Process control and optimization (PCO) is the discipline of adjusting a process to maintain or optimize a specified set of parameters without violating process constraints. The PCO market is being driven by rising demand for energy-efficient production processes, safety and security concerns, and the development of IoT systems that can reliably predict process deviations. Fundamentally, there are three parameters that can be adjusted to affect optimal performance.
- Equipment optimization: The first step is to verify that the existing equipment is being used to its fullest advantage by examining operating data to identify equipment bottlenecks.
- Operating procedures: Operating procedures may vary widely from person-to-person or from shift-to-shift. Automation of the plant can help significantly. But automation will be of no help if the operators take control and run the plant in manual.
- Control optimization: In a typical processing plant, such as a chemical plant or oil refinery, there are hundreds or even thousands of control loops. Each control loop is responsible for controlling one part of the process, such as maintaining a temperature, level, or flow. If the control loop is not properly designed and tuned, the process runs below its optimum. The process will be more expensive to operate, and equipment will wear out prematurely. For each control loop to run optimally, identification of sensor, valve, and tuning problems is important. It has been well documented that over 35% of control loops typically have problems. The process of continuously monitoring and optimizing the entire plant is sometimes called performance supervision.
The IT architecture had grown over 15 years and the EDI communication was spread across several EDI server. This involved high efforts which were to be reduced with the introduction of an EAI standard software:- Connection of about 100 partners and 400 customers, exchange of highly heterogeneous message formats, i.e. record structures, EDIFACT, customer specific formats, XML and binary files- Connection to FTP, E-Mail, mailboxes (IBM, Eurolog, Telecom) and MQ-Series- Reduction of maintenance and evaluation efforts, easy tracing of data flows, increase in performance, introduction of central error handling
Quickly Developing Licensing Applications to Improve the Product Licensing ProcessToday, EMC has a huge and varied technology portfolio with approximately 80 different product lines with multiple products in each. Additionally, products are sold to different market segments and different market types. This creates a significant challenge as multiple licensing algorithms and schemes are required to support EMC’s broad portfolio of products.According to Brian Walsh, Architect for Licensing Applications, EMC IT, the company is always adjusting the way it delivers products to meet market changes, and it needs to be able to support quickly changing licensing schemes, how products consume licenses, as well as the whole lifecycle of license management.“We have to be able to react very quickly and support a global customer base,” says Walsh. “We need a platform that allows us to rapidly build licensing applications to support the complete lifecycle of licensing agreements that EMC has with customers.”