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Measuring Success

  • Ulrich Gokeler 29/03/2018

    Need to make plant modifications but unsure where to begin?

    There may be many different reasons to modify your plant’s process – modernization, increase energy efficiency, comply with new regulations, optimize maintenance, achieve higher accuracy, increase safety measures, maximize on return on investment. At the end of the day, making plant modifications is part of the business. Depending on what industry you are in, how often you need to modify your plant's equipment and set-up will vary, but at the end of the day, every industry goes through upgrades and modifications to their system.

    What do I need to take into consideration when I analyze my system?

    Plant upgrades can cost a fortune, so it’s best to identify which processes are most useful to your plant or new project. Projects developed without pre-planning often cost more in time and money. By taking a step back and looking at past experiences, what worked well and what can be improved, maintainability, and what has to be added or can be simplified, the front-end activities and reviews where your plant needs assistance, you can review design options and compare costs with little effect to your budget. In contrast, the ability to minimize costs is very low once you reach the end of the project.

    How do I know if I’m optimizing my budget and time?

    Front-end engineering and development (FEED) is one part of the planning and engineering phase of a plant upgrade/modification that can assist with this. FEED activities follow conceptual project planning and during this phase, is where the best opportunities exist for optimization of technology, measurement design impacting cost and time savings. The other benefits with FEED services are getting input from internal and external experts who can assist you with defining customized solutions to meet your plant’s needs so that you’re getting the most out of your upgrade.

    To learn more about process analytics’ FEED services, please click here.

    To learn more about process instrumentation’s FEED services, please click here.

  • John Dronette 08/03/2018

    As you produce the cream of the crop, how can you make sure that your mill or elevator’s processes are safe and efficient?

    There’s no doubt that process inefficiencies and inventory inaccuracies caused by faulty or outdated technology are holes in your business’ pockets. Maximizing profit margins in the grain industry is essential, and you cannot afford to waste anything including commodities, machinery, or labor. 

    How can you maintain your competitive edge and make sure your facility’s processes are running seamlessly?

    One thing to consider is how instrumentation can improve safety in your facility. Hazardous conditions impact grain workers on a daily basis, and the threats can range from minor to life-threatening. The grain industry has been taking steps to reduce the amount of workplace hazards by automating operations. As many facilities are in the process of or have already automated their operations, it’s important to review your procedures every year to see if there are any steps that can be updated. 

    Some questions you can ask yourself are: 

    1. Is your equipment on a periodic maintenance schedule?
    2. Can you virtually eliminate the safety risks associated with  needing to climb to the top of your silos? 
    3. Have you trained your workers on the proper ways to protect your bulk material handling equipment?
    4. How do you control your shipping costs?

    For some of the hazards the grain industry faces there is not a universal solution that can stop them from happening. However, there is instrumentation that can reduce the risk of injury, protect your bulk handling equipment, and reduce your shipping costs. 

    In my next blog, I’m going to dive into each of these topics but if you’re attending the GEAPS Exchange in Denver, Colorado, March 24-27, 2018, stop by our booth #319 to discuss this in further depth!  

  • Elona Washington 02/03/2018

    Attending the eChem Expo? Step Aboard the Siemens Mobile Showcase for a look into the Digital Future.

    Don’t miss the Siemens mobile showcase at the 10th bi-annual eChemExpo Solutions Marketplace and Technology Innovations Conference . The event will be held in Kingsport, Tennessee, Thursday, April 5, 2018. Undeniably the chemical industry's largest single chemical processing complex, the theme of this year’s exposition is "Safely Accelerate Innovation, Improve Agility and Increase Productivity for Sustainable Business Growth."

