ACHEMA: Automation Automation Industry Expects Growth Potential in Diagnosis Solutions

Editor: Meike Herkersdorf

“We don not want to know, if a device is faulty but why!” Sven Seintsch of Bilfinger Berger's laboratory for automation and control sums up the mood at a panel discussion at ACHEMA. Especially the Namur Guideline 107 (first published in 2005 and now at use at many companies) has been helpful for automation and control system providers....

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From lefts: Dr. Jochen Müller (Endress+Hauser), Stefan Erben (Samson), Sven Seintsch (Bilfinger Berger), Joachim Zobel (Novartis)
From lefts: Dr. Jochen Müller (Endress+Hauser), Stefan Erben (Samson), Sven Seintsch (Bilfinger Berger), Joachim Zobel (Novartis)
(Bild: Mühlenkamp)

“Independent of wether its a machine display or a graphical interface, every body uses the same symbols and can judge at a glance what state the unit is in,” praised Seintsch the implementation of the guideline. Four status signals (failure, Function Check, Maintenance Needed or Out of Specification) provide value able insights for troubleshooting. “NE 107 was become a guideline for technology development at a very early stage,” emphasises Stefan Erben, Samson.

Now the challenge is to make the best use of existing possibilities: There are still errors that a device can not detect alone, like the formation of product residues at a sensor tube tahat is only noticeable from a drift at the control signals. This is the area were operator expertise is needed: Dr. Jochen Müller, Endress + Hauser would like more users to take a closer look at diagnostics: “There is a huge untapped potential,” he explains. Joachim Zobel of Novartis Pharma has a different opinion: “We found a good way, to read out a lot of additional information from our devices into the control system. Now we want more!”

A main issue was the call upon the manufacturers of guiding systems for an open standard of information into the guiding system. “What we need is a standard interface to exchange diagnosis information between units of different manufacturers,” Erben believes.

High hopes are put on the previously achieved breakthrough in terms of FDI standards. “The dialog we saw between users and producers should be continued to develop a uniform standard interface for process guiding and control systems,”

Zobel said.