Archive | Asset Performance Blog


6:54 pm
June 17, 2014
Print Friendly

Analytics for Predictive Maintenance Featured at Rockwell Event

F Kulaszewicz RSTechED 2014Rockwell Automation’s consistent theme for more than ten years concerns the connected manufacturing enterprise. RSTechED, the annual Rockwell Software user conference and training session, kicked off its 17th edition this week in Orlando with a record attendance greater than 1,900. The reality of the connected manufacturing enterprise is gaining ever more critical mass.

Predictive maintenance analytics based upon data gathered from distributed, connected sensors (the Internet of Things idea) empowers maintenance professionals now to find and fix problems before a costly shut down. Repairs and upgrades can be coordinated with production to minimize impact on throughput.

Frank Kulaszewicz, Rockwell Sr. VP Architecture and Software, said in his keynote address that the industry is in a digital inflection point. Control systems are smarter and connected increasing the opportunity for value improvements. He cited estimates that $3.8 trillion of value has already been created with Industrial Internet of Things.


12:38 am
May 21, 2014
Print Friendly

Reliability the Keyword at PAS Technology Conference

The PAS Technology Conference is in session May 19-21. PAS bills itself as the “Human Reliability” company, and indeed reliability broadly speaking was a conference theme. This is also a celebration of PAS’s 20th anniversary, and historical references were everywhere.

PAS Founder and CEO Eddie Habibi

PAS Founder and CEO Eddie Habibi

Eddie Habibi, founder and CEO, introduced the Conference Theme of Connecting the Dots by looking at the thinking of Ray Kurzweil, futurist and author (“The Age of Spiritual Machines” and “Singularity”). Noting that 86% of the predictions Kurzweil made in his Machines book have already come true, Habibi said that futurists work by bringing together various technologies into some ideas on trends—connecting the dots.

He was the first of several who talked about first looking at assets as data, then relating to the actual physical asset. Data can be collected, organized, contextualized, and displayed to help operations and maintenance make a reliable plant and increase the company’s profitability.

Inspiration, collaboration, invention

Habibi concluded, “Opportunities are there for us as a company that brings software solutions to great customer relationships. Customers bring inspiration, collaboration, and invention. We’re excited about it, and we want to be here another 20 years.”

At dinner the night before, I had the opportunity to talk to two of the conference’s keynoters who are both with production companies. Keith Dicharry is director of controls and Instrumentation at BASF and Andy Geddes is controls and instrumentation manager for Scottish Power (as in the UK). Both were eloquent in their descriptions about the engineer’s role in helping maintenance and operations achieve a reliable plant.

Dicharry said in his keynote, “If we increase the reliability of equipment, we will increase our profitability. The goal for increasing reliability is to increase access to data. I want a rotating equipment engineer in Germany to be able to talk to a rotating equipment engineer in the US about a compressor where they can both look at all the data sets and figure out why one works well and the other has problems on a conference call rather than a flight across the pond.”

Harvey Ivey, manager of instrumentation and control systems and field support at The Southern Company, told the conference the story about how he worked with operators and others to develop displays that would give operations situational awareness of the health of their processes at a glance. His work, and collaboration with PAS, led to the development of the PowerGraphix product.

Alstom, in another conference announcement, has done much research on improving performance resulting in an agreement for it to become a reseller of PowerGraphix to its customers.

Security partnership

The day’s final announcement involved another partnership—this time PAS and Tripwire—a provider of risk-based security and compliance management solutions. The partnership is part of the Tripwire NERC Alliance Network Program that has been designed to foster collaboration on critical infrastructure compliance and security solutions to help companies efficiently and effectively achieve NERC CIP compliance.

According to PAS, the integration between the PAS Integrity Software Suite and Tripwire NERC Solution Suite will provide mutual energy customers with automation software that reduces the time and resources required to collect audit evidence. The integration brings a consistent approach to the management and maintenance of secure configurations across a wide range of devices including Industrial Control Systems (ICS), SCADA, Microsoft Windows and Windows Servers.


