October 2003

Special Report: Improving Process Control

Creating the 'smart plant'

Before too long, your doorbell may ring and a repairman might say, 'I received a request over the Web from your refrigerator to come and replace the drive belt.' Will process equipment be far behind?

White, D. C., Emerson Process Management

What is meant when we refer to a "smart plant"? We are all aware of the extraordinary developments that are ongoing in the computer and communication area. Almost daily there is another report of the continuing decrease in the cost and size of computing elements and the continuing increase in the availability of communication bandwidth. Advances in software and mathematical analysis have built on these developments to significantly increase our ability to model and optimize process plant activities. Many new developments in process sensor and measurement devices have also appeared. These developments have led to new methods and procedures for operating production facilities that offer:

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