When process personnel are responsible for troubleshooting and on-call monitoring, they want those tasks—and the tools that enable them—to be efficient and reliable. For Bayer’s Muscatine, Iowa team, the organization wanted to push for even greater efficiency and reliability but knew that would require rethinking complex processes for communication and exploring more collaborative operations tools. With eight operating units, four DeltaV distributed control systems, and a PLC system, the more than 150-acre facility was using traditional processes that needed to be streamlined.
To address the situation, the Bayer process control team implemented a modernized solution for remote monitoring and notification of process aberrations and status that was both more efficient and specifically targeted to individual roles. They turned to DeltaV Mobile for faster access to real-time data, trends and alarms, and to simultaneously put more information in the hands of key personnel who previously didn’t have access.
To achieve remote access, the plant had been relying on traditional desktop computer access to receive information, performing off-site troubleshooting through a laptop using VPN and remote desktop. Such a setup was not suitable for continuous real-time monitoring, so process operators had to step in to notify engineers and leadership of alerts and process communication whenever those stakeholders weren’t connected to the system. This added extra responsibility to the already busy operators and limited leadership from accessing real-time KPIs and trends that would help improve plant performance.
Bayer Muscatine’s modernization of its monitoring process transformed the way operators and engineers interact with the plant’s processes—providing real-time, read-only access to the process conditions they monitor, anytime and anywhere.
When engineers logged into a laptop for the night to monitor specific process activities —requiring multiple authentication steps— they either watched until the correct step completed or relied on the operator to call when the stage began. Moreover, some engineers who wanted to check statuses didn’t have the remote access necessary to make such a verification.
With DeltaV Mobile, each user now has an individual watch list, allowing them to view real-time status of the process from their mobile phone while off site. Operators don’t have to spend time calling with status updates, and the engineers don’t have to sift through non-essential data, nor jump through the hoops of several logons to find the information they need.
Clear and fast communication is critical for safe and reliable production at Muscatine; however, with the old system, when DeltaV system or OPC communication alarms occurred, they only went to operations, and the active operator needed to interrupt any current tasks to notify the process control group of the failure.
With the new system, native DeltaV diagnostics are now used to trigger custom notifications. The process control team members immediately receive alerts on their mobile devices directly from DeltaV Mobile. Not only does this help the process control team solve problems faster, but the operations team has fewer alarms to manage.
The flexibility of DeltaV Mobile provides Bayer several other notification, monitoring, and collaboration benefits that have quickly improved the daily workflows of operators and engineers:
• Team leaders have direct, read-only access to KPIs and production status via a personalized watch list• SIL 1, 2, or 3 level interlock activation's trigger real-time notifications to engineers and safety personnel• Notifications of “Failed” lab results provide faster communication to engineers• Cumbersome customized alarm and display scripts have been eliminated• Instant alerting helps reduce engineering response time and reduces the potential for lost production time
How does collaboration drive success in your operations? Share your comments by replying below.
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