of standardizing analysis methods. The paper will address in some depth, the problem of quantifying optical fire detection system performance, at least in the Geographic Coverage sense, and will allude to the future steps that will be required to extend the analysis to Scenario Coverage for fire detection and then Scenario Coverage for gas detection - from Kenexis.


Hazardous Areas Instrumentation and Electrical Equipment

A huge technical library of Technical Information covering a wide range of Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas.

Electrical Apparatus and Hazardous Areas - Covers Hazardous Areas, Groups, Zones, Temperature Classes, Types of Protection, Equipment Protection Levels, Standards and ATEX - from Hexagon Technology.

Hazardous Area Classification and Control of Ignition Sources - This Technical Measures Document refers to the classification of plant into hazardous areas, and the systematic identification and control of ignition sources - from the UKHSE.

Equipment Protection Levels (EPLs) : Not as Optional as you Think! - This paper from Inlec Engineering introduces the new concept of Equipment Protection Levels (EPLs) for hazardous area electrical equipment as introduced in the 2009 editions of AS/NZS60070.10.0, AS/NZS60079.14 and AS/NZS60079.17. It covers the impact that EPLs will have upon:
- Hazardous Area Classification
- Electrical Equipment Markings
- The selection and installation of electrical equipment and wiring systems for hazardous areas
Practitioners will need a good working understanding of this new 'alternative' approach, even if they chose not to apply it, because although the 'new' approach is optional, it impacts the use of the 'historical' method.

Equipment Protection Levels and All That - One of the evil side effects of the ATEX Directive is that the IEC feels compelled to follow its more whimsical requirements. However the IEC must maintain its independence and consequently it follows similar principles but modifies the marking. The most recent manifestation of this phenomenon is the creation of Equipment Protection Levels (EPLs], which are the IEC equivalent of the ATEX categories - from MTL.

Equipment Protection Level EPL: Extended Device Marking -Discover the importance of the new Equipment Protection Level (EPL) -  The selection of suitable apparatus plays an important role when setting up a plant in hazardous areas. Some of the main points include (a) Device functionality (b) Suitability for all anticipated ambient and operating conditions and (c) Explosion protection requirements - from Pepperl+Fuchs.

ATEX and Explosive Atmospheres - Explosive atmospheres in the workplace can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dusts. Explosions can cause loss of life and serious injuries as well as significant damage. These pages from the UK HSE will tell you more about explosive atmospheres and ATEX.


High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems - (HIPPS)

A swag of information on this interesting subject.


Hydraulics

Need some Technical Information on Hydraulics? Look at ICEweb's page.


Instrumentation Valves, Tubing and Fittings

ICEweb has very comprehensive pages on this subject.


Laser Instrumentation

Technical Information on Laser Level and Other Laser Instrumentation Applications.


Level

Technical Information covering a wide range of level subjects including General Theory, Capacitance, Displacer, Float/Magnetic, Radar, Ultrasonic, Boiler Level and more!

Please support our Level Page sponsor Austral-Powerflo Solutions, see all their Magnetrol Level solutions on the page.


New Technologies

This section of ICEweb is dedicated to new and emerging technologies.


Pressure

Covers General Theory, Technical Papers, Transmitters, Regulators, Safety Tips, Blockage Tool and more Pressure Related Technologies.

A Fundamentally New Way of Realizing Pressure . . . Without Mercury - In 1643, Evangelista Torricelli, in the course of solving a Tuscan plumbing problem, made the first barometer with a meter-long tube of mercury. Ever since then, civilization has used the toxic liquid metal to measure pressure. Today, the United States’ primary pressure standard -- NIST’s Ultrasonic Interferometer Manometer -- stands three meters tall, contains about 230 kg of mercury, and has an uncertainty of about 2.5 parts per million (ppm). But it is basically the culmination of numerous incremental improvements on the original 17th-century design.
The long-standing quicksilver hegemony, however, is about to end, says Jay Hendricks of PML’s Sensor Science Division. “We expect to make a fundamental change, a paradigm leap forward in the way we realize units of pressure, replacing mercury manometers with the world’s first portable, quantum-based primary barometric pressure standard,” Hendricks says - from NIST

Identifying Pressure Sensor Problems - How Barometric Pressure, Installation, and Drift Affect Sensor Performance - Elden Tolman - It is common for a pressure sensor to perform well at first and then later fall outside of the acceptable range of performance. Frequently such errors are classified as drift, when in reality there are other forces at play. This article reviews the influence of barometric pressure, installation and drift on sensor performance - from Flow Control.