    Siemens’ mobile showcase will be parked on the exhibit floor and features products and solutions that support digitalization in the process industry world. Among the new products, there will be a self-configuring and self-documenting I/O device called a “Compact Field Unit.” Other new products include the ET200SP HA line, which provides the highest-density I/O possible, and the SITRANS FS230 digital clamp-on ultrasonic flow meter. Siemens will also display the SITRANS TO500 multipoint temperature transmitter, which is capable of reading up to 192 measuring points. On display, you will also see MindSphere, Siemens’ cloud-based approach to handling the Internet of Things (IoT). MindSphere is an open IoT operating system that connects your products, plants, systems, and machines, enabling you to harness the wealth of data to help drive business success.

    During the conference, topics are divided into six tracks and Siemens will be presenting two abstracts under Track 1: Digital Transformation. Don Mack, a chemical industry manager with Siemens’ Automation & Engineering group, will present a presentation called, “Digitalization in the Process Industries – How and Where to Implement. ” It will provide attendees with an overview of digitalization, including the expected benefits and will give practical examples of implementation. The second presentation is entitled, “Harnessing the Power of Digitalization for Transformation and New Profit Stream ,” and will be presented by Cynthia Mason, a cloud application services manager. She will explain how plants can harness huge volumes of data by connecting machines and physical infrastructure to the digital world as well as provide examples of chemical companies that are using digital platforms for highly improved insights.

    To learn more about Siemens’ contribution to this year’s eChem Expo, read the full article here.
  • Herman Coello 15/02/2018

    How has the grain industry progressed throughout the years?

    The grain industry has been around since the days of old. With the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, new inventions entered the grain industry and transformed operations. Mechanized equipment, like the grain elevator, began to automate processes, increase productivity and reduce severe safety hazards for workers. 

    Working with grain has the potential to be deadly, especially when grain is in motion. The most common safety hazards include but are not limited to falls from heights, fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, amputations and serious injuries from handling grain equipment, and suffocation from engulfment in grain bins. With the development of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) in the 1970s and 1980s, the U.S. began to promote a culture of safety within hazardous industries. 

    To prevent deadly occurrences from happening, the grain industry has increasingly been taking steps to reduce grain handling and storage hazards. Improving efficiency in grain facilities through automation is becoming a growing industry trend, and one driver behind the trend is automating processes. By automating operations, grain facilities are able to reduce the number of human interactions with grain, increase production, track inventory more easily, and reduce expenses.

    Over a century and a half later, mechanized equipment and process instrumentation is now an essential part of the grain industry, from planting and growing to harvesting, handling and milling grain. While the industry’s challenges are still the same as those of nineteenth century grain operations, process instrumentation has truly transformed the industry. 

    To learn more about the grain industry, new inventions and procedures please join us at the 2018 GEAPS Expo in Denver, Colorado, March 24-27th. Siemens will showcase their experience in process automation, energy management and control products in booth #319. 

  • John Dronette 08/02/2018

    Product Spotlight – Gain more efficient plant operation with the SIWAREX WT231 and WT241 Weighing Modules

    Siemens is pleased to announce an upgrade to its weighing technology portfolio to include two complete packages for standalone applications: The new weighing terminals SIWAREX WT231 for non-automatic scales and SIWAREX WT241 for belt scales and solids flow meters combine weighing electronics and touch panel in a single unit. The two new weighing terminals can be set up as a standalone solution with the utmost speed and simplicity, and using an RS485 Modbus RTU interface they also allow integration into any commonly used control environment.

    Due to its extensive diagnostic capability and limit value control, the SIWAREX WT231 weighing terminal with integrated WP231 weighing module can be used in industries demanding a high degree of accuracy, like food and beverage production, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. Its primary applications include bin weighing and platform scales. 

    The SIWAREX WT241 weighing terminal with integrated weighing module WP241 for belt scales offers not only a high level of measurement accuracy but also an array of supplementary functions. Six totalizers determine the required material quantity. In addition, a simulation mode for belt speeds and belt loads enables a fully-fledged application test – even without the scale or speed sensor connected.

    The two new weighing terminals are equipped with a 4-inch touch panel and a high-resolution TFT widescreen color display. They provide valuable support to users in the form of intuitive operation as well as rapid parameterization and commissioning. 

