Focus on prevention
It would, of course, be preferable to avoid such situations by detecting problems well in advance. For this reason, advanced loop performance analysis software can also be used to act proactively. It is often possible to determine that the performance of a loop has begun to deteriorate before it has a significant impact on the process. Problems of premature wear and tear of pumps or control valves as well as the need to adjust PID loop parameters can be detected automatically and far enough in advance, in most cases, to avoid the need for urgent action. Problems that can be detected automatically include sticking or hysteresis of valves, lack of lubrication or air leakage from actuators, and pump operation outside of normal curves.
In this case, the local operator is not notified (no alarms or pictograms on the operation pages), but the information will be passed on to the experts at the company’s control centre. Here again, the use of edge computing will be very advantageous. Automated local analysis informs experts of the problem directly, rather than transmitting a large amount of data that would have to be analyzed at the control centre. In this way, experts in process control, metallurgy and mechanical maintenance can coordinate the necessary efforts with the maintenance teams at the site. This promotes preventive maintenance and allows operators to focus on their operational tasks by being proactive instead of reactive.
The use of intelligent distributed operation can be very advantageous for analyzing the performance of control loops at a remote site. Through advanced analysis software, the solution makes the most of all the data available on the site without having to use bandwidth, which is often limited. In addition, problems detected preventively can be transmitted to the company’s control centre team, where experts can coordinate maintenance work that minimizes the impact on the site’s daily activities and thus avoids production losses or quality degradation related to control loop performance
In the event of a problem requiring immediate action, the control system can act automatically using the information obtained from the advanced analysis tools. If the required actions cannot be automated, an alarm notifies the operator, who will also be informed of the actions to be taken to correct the situation.
The intelligent distributed operation or IdO solution developed by BBA makes it possible to take full advantage of the information in the data and help staff effectively meet the day-to-day challenges of asset operations. You can count on the BBA team’s support in implementing intelligent distributed operations.
If this topic interests you, our blog Operating remote assets might also interest you.