How Temperature Affects Pressure Sensors - Temperature has very little effect on pressure measurement when it has been properly calibrated and falls within the specified range. In fact, pressure sensors are less prone to temperature variables than other types of sensors, particularly when used for level measurement. However, when the temperature swings beyond a certain point, depending, of course, on the capabilities of the sensor itself, things can get a little dicey. Temperature variations outside the norm can cause accuracy errors and physical failures depending on the circumstances. It is important to choose a sensor that is designed for the temperature gradient for your application - from APG Sensors.


Pressure Relief Valves

This must be just about the world's most comprehensive Pressure Relief Valve resource covering Technical Papers, Technical Manuals, Engineering Handbook, Calculations, Sizing, Selection and Relief Design.

Specifying Surge Relief Valves in Liquid Pipelines - Surge relief valves often last line of protection for a pipeline, saving the day when all else fails, but only if specified and installed correctly - Trilochan Gupta - A pressure surge can consist of multiple events, resulting in up to ten times the normal pipeline pressure. When a surge relief valve opens, it vents the pressure to a safety system. Probably the most infamous example of a relief valve failing is the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in 1979, but many other incidents have occurred. In 2005, for example, relief valves were partially blamed for the BP Texas City refinery explosion. In that case, the relief valves opened properly, but they caused a flammable liquid geyser from a blowdown stack that was not equipped with a flare. In other words, the relief valves were installed improperly. In 2009, at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric plant in Siberia, severe water hammer ruptured a conduit leading to a turbine. A transformer exploded, killing 69 people. It is not known if the plant had surge relief valves, but this is exactly the kind of problem that surge relief valves are designed to solve. To prevent similar problems from occurring in an oil pipeline, proper attention must be paid when specifying and installing surge relief valves - from the ISA and InTech.

PSVPlus Software - Model Pressure Relief Scenarios and Size Pressure Relief Valves in Process Plants, based on industry standard procedures. This process software brings seamless integration between the various steps required to calculate, design, specify Pressure Relief Valves for the Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, and Fine Chemical Industries. 


Rupture Discs

Specifications, Standards, Technical Papers and Articles.


Security

This comprehensive page has numerous technical papers on Process Control Security issues

New NIST Publication Provides Guidance for Computer Security Risk Assessments - The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a final version of its risk assessment guidelines that can provide senior leaders and executives with the information they need to understand and make decisions about their organization's current information security risks and information technology infrastructures. "Risk assessments are an important tool for managers," explains Ron Ross, NIST fellow and one of the authors of Guide for Conducting Risk Assessments. "With the increasing breadth and depth of cyber attacks on federal information systems and the U.S. critical infrastructure, risk assessments provide important information to guide and inform the selection of appropriate defensive measures so organizations can respond effectively to cyber-related risks."

ICS Security and VLANs – Boogeyman or Helper? - Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) should not be counted on as a security feature of modern managed Ethernet switch networks. This is now common knowledge, both in IT departments and also in the Industrial Control Community. Indeed in Eric Byres’ article "Why VLAN Security isn't SCADA Security at all" he points out that switches with VLANS are not firewalls. But are VLANs the boogeyman of industrial control system security...or are they underestimated helpers? This article examines that question in detail.

32 Minutes to Understanding SCADA Security - Engineers as well as IT staff in the process control and SCADA industries have varying levels of knowledge about industrial cyber security. We come across this regularly when talking to people at industry events or speaking with customers or partners. To help you, no matter where you are in the learning curve, we have recently released a five-part video series. This article summarizes the videos and provides you with direct access to them.