3:16 pm
May 12, 2014
Print Friendly

Reading and Sharing Measurements Anywhere

Last week a group visited the Maintenance Technology offices in the Chicago area from Fluke in order to introduce us to a new product—FlukeConnect.

Fluke Connect Trends Three Phases

Fluke Connect Trends Three Phases

FlukeConnect combines many trends occurring in industry and consumer technology. These trends include smaller, mobile devices and leveraging the “cloud” or data anywhere. It also enables improved collaboration for problem solving through the use of video and data sharing.

Fluke recognizes that maintenance technicians make better, faster decisions when they have field access to maintenance records and when they can review measurements in real time with team members and supervisors. Yet records are usually kept back in the office and team members are rarely in the same place at the same time. The Fluke Connect system solves these problems while increasing the safety of technicians working with energized equipment.

FlukeConnect Transfer Motor Data

FlukeConnect Transfer Motor Data

The Fluke Connect system allows maintenance technicians to wirelessly transmit measurement data from their test tools to their smart phones for secure storage on the cloud and universal team access from the field. More than 20 Fluke tools connect wirelessly with the app, including digital multimeters, infrared cameras, insulation testers, process meters, and specific voltage, current and temperature models.

Technicians can AutoRecord measurements and infrared images to Fluke Cloud storage from wherever they’re working, without writing anything down. Everyone on the team with a smart phone and the app can see the data.

Team collaboration is made easy with ShareLive video calls, where technicians can share measurements with other team members in real time, get approvals for repairs or get questions answered without leaving the field.

The Fluke Connect app features EquipmentLog history, which allows technicians to assign measurements to specific equipment, creating a cloud-based history of test measurement data for easy access during both troubleshooting and reliability maintenance. And TrendIt enables technicians to instantly graph data, helping to identify trends and quickly make informed decisions.

Fluke Cloud storage is built upon state-of-the-art security, including secure access, electronic surveillance, multi-factor access control systems, built-in firewalls, and encrypted data storage.

The Fluke Connect app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.


9:14 pm
May 9, 2014
Print Friendly

Asset Management Software Enhancements

Ventyx World 2014

Ventyx World 2014

Once again, I could not attend the Ventyx World user conference. The latest one just closed, and I had three days of intense meetings at the office. Sounds like I missed some interesting discussions, though. Ventyx is now a part of ABB.

There were some product and partnership announcements at the event. These included a new intuitive user interface, cloud-based solutions and a partnership with InStep Software bring improvements to ABB’s enterprise software portfolio.

Ventyx’s partnership with InStep Software, a leading provider of predictive monitoring software, will combine InStep’s PRiSM software for predictive monitoring with Ventyx’s Asset Performance Management solutions, delivering a comprehensive platform for reducing unplanned stoppages, optimizing maintenance costs and increasing equipment availability.

Ventyx User Experience

Ventyx User Experience

The intuitive interface of the new user-centered interface (UX) enables operators to focus on their core responsibilities, rather than worrying about how to operate the tool. By combining operational technology (OT) with Information Technology (IT), Ventyx software converts large volumes of data, generated by increasingly intelligent infrastructure, into actionable information that can be easily accessed via the UX. By presenting this information to operators via customized graphical interfaces, the UX enables users — from field crews and control center operators to company executives — make better-informed decisions and run their operations more effectively.

Ventyx’s cloud-based software solutions maximize flexibility and help users optimize capital expenditure in mining and utility applications. By offering Software as a Service (SaaS) through the highly versatile medium of the cloud, Ventyx can offer its asset management solutions at reduced hardware costs to the customer and key mining solutions as a “pay-as-you-go” service. In addition to the inherent cost reductions delivered by the software’s functionality, this purchasing model eliminates up-front capital investments in enterprise software. It is particularly suitable for small- to medium-sized organizations, though it can be scaled easily to accommodate the needs of large enterprises.