Well, today I got to meet (somehow for the very first time) one of my automation industry heroes. Pat Kennedy, CEO of OSIsoft and I spent a half hour together talking about information, data, coding, why OSIsoft is still a startup company at $100 million a year in revenue, and lots of other stuff. I hope to get Pat to sit still for a podcast in the next few weeks.
The first presentation this morning was by John Ragone, of Keyspan, which, by virtue of its recent merger with National Grid is one of the three largest electricity producers in the US. Ragone started by reciting the Keyspan corporate strategy, which he boiled down to “keep your head down, keep bad stuff from happening, keep your nose clean and don’t wind up in the papers.”
His talk was about the incredibly innovative use of OSI PI that Keyspan has made, in the face of “a group of operators that really don’t think computers are going to catch on.”
They started in 1995 with a LAN and Intellution. Then they went to a WAN and Intellution. in 1998, Ragone put an ABB Advent 300 system in at Port Jefferson #3 Power Station. This system had PI embedded in it. Ragone became sold on PI at Port Jefferson and when he took it corporate in 2000, Keyspan became a PI Enterprise. There are PI servers at each plant, including some dialups at standby diesel generating plants that are operated remotely. There is a PI server (performance based) at headquarters in Hicksville. They use PI Process Book as a window into their processes at each plant.
Interestingly enough, they have 120 Honeywell TrendView videographic recorder/dataloggers that dump their data into the PI servers.
So far, they’ve realized $6.7 million in heat rate savings from fixing air-in leakages and boiler tuning; $2.5 million in credits by disputing Independent System Operator penalties by using their PI collected data to defend themselves; $750K from vibration analysis on the 1000 MW Ravenswood turbine (“Big Allis”) that feeds NYC (what the data taught them was to accellerate and decellerate the turbine quickly through the vibration-critical points until they could fix the problem in a planned shutdown); and another $250K in savings from “other” every year.
They have constructed single-screen displays that are incredible. I wish I could reproduce them here.
Level 1 is the Fleet Summary (for Vice Presidents to display in their offices)
Level 2 is the Station View, which Plant Managers see
Level 3 has several different views:
Unit View Summary (the operators’ basic screen)
Performance View (operators switch to this to make sure that everything is “in the green”)
Vibration analysis (see the story of Big Allis, above)
Level 4 is Diagnostics for the system, the network and the servers
They have signed a contract with SmartSignal for an EPICenter, and they are in the process of creating a virtual DCS simulator using PI Process Book historical archive data to train new operators.
Talked again to Dan Wasser from Bristol-Myers Squibb (another potential podcast in the next few weeks)…and to David Soll and John Matranga of Omicron (OSIsoft’s biggest integrator partner) about the PAT stuff they’ve been doing. We’re going to try to get some of their customers to talk in articles for the magazine.
Had a very interesting lunch with Gary Wong, from Greater Vancouver Regional District. Gary was able to extend the lease on life of some Elsag Bailey Infi90 systems for maybe another 10 years by using PI to extend the data management capabilities of the systems. They have even been able to build, using WebParts, a set of stormwater flood predictors. Imagine knowing when your manholes are about to blow off, even before the news media shows footage at 6 and 11. You might even be able to fix the problem before the reporters find out. (wicked grin)
Gary has agreed to write his presentation as an article for CONTROL.
We got talking about Emerson. Gary said that Emerson had just won a bid for their next new system. “Emerson sure can market. I was pulling for ABB,” Gary said, “because we’ve got all that Infi90 stuff, and their flowmeters, and it came down to ABB vs Emerson, and Emerson won on marketing.” He continued, “I told the local ABB people that if they had just done a better job of selling to the bosses, they wouldn’t have lost the order.” He’s not unhappy with getting a DeltaV system, far from it. Just to be clear.
John Vergos and Matthew Sudeesh, from Bayer Material Science (which old f*rts like me remember as Mobay Chemical), gave a great talk on OEE/Loss Prevention in Tank Farm Monitoring, which WILL be an article in CONTROL soon.