Presentation: "Unicorns and Air Gaps - Do They Really Exist?" - Eric Byres' presentation explains:
- The current status of air gaps and industrial control systems
- The challenge of air gaps and today’s infrastructure systems
- Why real world security measures are needed
- How an oil and gas refinery deals with multiple pathways
- The importance of last-line-of-defense critical systems
This presentation will increase your knowledge of air gaps as a security measure and provide you with practical advice on real-world security for control systems. You will need to register to download.

SCADA Security: A Call-out to Control Engineers about Air Gaps- Recently Eric Byres discussed how security experts and ICS / SCADA vendors are giving up on the dream of the air gap as a viable security solution for the modern control system. Unfortunately, it is still all too easy to believe your control system is isolated. Recently he had a very enlightening conversation with a control engineer who thought his system was air gapped.

SCADA Security: New Vulnerability Disclosure Framework a Step Forward - In a move that may be helpful for critical infrastructure asset owners, on July 23 2012 the Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group (ICSJWG) published a new document for disclosing Industrial Control System (ICS) vulnerabilities titled Common Industrial Control System Vulnerability Framework . It provides building blocks for a new vulnerability disclosure process that will benefit both vendors and asset owners.

SCADA Security Basics: SCADA vs. ICS Terminology - “What’s the difference between a SCADA system and an ICS system, and if there is no difference, then why do we have two different names?” - This is a good question, because unless you have worked in the industrial automation field for a few decades, the terminology can seem very confusing. Not only do we have SCADA versus ICS, we also have terms like Process Control, Discrete Control, Industrial Automation, Manufacturing Automation Systems, Distributed Control Systems, Energy Management Systems and so on.

SCADA Security Basics: Why are PLCs so Insecure? - An interesting discussion on this point which provides much "food for thought".

Shamoon Malware and SCADA Security – What are the Impacts? - Heather MacKenzie - The latest post-Stuxnet discovery of advanced threats is a malicious malware known as Shamoon. Like Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame, it targeted energy companies in the Middle East, this time Saudi Aramco and likely other oil and gas concerns in the region including Qatar’s RasGaz. It is a new species however, because it did not disrupt an industrial process as Stuxnet did, nor did it stealthily steal business information as Flame and Duqu did. Instead it removed and overwrote the information on the hard drives of 30,000 (yes that number is correct1) workstations of Saudi Aramco (and who knows how many more at other firms). Nothing this damaging has been seen in a while. As a Kaspersky Lab expert commented “Nowadays, destructive malware is rare; the main focus of cybercriminals is financial profit. Cases like the one here do not appear very often”. What does Shamoon mean for SCADA and ICS Security? This is an interesting article into what is in effect cyber terrorism.

Guide for Conducting Risk Assessments - This guide focuses exclusively on risk assessment—the second step in the information security risk management process. The guidance covers the four elements of a classic risk assessment: threats, vulnerabilities, impact to missions and business operations, and the likelihood of threat exploitation of vulnerabilities in information systems and their physical environment to cause harm or adverse consequences.
"As the size and complexity of our collective IT infrastructure grows, we cannot protect everything we own or manage to the highest degree," says Ross. "Risk assessments show us where we are most at risk. It provides a way to decide where managers should focus their attention. "The risk assessment guidance is designed to meet the needs of a variety of organizations, large and small, including financial institutions, health care providers, software developers, manufacturing companies, military planners and operators, and law enforcement groups.

The Cost of Cyberattacks - Greg Hale - Can You Afford NOT to Deploy Best Practices? There is a spectrum of awareness and capability regarding cyber security in industry, with the oil and gas sector being at the forefront of implementing best practices and many other sectors still unconvinced that it merits expenditure and resource allocation. According to Greg companies that implement cyber security best practices are 2.5 times less likely to experience a major cyberattack and 3.5 times less likely to experience unplanned downtime than companies that don’t. Cyber incidents cost organizations:
- $558,000 in revenue losses
- $480,831 in brand damage
- $366,301 in compliance fines
- 174,309 in lost productivity
It all adds up to costing U. S. industry $6 million a day or $20 billion a year.


Severe Service Control Valves

A swag of technical papers can be found here.


