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August 2009

Someone just reminded me it’s August and the news is late!  🙂

This next week I get a week at home, and time to catch up on paper work. I always look forward to that, and after a day I wish I was back on the road again.

Travel has been high this month. We have had the pleasure of doing joint workshops and sales calls with our friends at Lin & Associates this month.  We can provide a powerful solution for High Performance HMI.  Lin & Associates are extremely qualified and have the right resources to design and build graphics across many DCS platforms.  I also have done some webinars with friends from TiPS who provide the best tool for Alarm Management.  Thank you, Steve, for all your hard work setting these up.

We are looking forward to reading Dr. Doug Rothenberg’s new book on Alarm Management – Alarm Management for Process Control, The book on alarm management technology and practice.  Click here for more information. Doug is one of the few people I know who really gets it!  He understands the technology, theory and has a practical insight…with an I have really done this knowledge and not just read about it experience.  So many books today are a reflection of other people’s experience and lack the reality to make them useful.  Both Doug and I have been working in the industry for over 40 years and can share real life experience having spent many of those years pioneering technology in some of the most dangerous processing plants in the world.  Get it wrong here and you do not get a second chance.  Together we provide a total solution to “Situation Awareness” and moving the operator away from a reactive operating stance to a new predictive and proactive one.

I am delighted to let you know that we now have Harlan Graf, previously from ConocoPhillips operations, available as one of our team.  I first met Harlan when he had just returned from Malaysia and had hired UCDS to do some work for him at the COP Refinery in Rodeo, San Francisco when he was the refinery site manager.  See his information on our website; he is a great addition to the team.

I have spent a week in Fort McMurray, Canada, a few days in Charlotte, NC, and the last two weeks I have travelled to Salt Lake City to visit a client that has made the same mistake as many before them and had their control room designed by an architect.  They have now discovered that they have some missed opportunities and they may have to live without some key features for the next 30 years.  We had a good time as I shared control room best practices and the importance of bringing the big picture back into the control room and how to design good lighting, acoustics and layout.  We often hear customer’s say I wish we had brought you in 9 months ago!  Still, we make the most of it and do the best we can with what we have, and live with some compromises.

Life is often full of compromises; we recently celebrated the anniversary of the “Great Compromise”.  Constitutional Convention was meeting in Philadelphia during the long hot summer in 1787 to create new Constitution for our country (Constitution we use today) they were creating the plan for government for our country and had delegates from most states; they encountered many conflicts along the way because states wanted different things.

One of the problems the delegates at the Convention had to figure out was how to represent the states in Congress-or how many people from each state should be able to represent their states.

States had very different populations-some had many people, some had few. Their problem: What is a fair way to represent the states? One possible way: have the same number of representatives from each state. Another way: have more representatives from states with more people.

Delegates from the large states believed that because their states contributed proportionally more to the nation’s financial and defensive resources, they should enjoy proportionally greater representation in the Senate as well as in the House.  Small-state delegates demanded, with comparable intensity, that all states be equally represented in both houses.  When Connecticut delegates Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth proposed the compromise, Benjamin Franklin agreed that each state should have an equal vote in the Senate in all matters—except those involving money.

Over the Fourth of July holiday, delegates worked out a compromise plan that sidetracked Franklin’s proposal.  On July 16, the convention adopted the Great Compromise by a heart-stopping margin of one vote.  As the 1987 celebrants duly noted, without that vote, there would likely have been no Constitution.

So the compromises we make in life may seem insignificant when we weigh them in the balance of history, but each decision and each compromise we make can be addressed with integrity and insight, learning from the wisdom of those that truly impact our lives.

Our lives are richer from the impact that these men who we call the Founding Fathers have made, as they put their lives on the line, followed their principles and relied on knowledge of God and His word. Our greatest thank you to them will be if we do not let mankind re-write history and steal the very thing that they have confessed had made them great.