Setting New Production Records with Improved Control Performance

I saw an email about a success at a northern U.S. paper maker that set a new production record. To whom did they attribute this success? Since this is a blog about the experts around Emerson Process Management, you might guess the answer. And you’d be correct. They attributed their new production record to the work of our Control Performance team and their process and control study process.

I caught up with Andrew Waite, a principal process control consultant on the Control Performance team. Andrew began the study by using the EnTech toolkit which collects data from a variety of sources including pneumatic controllers, 4-20mA analog values, and can import digital data from smart field devices and digital automation systems using the OSIsoft PI data historian. The toolkit performs analysis and tuning recommendations based upon the data it collects.

Andrew noted that he uncovered all of the typical problems: tuning, control strategy issues, control valve problems, and process design limitations. The mill’s maintenance department went to work fixing the control valve issues while Andrew provided tuning recommendations and improvements that could be made to the existing control strategies.

The mill attributed the increased production to taking care of the basics and having a fresh set of eyes come in to audit the existing performance. Not too bad for a couple of weeks work.

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