Solenoid Valves

This is a comprehensive Technical Reference on Solenoids

The following links on Solenoid Valves are complements of our valued sponsor ASCO;
Engineering Information - Importance of Properly Sizing Solenoid Valves - It is important to properly size a valve as there are undesirable effects in both undersizing and oversizing. This technical information sheet also includes the definition of Kv, data on Flow Data, Flow Factor, Orifice Size and sample problems.
Solenoid and Pressure Operated Valve Technology - Function, Terminology and Construction Types.
Proportional Solenoid Valves - Most flow control valves work on an “on/off” basis. They are either fully open or fully closed. Proportional valves, however, operate with a “proportional” action. By varying the electrical input to a proportional valve, the flow of the fluid through the valve can be continuously and steplessly adjusted between 0 to 100% of the maximum rated flow.
Rubbers, Plastics and Metals used in Solenoid Valves - Technical Information Sheet
Chemical Resistance Guide - A useful Technical Information Sheet - ASCO valves are available to control most acids, alcohol, bases, solvents and corrosive gases and liquids. Modified or special designs are sometimes required depending upon the fluid and application. Corrosion occurs either as a chemical or electro-chemical reaction. Therefore, consideration must be given to both the galvanic and electromotive force series, as well as to pressure, temperature and other factors that might be involved in the application. This guide provides information on most common corrosive and non-corrosive, unmixed gases and liquids.
Solenoid and Pressure Operated Valve Technology - ISO 1219 Symbols - Symbols used for different combinations of Solenoid Valves.
Solenoid Operators, Coils and Spare Parts Kits - Coil identification and basic design considerations.
ASCO Solenoids - General Operating / Maintenance Instructions / Troubleshooting Guide and Spare Part Kits.
Solenoid Engineering Information - Maximum/minimum pressures and temperatures viscosity, response times, valve seat tightness degrees of protection provided by electrical enclosures (IP code).
Useful Engineering Conversion Tables for Solenoid Valves
ASCO "Red Hat" Solenoid Valves - Selection, Installation. Maintenance and Troubleshooting - This document from ASCO Canada provides some useful information.
Safety Manual for Safety Integrated Systems - This Safety Manual provides information necessary to design, install, verify and maintain a Safety Instrumented Function (SIF) utilizing an ASCO Redundant Control System, RCS. This manual provides necessary requirements for meeting the IEC 61508 or IEC 61511 functional safety standards.
Eight Critical Factors in Purchasing Offshore Pilot Valves - Fabio Okada and Emma Tejada - Stainless steel pilot valves play small but critical roles in the control of offshore platforms and other demanding oil and gas production operations. Acting as pilots for process and larger emergency shutdown (ESD) valves, these valves are typically installed in a platform’s pneumatic logic control panels. The valves are usually exposed to salt water and other challenging elements, so valve manufacturers all standardize on 316L stainless steel valve bodies. Panel builders, assemblers, OEMs, contractors, and end users can choose from a wide variety of models, including air-operated, manually operated, solenoid-operated, and many more. Specifiers and buyers must consider all the critical factors that bear on a given design’s reliability. The April 2010 platform loss and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have only sharpened the industry’s focus. In the case of pilot valves, this means that operators must have robust valves that perform efficiently each time, every time. This report considers several problems that interfere with the efficient, reliable performance of conventional pilot valves in offshore use. It also highlights design changes that have addressed these problems in newer models. Note: Onshore drillers may also specify these valves, taking advantage of their robust construction or consolidating purchasing when operating both onshore and offshore sites.
The Insiders’ Guide to Modular Gas Valves - Gerry Longinetti and James Chiu - Fuel gas shutoff valves represent the main line of defence in combustion devices such as burners and boilers. They’re key to the safe operation of equipment for non residential comfort heating, commercial and industrial heating, and power and steam generation applications worldwide. While conventional modular gas valve designs are popular and effective, the latest generation of valves has even more dramatic improvements. Recent technological advancements in models such as new modular gas valves from ASCO offer breakthrough features and benefits. These include higher flows, more compact footprints, and greater modularity and flexibility to enable downsizing of fuel train components, as well as broader temperature ranges, higher close-off pressures, more immediate availability, and reduced costs of ownership. Tapping the expertise of valve manufacturing insiders, this report reveals how original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end users alike can take maximum advantage of these new factors. It’s intended to offer useful guidance in choosing the right valve for a variety of vital applications.
Seven Breakthrough Advantages of New Steam Valve Technology - Anne-Sophie Kedad-Chambareau and Gerry Longinetti - Solenoid based valves that control the flow of steam and hot water are critical components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end users of commercial and industrial laundry, sterilizer, boiler, dishwasher, and food preparation equipment. Until recently, specifiers and users of even the best traditional valve technology had to accept certain limitations. For instance, flow rates were relatively constrained, so throughput was restricted. Valve life was also comparatively short, and maintenance or replacement somewhat time-consuming. Recently, these barriers have been breached. New approaches and technologies, incorporated into a new generation of products, are changing what buyers can expect. Even differences in basic specifications can be considerable. In recent head-to-head testing of a popular traditional valve versus a new model, the new valve’s ambient temperature range was wider. Compared to some older designs, maximum temperature can be improved by 60° F and pressure can be more than doubled. The newest designs combine several features proven to offer significant benefits in traditional valves, such as threaded bonnets, a floating PTFE diaphragm, and a zero minimum operating differential design. They also add innovative new approaches such as optimized geometry, DC construction, and a lower power coil. For major performance factors, the improvements may be dramatic. This report demonstrates how choosing the right next-generation steam valve can deliver benefits such as 60% higher flow rates, four times longer life, and more.
Hot Water and Steam Service - An absolute "mine" of information about all things associated with steam.


