I LOVE IT WHEN I AM RIGHT
For years now, I’ve been writing articles that predict the use of remote
servers, and software that runs from afar. Many people told me that user
companies would never permit plant data to escape their grasp and wind up
(gasp!) in the hands of some vendor. Or, even worse, wind up on a server
for a company that is working for other end users. Or, horror of horrors,
be transmitted over the Internet!
Balderdash to all that. I’ve been right all along.
I attended a session, “Equipment Monitoring at a Crude Oil Facility,” by
Cesar Malpica, process engineer at Petrolera Amerivan in Venezuela, who
described how they were using an AMS asset management system to diagnose
problems in compressors, heaters and boilers.
The kicker is, the AMS system is running on a server in the UK, and the
Amerivan engineers, techs, managers and maintenance folks get access to AMS
screens over the Internet, using a web browser.
The reason the server is in the UK is because that’s where Emerson keeps a
staff of engineers and analysts who understand refinery operations and can
diagnose problems from afar. Malpica described how the two companies work
together to solve equipment problems, and it seems to be a sweet deal.
And, for those who say asset management software from a process control
vendor is dedicated to their proprietary hardware only, another
“balderdash” is in order: the process control system at Amerivan is a
Honeywell TDC3000. AMS takes what data it needs from the Honeywell
Why Amerivan didn’t use Honeywell’s asset management software to do the
same remains a question. Malpica said they considered other solutions, but
only Emerson had the software and the engineering expertise they needed.
Another question that remains unanswered is: Why don’t process control
companies advertise and promote such capabilities? They can all do remote
server applications and, if you ask them, they will tell you so.
Asset management appears to be the hot topic of the day around here. More
on that subject anon.