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The following webinars may be viewed online. Each lasts about an hour. They are taken from our monthly live offerings. To view them in your browser, click 'Read more...' on the right of the page.  

Or, if you prefer to participate in our live webinars, with the latest topics and live Q&A, sign up here...

Operational Process Improvement: You Already have the Data (September 2020)

You already have the data for enormous potential in improving plant operation through making operational changes to capture, repeat, and improve best historic operation. Understanding your process behavior is key to unlocking benefits such as higher throughput, better product, lowest costs, less waste, and more uptime.

This webinar, as presented by Dr Alan Mahoney, will show you visual tools that engineering and operations can use to extract and exploit the wealth of information available. Thus demonstrating a straightforward visual method of quickly finding consistent limits for operating windows that capture desired performance for many variables at once.

Build your own Model for detecting Process Disturbances and Faults (August 2020)

How well do you understand and avoid faults and disruptions in your plant? Are you stopped by the typical barriers of cost and engineering time?

Events which follow from unrecognized process disturbances and equipment faults are responsible for huge costs in process plants through downtime and degraded production. Identifying and understanding these causes is hampered by the resources available and the complex datasets involved

In this webinar from August 2020, we'll show you how to quickly and easily understand the causes of process disturbances by building real-time models which alert operators of impending degraded process operation. We’ll include case studies that illustrate the ease of investigation and model building, and include some successful impacts of real-time monitoring.

Take a concrete step towards improving the stability, efficiency and availability of your process by registering now for a webinar. There’s no charge and you are welcome to invite colleagues to attend.

Linking Process Operations to Strategy Achievement (July 2020)

Implementing Operational Excellence in process plants involves driving process operations to best achieve the business’s strategic objectives. Key to success are KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Poor KPI performance, as demonstrated in reports and dashboards, often indicates the existence of a problem, but rarely conveys the cause, giving no guidance to the process operator to make improvements.

Defining leading KPIs that are consistent with each other, and which drive achievement of the lagging KPIs, is essential for Operational Excellence to work, but how can it be done? Often KPI targets have been set by different, geographically distributed departments staffed by different disciplines and with different business focuses. Does improving KPIs really improve business strategy? Or are they contradictory, unrealistic or even impossible? It is straightforward to address these questions with a coordinated approach based around the full feed-to-product process operating envelope.

Geometric Process Control, an innovative new technology developed here at PPCL provides the way to quickly and easily see such operating envelopes across hundreds of variables. Potential KPIs and targets can immediately be evaluated and compared, and contradictions or difficulties are immediately visible. Performance monitoring and reporting become clear and consistent for everyone involved, allowing process refinement and increasing understanding of how KPIs interact.

In this webinar first delivered in July 2020, you’ll discover more about our fast, practical, no-math approach to extracting the information and insight buried in your process history data. 

Modern Operator Alarm Improvement and Rationalization (June 2020)

Operator alarms are there to allow the process and its control systems to tell the operator they have issues. But if messages are too late or often false, the operators will quickly learn to distrust them and depend instead on their own vigilance, which can lead to greater variability in process operation.

The single biggest cause of poor operator alarm performance is an inconsistent set of values of the alarm limits. But search for advice on how to find values for alarm limits and the answer will be “put them at the boundary of where you normally operate.” For the practising engineer this advice is next to useless because he or she doesn’t have a way to locate that boundary across many hundreds of variables.

The missing understanding has been that alarm limits are not independent of each other but are linked by an Operating Envelope or Operating Window spanning many hundreds or even thousands of variables from different databases, some with alarms defined and some without. Operating Envelopes are the missing link between process capability and operating objectives and so give new understanding to the fundamentals of alarm floods.

In this webinar from June 2020 we demonstrate our novel approach to alarm rationalization by locating the Operating Window and Envelope of any chosen set of objectives and setting alarm limits around its boundary. You will see the usefulness of being able to see and compare Windows and Envelopes for different operating objectives and the benefits of predicting alarm performance with immediate feedback instead of waiting weeks until after the new alarms have been implemented in the control room before you know if performance has been improved.  

Improving Energy Efficiency in Process Plants (May 2020)

Energy use, both as a direct cost, but also reflecting environmental impact, is a dominant constraint in many industries. Many processes were designed under very different assumptions and, generally, using more energy speeds reactions, simplifies separations and improves overall process operations - but all of that has costs.

