Excellence in Safety and Sustainability

ARC Advisory Group’s 8th Process Management Academy (PMA) took place in Antwerp, Belgium earlier this month (March 2012).  Over one hundred process users and other automation experts joined the forum to discuss and learn about “Excellence in Safety and Sustainability”.

The conference provide ample opportunities for networking

The first day of the forum focused on workshops dealing with current industry topics and challenges.  On the second day, process end users, automation suppliers and other industry experts presented case studies as well as innovative solutions. The new PMA format with an extended series of workshops was very well received by the participants.

Moderated by ARC analysts, four different expert panels kicked off lively and very open discussions: In the workshop on Brand Protection and Supply Chain Integrity, Eric Lequenne from ATOS reviewed practices and learnings from the pharmaceutical industry: Actors should develop a global strategy rather than defining ad hoc solutions to address the problem effectively and to avoid excessive costs.  It is important to set goals for economic benefits, such as reducing counterfeit products, or legal claims for those, in order to compensate for the cost incurred by legal compliance.  Brand protection is an emerging domain for food and beverage and is expected to become much more important in the fine and performance chemicals over the coming five years.

More than 30 attendees analyzed the European cyber security situation during the PMA Cyber Security workshop.  Stefan Ditting of HIMA and Prof. Dr. Peter Fröhlich of Hirschmann were the experts on this panel.  Objective of this discussion was to get a common understanding of the required processes to achieve higher security level in Process Automation Networks and how to raise the awareness of the site operators.

The workshop on the topic of Process Safety was supported by Dr. Andrew Lichnowski, representing EEMUA, Luc de Wilde from TOTAL PETROCHEMICALS RESEARCH FELUY and  Sjoerd Nanninga, iBanx HSE.  The three experts reviewed the most prominent industrial disaster “classics” such as the Texas City explosion, had a look at other industries with high safety requirements, such as aviation and nuclear power, and finally took a holistic approach to managing health and safety in the workplace.  One of the main outcomes was the importance of the human factor, which is often far more critical to process safety than the latest technology.  Accidents happen despite sophisticated, integrated process safety solutions, often because procedures are not followed. What is critical for safety is the development of a safety culture.

The Energy Efficiency workshop featured Dr. Herbert Maier from Clariant, Torsten Hellenkamp from Inosim and  Frank Knafla, PHOENIX CONTACT.  The discussion ranged from data acquisition and measuring to simulation and holistic concepts for energy management.  The overall outcome was that market participants from suppliers to users of energy management solutions are well aware of the potential energy savings that could be achieved with passive and active energy management.  The European process industry is currently moving to implementing active energy management/demand response, as most of the low hanging fruits have already been harvested.

On day two of the forum, several speakers from the process industry as well as process automation suppliers gave presentations about new developments, best practices, and solutions addressing process safety, energy efficiency and process automation.

The first morning session started with Dr. Herbert Maier explaining Clariant’s implementation of a holistic energy efficiency program on a global level, followed by NAM’s presentation from Wim van Meijeren about automating the unmanned operations of the giant Groningen gas field and closed by Stéphane Poitier’s (B&R Industrie-Elektronik) presentation about integrated safety with OPENsafety.

After a short break, Rolf Panzke from Siemens showed how the company addresses process optimization in production processes and life cycle management with references from major chemical companies.

Before lunch, Tsoij Tsim from BT Global Services freshly explained their mission critical network design for industrial applications.  Continuing the speakers sessions Dr. Mario Rebolledo Wueffer from HIMA Paul Hildebrandt described the independent open BPCS-SIS integration.

The next presentation was held by Dr. Andrew Lichnowski  who gave an example of failed process safety by the EEMUA review of the root causes of the Buncefield explosion in 2005.

Katrin Sulzbacher from the Technical University of Dortmund then spoke about an approach to achieve sustainability in bioprocesses by bioprocess synthesis.  ‘How to achieve an increased efficiency through integrated engineering & operations’ was explained by Marnix du Clou from Siemens Industry Software before going into the last break of the day.

The final two speaker sessions were opened by Michael Büßelmann from Yokogawa talking about an assistance system for operators to optimize start-up processes in the chemical industry.  The last presentation of the day was given by Patrick De Pryck from Contec about biological treatment of filtrate from mechanically dewatered dredging spoils.

The audience had the opportunity to ask questions after each presentation.  ARC also provided the option to watch the presentations via live streams over the internet for interested persons who could not attend the PMA forum personally.  The web audience also had the possibility to send questions, which were passed on by the moderators to the presenters.  The video streams are still live and can be reviewed at www.process-management-academy.com. (22/3/2012)

This year’s PMA was held at the wonderful location in Antwerp for the second time, and obviously all attendees were pleased with this decision.  The forum topics met with general approval, and the extended workshop series was a right step forward.  Apart from the Oil & Gas and Chemical industries, PMA is now also addressing a larger range of process related sectors, such as Food & Beverage, Pharma and others.

Given all the positive feedback, ARC is planning to host the next PMA in early March 2013 in Antwerp again. The forum will again focus on manufacturing topics and address major changes in our industry, e.g. spending on IT infrastructures.  ARC is looking forward to meet the PMA community again in 2013. The final date of the forum will be disclosed over the year and communicated via a save the date announcement.

About Eoin Ó Riain

Sé Read-out iris uaithoibríoch, ionstraim agus stiúradh na hÉireann agus an "Signpost" a áit ar an idirlín! Read-out is Ireland's journal of automation, instrumentation and control and the Instrumentation Signpost is it's web presence.
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