    To learn more about the SIWAREX weighing terminals, please click here

  • Kiku O’Shea 01/02/2018

    How can you adapt to digitalization?

    Digitilization is not only changing the way we manufacture products but also the form and function of the product itself. No place is this more evident than in the fiber industry where the increased use of digital media is quickly replacing newspapers, magazines and office paper. Yet while the market for many paper products may be decreasing, the increase in online shoppers has created a growing demand for cardboard – boxes upon boxes. That Amazon package at your front door could very well have linerboard from the state-of-the-art Greenpac Mill. 

    Greenpac Mill is a brand new, light-weight recycled linerboard mill that is fully integrated with Siemens technology from Digital Factory, Energy Management and Process Industries and Drives Divisions. This sustainable, state-of-the-art mill has the largest linerboard machine in North America, and not a single processing step in producing linerboard is done manually; everything is completely automated and digitalized. The mill produces 500,000 tons of cardboard annually, exclusively from waste paper. It currently processes 45 to 50 truckloads and two rail cargo loads of recyclable material per day to produce a thin, very stable cardboard that is ideally suited for packaging purposes. The company and the community surrounding the mill are proud of their positive impact on the environment and economy.

    Siemens is proud to partner with Greenpac to showcase how electrification, automation and digitalization (and services) drives productivity, efficiency, reliability and sustainability at the plant – and builds a trusted partnership with a great customer. 

    “Siemens technology is the brains behind our paper mill. It’s a single platform that enables seamless communication from one end to the other,” said Murray Hewitt, managing director of Greenpac Mill. This digital overlay allows the Greenpac team to remotely monitor the mill and its systems and track data that is produced by 700 motors and 3,000 instruments including valve positioners, flow meters, temperature and pressure sensors configured as function blocks within the SIPAPER PCS7 Automation System. Siemens account manager Robert Harroun, who has been involved in the project right from the start, added: “Greenpac Mill is a smart digital factory in the true sense of the word, and the only way this could be accomplished was with our comprehensive Simatic PCS 7 automation solution.”

    Check out this feature film to learn more about how this digital factory in upstate New York transforms tons of waste paper into high-quality packaging material using Siemens Process Automation.

  • Ulrich Gokeler 25/01/2018

    How can you monitor your flare gas with confidence? 

    Federal, state and local environment regulations may require you to monitor, speciate and quantify gas flow waste to flares. Whether you work in a refinery, petrochemical or chemical plant online measurement may be required to speciate constituents and determine the heat value or quantity of reactive volatile hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, or total sulfur emissions. 

    How can you comply with state and federal regulations?

    In order to comply with regulations that target flare emissions and emission reductions, you want to ensure that your analytical devices can provide trusted, continuous real-time data, monitor plant-operational changes, and perform well in hazardous environments. 

    Since the EPA mandates accurate representation of the gas that’s being flared off, it’s imperative that your equipment is working correctly. Analyzer measurement is essential for collecting, evaluating and generating data while process instrumentation (pressure and temperature transmitters, ultrasonic flow meters, etc.) can measure the actual quantity of the waste gas. 

    For your process to remain compliant, it is essential to perform routine maintenance inspections and performance validation. Depending on your specific requirements, your on-line measurement devices should be able to measure:
    1. Heat value of waste, fuel and recovery gas
    2. Olefin content in waste gas to flare 
    3. H2S in fuel gas
    4. Total sulfur in waste gas to flare

    To learn more about flare gas monitoring strategies, please click here .

    If you have questions about compositional flare analysis, why not ask us?
  • Sean McNutt 18/01/2018

    Do you need to call a field technician to configure your pressure transmitter?

    Configuring your pressure transmitter using the pushbuttons instead of using the HART handheld remote may seem intimidating, but it’s really quite simple. In fact, the pushbuttons allow you to accomplish 85-90% of the tasks that you’re interested in. 