Specialist Oil & Gas Valves

Technical information on Cryogenic Ball, Gate, Globe and Check Valves - In the Oil and Gas industry, valves are exposed to some of the most extreme conditions imaginable. Corrosive and erosive environments and extremely high and low temperatures for example, require tough equipment, tough materials and tight tolerances. The technical links here provide engineering solutions. Check out our sponsor Prochem who have these solutions.


Control, Instrumentation, Fire & Gas and Safety Instrumented Systems Engineering Standards - This is a New Page under development so bear with us, lots more information will be added over the next few months.


Surge and Lightning Protection

It will never happen to me? Don't you believe it...Globally, some 2000 on-going thunderstorms cause about 100 lightning strikes to earth each second!! This page provides a comprehensive range of links to help resolve the potential effects.


Test and Calibration

Technical Papers and Articles on how to test and calibrate along with typical equipment. Thanks to our sponsor Zedflo Australia ICEweb's Test and Calibration Instruments page has been extensively upgraded.


Terminals - Electrical and Instrumentation Wiring

Need to know how to wire and terminate your control consoles, marshalling cabinets and junction boxes? Thanks to our sponsor Weidmüller ICEweb's Electrical and Instrumentation Terminals page has some great information


Temperature

Covering a whole range of temperature measuring techniques along with General Theory, Conversions, Selection and Application this page must be your first choice when looking for quality technical information.

Do Your Thermowells Meet the ASME Standard? - Thermowell design has become more conservative in the age of ASME/ANSI 19.3TW-2010 - Mitchell P. Johnson, J.D. and Allan G. Gilson, P.E. - Depending on process conditions there are a number of other factors that can cause a thermowell to suffer mechanical failure at insertion lengths less than one-third of the pipe. These include flow-induced vibration (wake frequency failure), dynamic (oscillating) and steady state stress, pressure, corrosion, erosion, material selection, and improper installation technique. All of these must be considered in properly designing a thermowell for a given installation. So who is responsible for making the judgment call here? The 19.3TW standard makes plain that ultimate design responsibility for a thermowell well rests with the engineer designing the system into which the well is being installed "Specification of a thermowell, including details of its intended installation and all intended operating conditions, is the responsibility of the designer of the system that incorporates the thermowell. The designer of that system is also responsible for ensuring the thermowell is compatible with the process fluid and with the design of the thermowell installation in the system". - from Flow Control.


