- November 07, 2010
- Control Station, Inc.
November 7, 2010 ‚Äì Control Station announced PlantESP software, which monitors the performance of a production facility‚Äôs PID controllers, facilitating the isolation and correction of underperforming regulatory control systems. It complements Control Station‚Äôs suite of LOOP-PRO PID controller tuning products. In addition to identifying control loops that are in need of tuning, PlantESP also alerts users to performance issues related to a plant‚Äôs mechanical final control elements and its process limits.The solution‚Äôs launch is the result of years of extensive product research, development, and testing. The concept for PlantESP was first established in 2007 as Control Station‚Äôs growing base of licensees solicited the Company for a proactive performance monitoring and alerting capability. Nearly two dozen of Control Station‚Äôs customers provided essential input during the requirements definition phase. A formal pilot program was initiated early in 2010, allowing the technology to be thoroughly tested by the end-user community. Each pilot involved the active participation of numerous leading manufacturers from key process sectors, including American Electric Power.‚ÄúOur participation in the pilot program allowed us to witness PlantESP‚Äôs evolution first-hand and to understand the benefits of monitoring the performance of our regulatory controllers,‚Äù shared Dave Shepler of American Electric Power‚Äôs Conesville Power Station. It‚Äôs an intuitive solution and it simplified the isolation of issues that were negatively affecting our plant‚Äôs heat rate ‚Äì a critical success factor in the power industry. The analysis and recommendations provided by PlantESP have helped us to correct issues and maintain more reliable, cost effective operations.‚ÄùCentral to PlantESP‚Äôs value are features that provide timely plant-wide analysis, customized communications, and actionable recommendations for reestablishing effective control. Developed specifically for small-to-midsize process manufacturers, PlantESP is highly scalable and is capable of monitoring and analyzing 1,000s of PID controllers simultaneously. The software allows each registered user to configure alert and report settings to match their individual responsibilities, changes in production goals, or other job-specific criteria. Beyond the notification of negative performance trends, PlantESP prescribes corrective actions for further root-cause analysis or for process adjustments.PlantESP is a secure, web-based application that can be accessed through the end-user‚Äôs Intranet. It leverages Microsoft‚Äôs Silverlight technology and accesses process data directly from a production facility‚Äôs existing data historians and Historical-OPC servers. By using historical data as the primary data source and storing metric values only, PlantESP places minimal demand on a plant‚Äôs limited IT resources.The solution evaluates individual controller performance against a collection of essential metrics and relative to user-defined performance benchmarks. Metrics that are proven to accurately evaluate controller tunings as well as determine the health of final control elements, including stiction analysis, are among those included in the PlantESP solution. Interaction analysis is performed using Power Spectrum and simplifying the isolation of upstream loop interactivity.PlantESP‚Äôs introduction offers process manufacturers a highly valuable means for enhancing the performance of their existing automation investments. With its ability to analyze thousands of individual PID loops as well as to assess their interactivity and recommend corrective action, PlantESP is the ideal solution for improving overall process performance and plant profitability.