Automating the Final Manual Frontier: Plant Asset Management
Operations and maintenance teams must consider automation asset health management
If a manufacturing plant has a process shut down, they will start looking at the causes, why and how. If the process shuts down in mid-operation because of an equipment failure, it potentially could have been anticipated and fixed before a complete breakdown. However, with manual asset monitoring it is hard to connect the dots and recognize the indications of the developing problem. The tools to provide a more profitable operation are ready and there for any plant to adopt now.
Well-trained and experienced technicians equipped with appropriate field communicators can do a lot to diagnose the condition of a flowmeter or a pressure transmitter. If they happen to catch a developing problem by recognizing something drifting out of its normal range it might prompt timely remedial action. Unfortunately, such technicians are rare at many process industry companies. The critical information is available from the instrument, but no one is there to see it resulting in a failure.
Capabilities of asset health monitoring solutions
Diagnostics - Discrete and continuous indicators for internal problem states and random failures of the sensor and electronic components
Monitoring - Continuous asset and process indicators, such as process noise, which can indicate changes outside of an instrument’s primary function
Soft sensing - Secondary, tertiary and even additional variables. These can work individually or in conjunction with other instruments to approximate process measurements not directly measurable