Valve Actuators

JUST HAVE A LOOK AT THIS PAGE! A huge repository of information on Actuators including Compact Actuator Solutions and Systems, Subsea Valve Actuator Applications, Offshore Valve Actuator Applications, Safety Related Systems Valve Actuator Systems, Spring Return Hydraulic Actuators, Spring Return Pneumatic Actuators, Compact Double Block & Bleed (DBB) Valve Actuators, Double Acting Actuator, Valve Actuator General Information, Scotch Yoke Design Valve Actuators, Firesafe Actuators, Hydraulic Actuator Design and Operation, Electrical Actuator Design and Operation, Control Valve Actuator Design and Operation and Valve Actuator Accessories. Check out our sponsor Prochem who have these solutions.


Valves

ICEwebs Valveweb page has been completely reworked to help you get to your required information quickly and efficiently.


Variable Speed Drives

Check out ICEweb's Variable Speed Drives Page. We are looking for more technical papers on these and other Electrical subjects.


ICEsafety

Information and News on Safety Instrumented Systems , Burner Management Systems, Manufacturing & Safety Automation, and Health & Safety.

Thanks to our sponsor Invensys Triconex ICEweb's Safety Instrumented Systems page has been extensively upgraded with an alphabetical listing - so if you need more information on SIS just go to this page as a first "port of call"!

The Mechanical Integrity of Plant Containing Hazardous Substances - A guide to periodic examination and testing - The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) considers maintenance of the integrity of plant containing hazardous substances to be a fundamental element of good process safety management. To this end, we believe this document provides a sound basis from which to develop arrangements for the management and delivery of periodic examinations aimed at achieving this. The guidance contained within this document should not be regarded as an authoritative interpretation of the law, but if you follow the advice set out in it, you will normally be doing enough to comply with health and safety law in respect of those specific issues on which the guidance gives advice. Whilst not being specifically related to instrumentation this comprehensive document from EEMUA is an excellent reference for anybody working or interested in Asset Management and Safety.

Warning to Offshore Industry on Possible Failure of Fire Resistant Composite Deck Gratings - This alert is to warn operators that fire resistant composite materials, especially FRP deck gratings, used offshore may fail, or lose integrity, after exposure to relatively short duration hydrocarbon pool fires. The time taken for this is considerably shorter than the specified resistance period of 60 minutes derived from the certifying test for cellulosic fires. Duty Holders must determine whether composite gratings are used in areas with potential hydrocarbon fire exposure and identify means of ensuring the safety of personnel should they walk on weakened gratings.

Process Safety – Getting the Layers Right 

Accident prevention requires a number of protection layers or control measures to overcome imperfections and latent or active failures. Recently, NOPSEMA has identified cases where the latent failures across several protection layers appear to ‘line up’, making the controls potentially ineffective. Standard industry practice in Australia is to accumulate a number of layers of proactive and reactive controls. For example, reactive controls designed to prevent fire and explosion following the uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons usually include:

  1. fire and gas detection
  2. ignition controls
  3. isolation of inventory (shutdown)
  4. reduction of inventory (blowdown)
  5. over-pressure protection
  6. passive fire protection
  7. active fire protection
  8. alarm system
  9. evacuation pathway
  10. safe muster
  11. emergency response plan

Having numerous controls in place does not necessarily equate to risk reduction. NOPSEMA has inspected a facility where the passive fire protection layer was designed on the assumption that the sequence of fire and gas detection, shutdown and blowdown would work perfectly. In effect, the latent failures of the passive fire protection and three protection layers were aligned. Meaning that, without active fire protection measures, the facility and workers on it would be vulnerable if the fire and gas detection, shutdown and blowdown protection layers failed. On another facility, a review of the layout of fire and gas detectors revealed that some sections of the process, where significant gas releases could occur, were located close to non-hazardous areas (i.e. without ignition protection) and without any fire and gas detectors between the two areas. The latent failures of the two protection layers, gas detection and ignition control, were aligned in such a way that no action could be taken prior to gas reaching any potential ignition sources.

