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SourceGas Pipeline Complies with PHMSA 192.631

The following was written by Bill Stephens of SourceGas. SourceGas LLC (“SourceGas”) and its subsidiaries serve approximately 425,000 customers and operate over 19,340 miles of natural gas distribution, gathering and transmission pipeline, as well as storage facilities in Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. SourceGas and its subsidiaries also provide gas transportation, in-home HVAC and appliance service…

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Invista Embraces Situation Awareness and Control Room Design

The following was written by Driscoll Staley of Invista, describing his situation awareness and control room design experience with UCDS. The Victoria nylon plant was constructed over 60 years ago and remains a key global supplier of intermediates. Each production unit represents a different molecule required for nylon production and is operated as separate business unit. Control…

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Sasol Lake Charles improves HMI with UCDS

The following was written by David Smith, Process Control Engineer at Sasol. Sasol is an international integrated energy and chemicals company that leverages the talent and expertise of our more than 32,400 people working in 37 countries. We develop and commercialize technologies, and build and operate world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product streams, including liquid…

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A Lasting Plan for Alarm Management

By Ian Nimmo and Stephen Maddox | Aug 18, 2015 Summary: A well-written alarm management philosophy defines procedures that allow your team to get alarms under control now and for the long haul. Alarm management seems to be a never-ending task: company X hires consultant Y to repair their badly designed and overloaded alarm management…

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Learn more about our Staffing Studies

It is extremely important to ensure that when changes to the organization are made the safety of the facility is not compromised. As such we strongly recommend a Management of Organization Change study is undertaken. Based on recent incidents, and subsequent recommendations from investigations such as the Baker report, and legislation, such as that in…

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Human Factors and Process Safety

API 754 Using Human Factors to Improve Process Safety Following the recommendations of the Baker report into the BP Texas City incident two (2) new American Petroleum Institute (API) recommended practices were published. One of these dealt with the subject of fatigue risk management and the other, the subject of this paper, process safety performance…

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Achieving Excellence In Operations

Requires Operator Support… Many organizations have appointed a leader to initiate an excellence philosophy for operations and the first thing they discover, improving operations is a major challenge for most managers. Indeed, multiple pressures – competition, more stringent regulation as well as investor and stakeholder expectations – are driving leaders to focus heavily on improving…

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New IEC 62682 Webinar

EC 62682 View Webinar Here             US national standard has been a recommended practice for a long time now, but the new IEC 62682 specifically calls out management letting them know this is an international standard not a recommend practice. We can help, our customers are achieving the EEMUA 191 alarm…

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Alarms Revisited: The New IEC 62682 Standard

Many are still struggling to achieve the EEMUA 191 alarm rates (1 alarm per 10 minutes per operator) because they have not embraced the new international IEC 62682 standard. This international standard is a reflection of the ISA 18.2 US national standard, for alarm management. What does this mean to you? How can you ensure…

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Operator Staffing based on Workload

In today’s competitive environment, all plants are interested in reducing costs to maximize profitability. One fixed-expense area most frequently targeted is hourly staffing level. If one duty station can be eliminated in a plant that operates 24 hours a day, head count can be reduced by at least four full-time employees. Taking into account salary,…

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Cost Estimate for a New State of the Art Control Room

Many managers and company executives are focusing on achieving company goals and objectives. The automation system and the control room operators significantly impact the business. Bottom line: control room operators are the first line of defense during abnormal situations, if they detect problems in time, they can reduce costs. How well they perform is dependent…

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March 2015 news

The months are ticking by already, and we are working on a variety of projects. I am busy working on Large Screens Display projects both here in the USA and in Trinidad. Dave continues to love working in Canada and everyone else is working on a variety of projects from alarm management to High Performance…

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New Book from UCDS

Operator Effectiveness and The Human Side of Error Operators are the first line of defense when abnormal situations occur. We rely on operators to be vigilant and predictive when process problems occur. Humans make mistakes but when operators make mistakes it could have a major impact on the business. We must improve situation awareness, reduce…