In this webinar, first delivered in May 2020, we use our novel process control technology to show how to make processes easier to operate without increasing energy usage while replicating the lowest energy usage found in past operation that hits the operating targets. We share some success stories in oil and gas production. Once it is known how the plant should be operated it becomes easy to compare that with how it operates now and calculate the cost advantage to making operating changes.  

Discover how Operating Envelopes take batch processes to new levels of performance (April 2020) 

Are you fully compliant with ISA-18.2 and IEC62682? This webinar from April 2020 will show you how!

Processes that require more than one operating envelope to describe all of their operation have generally been restricted to tracking a single variable, such as reaction temperature, through what are thought to be the most important phases of the process. Operator alarms are often limited to ‘lumping’ alarm limits together from different steps and phases so that there is only one set of limits in use. The alarms they generate are not only wrong most of the time but may even conflict with SIL-rated safety alarms. All of this is unnecessary and costly.

In this webinar you will learn how to isolate the operating envelopes for each of the phases or steps of a batch whether it is a recipe-driven multi-phase and multi-stage batch process, a fed-batch fermentation process, a cyclic ‘continuous’ process or a multi-grade polymer process with one or more transition operating envelopes between product grades.

The webinar is intended for process and control engineers in plant operations. It will be based on PPCL’s CVE (offline) and CPM (online) software which utilises our visual multi-dimensional geometry technology, Geometric Process Control. You will not need maths in the form of algebra, calculus or statistics to use these products, only process understanding. You will learn even more about your process as you proceed through analysis and implementation of a real-time operator guidance model, which I will do during the webinar. PPCL’s unique Operating Envelope method for alarm rationalization is steadily establishing itself in the continuous process industries for delivering much better alarms in fewer man-hours for less rationalization project cost and leading to better process operation with efficiency gains and operating cost savings. The same method applies to batch processes too - and delivers the same benefits. 

Understanding and Avoiding Abnormal Process Events (March 2020)

Downtime and degraded production from process disturbances are major costs to the process industry. How can we understand these events and implement the changes needed to reduce their impact? Can we provide operators with early warning of developing abnormal process conditions giving them the precious time needed to understand and respond to disturbances before they grow to threaten shutdown or lost production?

In this webinar from March 2020, we present simple visual methods for analyzing large historical datasets and producing real-time event prediction and fault detection models based on process history which can be implemented by the engineer without the need for advanced mathematics. Building models is fast and easy compared with traditional condition monitoring and fault detection frameworks.

Capturing and Replicating Optimal Process Operation (December 2019)

The key to repeating best operation is understanding your process behavior. This is necessary to achieve higher throughput, lower costs, least waste and minimum downtime. While some of this is known in the process design, much of what is taken as true about your process is likely wrong or contradictory. The resolution to these conflicts and a true process picture are already present implicitly in your plant historian, built from years of experience. This webinar, given by Dr Alan Mahoney in December 2019, will demonstrate PPCL's unique visual tools which engineers can use to extract and exploit the wealth of information available.

Geometric Process Control – what is it and why do I need it in my plant? (September 2019)

Geometric Process Control (GPC) is a technology developed here at PPCL. It lets you see hundreds of process variables and tens of thousands of observations from process and other plant data in a single parallel coordinates graph with supplemental time-trends, distribution plots, and Pareto plots with every individual point traceable through all the views. It comes with an extremely powerful graphical Boolean query capability that lets you extract feed-to-product operating windows and operating envelopes to help you explain why yesterday was such a great day for your KPIs and what went wrong last week when the fractionator column flooded five times.

Why is this important? Well, it lets you benefit from a few hundred thousand years of evolution and use your amazing human powers of pattern recognition and interpretation to determine cause-and-effect relationships – as well as correlations - in multi-variable problems where previously you had fewer than 10 variables to work with. You also would have needed some heavy-duty mathematics, which requires first an expensive statistician and then a hypothesis to test and which tends to introduce new complications when trying to explain your results to others.

Having determined your best operating envelope from process history, GPC creates a real-time model complete with graphical operator interface for process operator guidance and an OPC Client to link to your DCS or historian to keep your process operating in the best operating envelope you have chosen far into the future.

Watch this webinar from September 2019 to discover how GPC unifies process control, quality control, KPI achievement, operating limits and operator alarms into one readily understandable framework. A huge step forward for chemical engineering and you won’t need more than basic maths!


Register Now!
PPCL Webinar: Alarm Rationalization
14th and 15th October

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