Pipeline Integrity - New Innovations in Leak Detection for Hydrocarbon Applications - Frank Fromm - In order to ensure the integrity of their pipelines and remain in compliance with new and tougher laws, a greater number of businesses are now making the conscientious decision to install advanced leak-detection systems. These systems are capable of detecting both the presence and location of a leak, allowing a pipeline operator to address the situation quickly and effectively – before the leak can harm property or people. A variety of leak-detection systems are currently available and corporations must thoroughly evaluate the benefits of each. A leak-detection system should demonstrate consistently high levels of sensitivity, accuracy, reliability, and robustness. It should be easy for a pipeline operator to learn, understand and use. Ideally, the system should also integrate software with instrumentation in order to enhance performance and simplify maintenance. After reviewing several recent U.S. and international laws pertaining to leak detection for pipelines, this article takes a detailed look at one innovative leak detection system and demonstrate how a Taiwanese petrochemical company put this system to good use - from www.flowcontrolnetwork.com.

The Mechanical Integrity of Plant Containing Hazardous Substances - A guide to periodic examination and testing - The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) considers maintenance of the integrity of plant containing hazardous substances to be a fundamental element of good process safety management. To this end, we believe this document provides a sound basis from which to develop arrangements for the management and delivery of periodic examinations aimed at achieving this. The guidance contained within this document should not be regarded as an authoritative interpretation of the law, but if you follow the advice set out in it, you will normally be doing enough to comply with health and safety law in respect of those specific issues on which the guidance gives advice. Whilst not being specifically related to instrumentation this comprehensive document from EEMUA is an excellent reference for anybody working or interested in Asset Management and Safety.

Shift Handover -The Importance of Continuity - Shift handover has been shown to be a common source of revenue loss and safety incidents in plant operation. Both economic and regulatory pressures demand substantial improvement in the shift handover process. Every engineer knows that discontinuities are invariably a source of weakness, whether in physical structures or in continuous processes. This is particularly true in the case of shift handover but, whereas physical discontinuities may be easy to identify and remove, discontinuities in working procedures can be far more difficult. It has long been recognised in the plant industries that the discontinuities of shift handover are among the most common and potentially serious sources of problems. These can range from minor impacts on operational efficiency to the most serious safety incidents; all incur corresponding levels of economic cost. The root of the issue is the transfer of information from outgoing to incoming shift teams. This paper looks into the problems arising and describes how the latest information management technology can be used to overcome them. To download AVEVA's paper on Shift Handover visit http://www.aveva.com/en/Media-Centre/Business_Papers.aspx


Manufacturing and Automation Safety

See ICEweb's comprehensive page which covers a huge volume of super information on this subject!


Useful Free Software and Tools for Engineers

Software and Tools that will help with engineering design. Really excellent free tools to help you in your job and at home can be found on ICEweb’s “Tools” page.

Engineer the Use of your PowerPoint Slides More Powerfully - Steve Mackay – IDC Technologies - I think you will agree that most of us have used PowerPoint slides at some stage in our careers. However, I often cringe when I see how slides are used in presentations – boring, rambling and not particularly useful – with an endless list of them thrust at a disinterested and confused audience.  It is certainly impossible to deliver a good technical presentation without some use of PowerPoint slides – especially using graphics and diagrams in the engineering field - a great way to keep attention and explain complexity. After all, most engineering professionals appreciate a diagrammatic representation as opposed to boring text - from Mackays Musings.


Instrument Signal Conditioners, Signal Concentrators, Transmitters, Transducers, Isolators and Converters

This brand new page covers technical aspects of all the above devices! The signal problem solver from Moore Industries is very useful, have a look at it along with many other useful links here.


Instrumentation Technology - Techweb

A Gateway to a huge amount of Instrumentation Technology Information.


ICEwireless

News and technical links to Industrial Instrumentation Wireless items of interest

Industrial Wireless Mesh Network Architectures - Peter McNeil - This white paper describes some differences between traditional enterprise networks and industrial networks and provides examples of some of the more popular wireless industrial networking technologies being deployed today.