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February 2015 News from Ian

2015 has started strong with a lot of new opportunities. As usual, this time of year David volunteers to head north and enjoy some snow on the ground, while I stay in Phoenix and enjoy the 80 degree weather; well-done Dave. He also spent a week in Houston doing some High Performance HMI work. I…

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Why We Improve Operator Effectiveness

Alarm Management is one of the control room systems that affect operator performance, but there is a bigger picture. When we look at downtime, we need to think about why we have operators in the control room and ask: are they effective at mitigating and managing abnormal situations? Are they performing at maximum level? Can…

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Happy new year, High performance HMI and Human Factors

Happy New Year to all our friend’s and clients! Who knows what this year will bring as we start the year with falling oil prices and low fuel costs which helps many businesses but often leads to loss of work for an organization like ours.  We have been through a few of these turns over…

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Reduce Unplanned Downtime Caused by Process Upsets

Alarm Management is one of the control room systems that effect operator performance but there is a bigger picture. When we look at down time, we need to think about why we have operators in the control room and ask, are they effective at mitigating and managing abnormal situations? Below is an example of the…

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December News 2014

Where did the year go?  I am sorry I didn’t manage to keep blogging all year.  I guess you understand when everything gets busy some things get dropped, not because they are not important, but other things like customers and projects take the priority. Dave and I just returned from New Zealand.  We were there…

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Fatal Chemical Release Killed Thousands in Bhopal, India.

Fatal Chemical Release Killed Thousands in Bhopal, India. Video Below: CSB Safety Message Warns it Could Happen Again, more Must be Done to Improve Process Safety Regulations in the U.S. to Prevent the Next Accident from Occurring. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a short video safety message marking the 30th anniversary of history’s…

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Operational Excellence (where do we start)

Operational Excellence (where do we start) Many organizations have appointed a leader to initiate an operation excellence philosophy and the first thing they discover, improving operational excellence is one of the most crucial challenges facing CEOs across the globe. Indeed, multiple pressures – competition, more stringent regulation as well as investor and stakeholder expectations –…

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News from UCDS!

Welcome to this month’s news from UCDS. In the midst of a growing workload, the team has managed to get some well-deserved vacation time in, so everyone is ready for a busy couple of months. I know many of you are interested in what sort of projects we are working on. I think it would…

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Welcome to UCDS’s blog!

Welcome to UCDS’s blog!  A place where we pass on to our current customers, prospective customers and friend’s some insight into what we have been and are doing and also to provide some insight into the people and company. UCDS has the best people who love what they are doing and are passionate about it. …

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Launch of CenterHFE

Dear Colleagues, Next week we launch the first meeting of CenterHFE, it has been a hard start with Tax Registration delays, wish I hadn’t used the term “Tea Party” as you all know that means tea and biscuits to me, but maybe something else to others! Only joking. The email and website issues and getting…

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Lives lost Tesoro Refinery 2010

Seven lives were tragically lost at the Tesoro refinery in 2010…said Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, CSB chairperson. “I believe the draft report does an outstanding job of tracing this complex accident to its roots: a deficient refinery safety culture, weak industry standards for safeguarding equipment, and a regulatory system that too often emphasizes activities rather than…

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December News

December News Well, a year has come and gone really fast.  Merry Christmas everyone and best wishes for the New Year. This last month I spent 2 weeks in Hawaii at our alarm management customer’s property in Honolulu.   We spent a lot of time rationalizing alarms and made some significant progress.  We launched our new…

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Two major things to account for in Control Room Design

There are two major aspects of control room design that should be taken into account, these are: 1. The suitability of the structure of the control room to withstand possible major hazards events; and 2. The layout of control rooms and the arrangement of panels, VDUs etc to ensure effective ergonomic operation of the plant…

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