    Before getting started, you want to familiarize yourself with the pushbuttons. There are three buttons on the top of the device: “M” for mode (left button), an up arrow (center button), and a down arrow (right button). Next, you want to identify the mode that you would like to configure your device to. To read more on each mode, please click here . The most important modes are Mode 5, which allows you to identify what pressure you want to equal 4mA, Mode 6, which allows you to identify what pressure you want to equal 20 mA, and Mode 7. Mode 7 allows you to correct for position or impulse lines. 

    Since Modes 5, 6, and 7 are the most important modes, Siemens has developed a tutorial for you to get hands on knowledge of how to configure your device. 

    To watch a full tutorial on configuring your SITRANS P DSIII using the pushbuttons, please click here

    Having trouble setting the range on your pressure transmitter? 

    Click here to watch our senior application engineer, Lou DiNapoli, demonstrate in two different ways how you can set the range of your transmitter. 

    Running into problems? Leave us a note and we’ll gladly reach out to assist. 
  • Jack Roushey 11/01/2018

    How can you accurately monitor your water usage?

    Water consumption has become a growing concern worldwide, particularly when it comes to the agricultural, energy and industrial markets. Thus, as the demand for fresh water continues to grow in the U.S., many states have begun introducing legislation aimed at monitoring usage. 

    How do you stay ahead of the regulations?

    To ensure that your facility is compliant, it is essential that you have reliable and accurate measuring devices installed for monitoring consumption and optimizing usage. Remember, a metering device may be the only tool that operators have to see how their irrigation system is performing so it’s im\perative to accurately track your flow rates. Lower than normal flow rates, for instance, may be an indicator of a pipeline leak, faulty or damaged pump, partially closed or obstructed valve or clogged drip emitter. High flow rates, on the other hand, can indicate multiple zones operating simultaneously or damaged sprinkler nozzles.

    It’s important to have accurate and reliable meters. In systems that span across large areas, the absence of a measuring device increases the likelihood that these problems will go undetected for extended periods of time, which can lead to increased consumption, damaged equipment and, in some cases, financial penalties for non-compliance.

    While many facilities have diverted water from surface sources (rivers, lakes, creeks, streams or channels), regulation has become more common than ever become. 

    How can you remain compliant if you divert water from surface sources?

    Click here to read more on compliancy in surface sources. 

  • Rachael McGovern 05/01/2018

    Experience You Can Trust

    We’re living in a time where you can find information at the drop of a hat. A world where start-up companies pop up weekly, reviews are posted instantaneously and you can purchase almost anything online.

    How do you know which companies are reliable?  

    Whenever looking for process automation, you want to make sure you do your due diligence. 

    • Do they understand you and your business needs and process concerns?
    • Do they have the application expertise to develop innovative and effective solutions?
    • Will they be there to support you for the long term?

    Questions like this help you to determine whether this company is a good fit for your plant. 

    As a leader in automation since 1956, Siemens has taken the top spot as Forbes’ Top Regarded Companies in 2017. This list has been evaluated based on trustworthiness/honesty, social conduct, the company as an employer, and the performance of the company’s product or service. Click to read the full article.

    What makes Siemens a trusted employer, distributor and reliable source of process automation?

    When an employee celebrates his or her 40th anniversary, that's impressive. But if two colleagues in the same year have forty years of company affiliation, then that is an almost unbelievable coincidence - even if they have worked together over all these years. Siemens has a history of retaining their employees for 25, 40 and even 50 years, and recently, our own Process Analytical Products & Solutions Deborah Boatman (Communications) and Ulrich Gokeler (Business Development) have marked their 40th anniversaries. 

    While Debbie and Ulrich have changed locations and have held multiple positions over the years, they believe that Siemens had been able to give them a lot of great job opportunities that broadened their horizons and expanded their experience in Siemens, the markets they worked in, and tools they developed over the years.

    Siemens has made an impact in many employees’ lives and their brilliant teams have enabled products and technology to make a greater impact in processing plants, manufacturing facilities, municipalities, etc. 

    Click here to read gas analyzers and chromatography success stories.

    Are you already using Siemens’ products? What experiences have you had?