Antenna Installation Considerations - Ken Burgner - This white paper outlines installation considerations when installing a WLAN antenna including Fresnal zones, LOS, Reflections, Multipath etc.

Ten Easy Steps for Wireless LAN Security - Some Low Cost Ways of optimising the security of your Wireless LANS.


ICEtime - Seminars, Tradeshows, Conferences and Events of interest to our readership.

If you would like to have your event listed in ICEtime, please send a note or press release to ICEnews.

Take a look at ISA's comprehensive calendar of Automation events

2012

November

6 -8 Brazil Automation ISA 2012 - Expo Center Norte - Sao Paulo - Brazil

12 - 14  AVEVA World North America User Conference - Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans

28 - 29 Flow Measurement & Control Forum - Perth, Australia

December

4 -5 RadioComms Connect - Melbourne,  Australia


ICEsponsor¾ Newsletter Sponsor Recognition

The following companies have kindly contributed to the creation and sharing of this information by offsetting the costs associated with its production and distribution.

 

Well recognised by such brand names as Circle Seal Controls, Hoke Gyrolok fittings and Go Regulators, CIRCOR International Inc is a leading supplier of valves, related products and services to a wide range of users who require precise, efficient and safe fluid control systems. For over 125 years they have been providing a complete array of fluid control products and technologies to a highly fragmented industry.

For more information go to http://www.circortechnologies.com/

 

The Honeywell Analytics group of companies provides gas detection solutions in industries where potentially hazardous chemicals and gases exist. A full range of fixed gas, portable gas and flame detection equipment is available for the measurement of flammable gases, toxic gases and oxygen concentrations. The company provides design, development and manufacture of electrochemical, catalytic and infrared sensors, along with Chemcassette technology, placing the company at the forefront of innovation. The company offers solutions to increasingly difficult gas detection and monitoring applications.
They also offer project management for specialized fire and gas systems, a global network of service centres and 24-hour on-line technical support.

For more information go to http://www.iceweb.com.au/Suppliers/honeywell_analytics.html

 

Prochem is Australia’s leading supplier of quality stainless steel piping and mechanical instrumentation products. They are agents for a huge range of instrumentation products including Hoke Gyrolok, Hoke Instrumentation Valves, Circor Tech Products, Go Regulators, Circle seal, Atkomatic Solenoid Valves, Classic Filters, Manual Sample Systems, King Instrument Company , Hoke Pipe Fittings , Anderson Greenwood Instrument Valves , Anderson Greenwood Primary Isolation Valves , Pacson Valves and ATC Actuators, BSM Valves, O'Brien Tracepak and O'Brien Analytical, BuTech , Stainless Steel Tube, Saddles and Leak Check , Teflon Lined Braided Hoses.

http://www.prochem.com.au


AVEVA Instrumentation; instrument and systems engineering, design, documentation and management for the entire plant lifecycle.

AVEVA Instrumentation provides a comprehensive, powerful and intuitive suite of software tools which support the entire lifecycle of a plant’s instrumentation and control systems. Engineers and plant designers will find their work easier and more productive, thanks to its extensive catalogue- and rules-based functions and unique features such as graphical ‘drag and drop’ design. Plant operators will appreciate a dedicated, affordable solution which makes handover and commissioning more efficient and which goes on to save time and cost throughout the continuing processes of maintenance, modification and upgrade.

Customer evaluations have consistently reported substantial gains in productivity compared with rival products. To see why, visit www.aveva.com/instrumentation for product information. To see AVEVA Instrumentation in action, visit www.aveva.com/events for details of AVEVA roadshows and events near you, or contact your nearest AVEVA sales office to arrange a demonstration on your premises.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure technical accuracy of the information supplied by iceweb.com.au, ICEnews, Keyfleet Pty Ltd and its employees accept no liability for any loss or damage caused by error or omission from the data supplied. Users should make and rely on their own independent inquiries. By accessing the site, and reading this newsletter users accept this condition. Should you note any error/omission or an article offends please do not ignore it, contact the editors and we will review, rectify and remove as necessary.

© ICEnews 2012. Reproduction for personal use is permitted.