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Concepts in the Business Value Impact of Automation

5 November 03:45 p.m. - 05:15 p.m.

Session Type: Paper

Track: Creating Business Value through Automation

Paths(s): ManagementManagement   

This session is designed to provide information on critical topics associated with driving value through automation. The topics covered in this session include how to effectively measure the value impact from automation solutions, how management perceives the value of automation and what we can do to guide those perceptions and how providing effective basic control systems can have a huge impact on the value of automation.


Driving Business Value from Business Measurement and Empowerment

Russ Barr, Invensys


Operating managers are continually pressured to reduce costs and be more productive in the light of more dynamic and real-time competition pressure, market opportunities and changing costs as part of a profitable and healthy business.  Current performance information and decision-making systems are inadequate for operations personnel trying to improve performance in the plants to take advantage of these dynamic opportunities and improve business performance.  This paper presents concepts related to real-time performance measurement and visualization necessary as part of real-time information systems in the operational environment that help to empower operations personnel in their decision-making and thus improving operational performance.  In addition, a real-life case study and data will be used to demonstrate these concepts as part of the presentation of the paper.

Finding the Business Value of Basic Control Performance

George Buckbee PE, Expertune Read Bio

George Buckbee, P.E. is a Fellow of ISA., author of several process control books, and is currently General Manager at ExperTune.  An experienced instructor, George has over 25 years of practical experience improving process performance in a wide array of process industries, including Oil &Gas, Pulp & Paper, Pharmaceuticals, and Consumer Products. George holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington University, and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 


The process industry is losing trillions of dollars from underperforming control systems.  These losses are measured in the form of lost production, energy, materials, safety, quality, and the environment.  The underlying root cause of these losses is the failed performance of the humble control loop.

Each control loop consists of an instrument, a controller, and a final control element, usually a valve.  The loop's fundamental responsibility is to stabilize the plant.  The control loop rejects disturbances, or upsets. It gives the operator visibility to the process and some handles to control the process.  A typical process plant has hundreds or thousands of control loops.

There are dozens of failure modes for these control loops.  Each failure has consequences to the operation of the plant.  Some failures can be immediate and catastrophic, while others can be benign.  The worst failures, however, are the hidden failures.  Often, they are hidden in plain sight.  The impact of these issues may go unnoticed for years.

This presentation examines the issues of underperforming control systems, identifies important failure modes, and provides case study examples to show the true business value of basic control performance.

Management Perspectives on the Value of Automation

Paul Dunn, Maverick Technologies