Autopro Blog

  • Basic Process Control Systems – Value in Today’s Project Architecture

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    There has always been debate about how much credit can be given to the Basic Process Control System (BPCS), be it a state-of-the-art Distributed Control System (DCS) or a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). In this blog we'll debate two possible solutions.
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  • Control Systems 101 Q&A

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    Our recent webinar, Control Systems 101 resulted in some excellent questions being asked by participants. Here are a few that we thought would be especially informative for many of you.
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  • Mitigating Downtime During a Programmable Logic Controller Migration

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    During the last oil boom in Alberta, oil and gas companies were more focused on maximizing production than minimizing costs when it came to Programmable Logic Controller migrations.
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  • Canadian Electrical Code – IEC 61508 and 61511 to be Removed from Appendix A

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    If you have been following the recent controversy surrounding the inclusion of IEC 61508 and 61511 in the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code , you’ll be pleased to know that I have received an email from CSA stating that both the IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 standards are going to be moved OUT of the normative Appendix A of the 2018 edition of the Canadian Electrical Code!
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  • Canadian Electrical Code 2018 - New Requirements for Intrinsically Safe System Documentation

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    The 2018 edition of the Canadian Electrical Code was published in January 2018 and came into force in Alberta on February 1, 2019. In this blog post, changes to the code related to Intrinsically Safe (IS) system documentation will be discussed.
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  • IEC 61511 - Where Are We Now Q&A

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    Our recent webinar, IEC 61511 - Where Are We Now?, resulted in some excellent questions being asked by participants. Here are a few that we thought would be especially informative for many of you.
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  • How to Minimize and Manage Project Scope Creep (video)

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    When dealing with long-term projects, scope creep is often something we are required to consider. Scope creep can become an issue when on-going changes and modifications occur without having proper control measures in place.
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  • Burner Management Systems and IEC 61511 : What to Know When Using Fired Equipment

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    Through recent discussions about the hazards associated with the fuel trains of fired equipment, that these types of equipment are not always evaluated using the risk assessment process.
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  • What You Need to Know When Considering a Control Systems Retrofit Project

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    In this blog, we will discuss control system retrofits, and some of factors that companies should be ready to address when considering such projects.
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  • Impacts to the CEC - What You Need to Know Q&A

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    Our recent webinar, Impacts to the CEC, resulted in some excellent questions being asked by participants. Here are a few that we thought would be especially informative for many of you.
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  • Four Key Reasons to Consider an Industrial Facility Modernization [video]

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    In this video, Gerald Friesen, Operations and Senior Project Manager, discusses the four key reasons why companies should consider industrial facility modernizations.
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  • Legislated Process Safety Management: What You Need to Know

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    As you may already be aware, part of a Process Safety Management (PSM) plan follows IEC 61511 (or the equivalent) in order to meet some of the PSM elements. One of the questions I am asked most often is whether compliance to IEC 61511 is mandatory and, up until now, the answer for Canada has been no. However, according to the 2018 version of the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), Canadian process industry players will soon be required to comply with IEC 61511. For Alberta producers that date is February 1, 2019. This is a six month buffer to comply with a standard that, in reality, is not as well understood as it should be.
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  • CHAZOP Webinar Q&A

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    Our recent webinar, Introduction to CHAZOPs, resulted in some excellent questions being asked by participants. Here are a few that we thought would be especially informative for many of you.
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  • What is a CHAZOP? [video]

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    A correctly functioning control system is critical to the safe, efficient operation of a facility. However, a standard HAZOP assumes the control system is already functioning properly and won’t identify issues or potential points of failure specific to the control system. Conducting a CHAZOP prior to implementation is an important step in identifying and mitigating risks during the design stage, in order to prevent costly outages in the field.
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  • Autopro School of Technology - Panel Discussion Summary

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    The panel discussion at our recent Autopro School of Technology in Calgary yielded some very insightful questions from the audience. This is a summary of the questions, and the answers provided by the panel members.
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  • PLC vs DCS Q&A

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    Our recent webinar, PLC vs DCS - How to Choose the Right Control System for your Facility, resulted in some excellent questions being asked by participants. Here are a few that we thought would be especially informative for many of you.
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  • Why use a Local, Vendor Independent, System Integrator as your Main Automation Contractor (MAC)? [video]

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    The MAC concept has been around for a number of years, and evolved from the need to take the automation or control system component outside of a large project, and have it managed by automation specialists.
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  • 4 Critical Aspects to Maximizing Control Room Operator Effectiveness

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    Over the past decade, largely in response to catastrophic industrial accidents and the resulting legislated requirements in a number of jurisdictions, companies have become much more aware of the importance of control room operator situational awareness and the human factor engineering considerations, which can impact an operator’s ability to detect and respond to abnormal process plant conditions.
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  • 7 Questions to ask about your Emergency Shutdown System

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    In industrial facilities there are often hardwired and dedicated safety shutdown systems that are designed to vent/flare hydrocarbons, stop equipment, de-energize equipment, etc., when an emergency or upset condition has occurred. This hardwired safety shutdown system is the last automated control layer before the physical protection devices such as PSVs operate to protect against a catastrophic loss. These seven questions should be considered for your facility.
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  • PLC vs DCS - How do I choose the best option for my facility? (video)

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    There are many factors to consider when trying to choose between a DCS and a PLC control system for your facility. In this video, Ian Shirt, Operations Manager with Autopro, discusses the difference between the two types of control systems, the benefits of each, and what factors need to be considered when making your decision.
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