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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!

Real-Time Fault Detection Applied to Tennessee Eastman Challenge (December 2018)

The cost of downtime and degraded production from abnormal events is a major cost in the process industry. Giving your operators additional warning of situations such as column flooding, valve failure or equipment fouling can dramatically reduce production losses. Traditional condition monitoring and fault detection models are time consuming and expensive to create and maintain. Here we present a simple, low-cost method based on process history which can be implemented by a trained engineer in a matter of hours.

C Process Modeller, PPCL’s real-time process monitoring software, provides faster, earlier detection of faults against a standard benchmark. This webinar introduces our unique and innovative Geometric Process Control (GPC) technology and demonstrates its application to a standard process benchmark for fault-detection techniques, the Tennessee Eastman process, looking at case studies from real process plants.

Finding, Understanding and Repeating Best Operation with Operating Windows (September 2017)


Setting KPI targets and reporting is necessary, but for use in the control room these targets need to be translated into operating windows. It is easy to get this wrong, and difficult to realize when the window becomes outdated. In this one hour webinar, presented in September 2017, Dr Alan Mahoney, PPCL's Technical Director, shows a better way to address these problems. There can be a new understanding of the relationship between KPI targets, operating targets and process objectives. The webinar demonstrates how to use that understanding to find the best operating window to achieve KPI targets and other operating objectives. Providing the best operating window to operators is the essential first step toward repeating and improving best process operations.

What could you learn from an end to end picture of your process from raw gas to LNG? (May 2017)


Here at PPCL we have spent 25 years developing GPC (Geometric Process Control), an innovative new method of viewing process operations. Our work with gas production includes production fields, gas treatment and processing, LNG production, landing and re-vaporization. We have worked with LNG producers worldwide helping them to understand their process better by analyzing their data in far more detail than was previously possible. This work has contributed to achieving better operation through better alarms, process optimization and product compliance – improvements directly impacting the bottom line. 

This webinar from May 2017 takes an in-depth look at gas production. We demonstrate our technology using graphical tools to optimize product split in an LNG production train, monitor performance week-on-week and identify targets for process improvement. By connecting historical data completely across the process with quality variables, GPC enables value-finding in your process through data exploration and discovery which are simply not possible with today’s techniques.

NOVA Chemicals: A User’s Experience with Geometric Process Control for Event Prediction and Mitigation in Ethylene Plants


This webinar was presented by Michael Bell, Principal Applications Engineer at NOVA Chemicals of Canada in September 2016. The feed preparation section at NOVA’s Ethylene 1 plant receives and combines feed from a multiple of sources while reducing the feed pressure to prepare for thermal cracking in an ethylene furnace. What is unique in modelling this process is that it has multiple modes of operation. This multi-mode problem fits well with CPM and CVE, which allow for the automatic turning off and on of variables to minimize the number of alerts sent to the panel operator by the setting of the “Phase” variable.

Geometric models are a new class of mathematical model and well-suited to plant applications because of their very low cost due to the speed with which the wholly visual nature of Geometric Process Control (GPC) allows them to be created, implemented and maintained. They have been applied to continuous and batch processes in process industry segments ranging from pharmaceuticals through chemicals to oil refining and upstream oil and gas production. 

PPCL’s mission is to reduce variability in plant operations. This starts with the gaining of better process and operations understanding using our offline product, C Visual Explorer (CVE), to view years of process operation for hundreds of variables in a single interrogable graph. This much wider view than was ever previously available considerably simplifies and accelerates traditional process applications such as process analysis, de-bottlenecking, optimisation, alarm rationalization and KPI target setting and monitoring. Operating Windows found by CVE and expressed as independent Operating Limits on process variables are immediately usable by plant operations as a guide to greater achievement of the business objective.

Operating Envelopes are modelled by our online real-time product, C Process Modeller (CPM), updating on a frequency between seconds and minutes and providing alerts to supplement alarms, guiding operations to stay inside the Operating Envelope and providing early warning of impending events, alerting the process operator to take mitigating action.

Michael offers an invaluable account of NOVA's experience with PPCL tools. The webinar includes a Q&A session with process industry professionals addressing some of the issues which commonly arise when considering and implementing the software.

Phillips 66 share their experience of new alarm rationalization


Phillips 66 talk about their experiences using CVE for Alarm Rationalization in their Bayway, NJ refinery and field questions from users and non-users of CVE. If you are new to using CVE for Alarm Rationalization you will probably want to start with one of our own Alarm webinars, but this one is not to be missed. 

Alarms Revisited with Ian Nimmo of UCDS


This webinar was delivered in May 2015 by Ian Nimmo, President of UCDS, one of our partners who we have worked with on several projects. Ian discusses in depth the IEC 62682 standard. The webinar gives a wider coverage of the whole of the new Standard from Philosophy Development right through to Implementation.

Ashland ISP Presentation at Emerson Exchange 2014


John Rezabek is a senior control specialist at Ashland ISP, Lima, Ohio. His presentation "Traversing Hyperspace in the n-Cube to Rationalize Alarms" was voted one of the best at the Emerson Exchange 2014 conference. See what John thought of CVE and the PPCL GPC method after using it for alarm rationalization. 

 
 

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PPCL Webinar: Modern Operator Alarm Improvement and Rationalization
17th and 18th February

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