Frequently asked questions

Process Automation Systems

Modernizing for Productivity and Profit aeSolutions has years of experience automating industrial processes using state of the art Distributed Control System (DCS) technologies. From the proprietary control system processors of the 1990's, to the powerful open-systems DCS platforms of today, aeSolutions engineers have provided process automation solutions to clients in every type of industry: chemical, polymer, textile, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, automotive, mining, oil and gas, refining, combustion, power, utilities, water treatment, and more. Using comprehensive standards for project definition and execution, aeSolutions promises a Successful Result from the Start™.

  • DCS - 300 tags to 30,000 tags
  • Batch, continuous, and sequential controls
  • Advanced and model-based controls
  • Communications, networks, security
  • Human Machine Interface (HMI) solutions
  • Safety and control systems integration

Factory Automation Systems

Mechanizing in Real Time aeSolutions has delivered automation solutions with Programmable Logic Controllers for nearly two decades. In the 1970's, a PLC was a programmable emulator of relay ladder logic. Today, a PLC is a scaled down controller, often stand alone, but with much of the power and some of the functions of controllers used in DCS process automation. Multiple PLC's are often networked somewhat like a DCS with fewer features. aeSolutions can provide the right PLC automation system when a client needs highly reliable and very fast real time response to events in a manufacturing cell or an electromechanical panel. Ruggedized operator displays and touch screens allow local HMI control. The PLC can also be interfaced to a supervising DCS.

  • High speed I/O and processing
  • Ruggedized environment
  • Basic networking and communications
  • Ladder logic programming familiar to I&E staff
  • Scalable in size and cost

Safety Instrumented Systems

Delivering Safety on Demand aeSolutions is especially qualified with Certified Functional Safety Experts to quantify process hazard risks and develop the safety requirements specifications for a process. National and international standards and regulations require that a safety interlock must meet a prescribed safety integrity level SIL-1 thru SIL-4 to have an acceptable probability of failure on demand for its associated hazard. There are many aspects to supplying the required SIL level, including the logic solver, I/O cards, redundancies, program blocks, networks, and the operator interactions. aeSolutions satisfies a project's safety interlock SIL requirements with independent, SIL-certified safety PLC's that can be integrated with the process automation DCS for monitoring and alarming. aeSolutions' engineering specialists will design, configure, test, and install documented Safety Instrumented Systems that verifiably meet the client's Safety Requirements Specifications.

  • Logic solver hardware and software, TUV or Exida certified
  • Operator interaction through Cause and Effect matrix
  • Controlled access and modification protections
  • Secure fail safe communications for distributed safety
  • Verification test plans

Fire and Gas Systems

Furnishing the Last Line of Defense aeSolutions' family of products includes FM-approved fire and gas systems for industrial installations. The pre-engineered package is scalable and configurable to meet the client's requirements. As a last line of defense when the plant's DCS and SIS are both incapacitated by disaster, the F&G system has self-contained power for 24 hours and a standalone first responder's panel. Under normal conditions, the DCS operator may also graphically view the status of the detectors and interlocks. FM-approvals are maintained for Fire System Monitoring and Gas Monitoring and their mitigation controls within the TUV-certified SIL-rated PLC.

  • Fire System Monitor and Control, FM-approved for NFPA 72 conformance
  • Gas Monitor and Control, FM-approved for combustible gas standard 6320, toxic gas standard 6340, and ANSI/ISA 12.13.01 performance requirements
  • Scalable for 50 to 50,000 I/O
  • Listed field detection and alarm devices
  • FM-approved battery set and charger panel
  • Fire and Gas off-the-shelf product - FGS1400 MKII

Burner Management Systems (BMS)

Mitigating Fired System Hazards aeSolutions' family of products includes industrial BMSs in several packages. The pre-engineered packages are configurable to meet the client's safety requirements. Under current standards a BMS must meet prescriptive interlock requirements, depending on the type of combustion system. In addition, SIS interlock performance standards must be met. The aeSolutions BMS meets all prescriptive and performance standards for dependable protection of people and property, during startup, shutdown, and operation. The safety BMS is often supplied as an integrated Combustion Management System (CCS) package, which includes an aeSolutions CCS for operating and optimizing the plant.

  • Meets FM 7605, IEC 61508, IEC 61511, ANSI/ISA 84.00.01
  • NFPA 85, NFPA 86 API 556 and/or API 14C
  • Available up to SIL-3
  • Graphical HMI and automated local light-off
  • Support for function testing
  • Communications to CCS and DCS
  • Combustion management engineering

Combustion Control Systems

Optimizing Fuel Air Operation aeSolutions' family of products includes industrial Combustion Control Systems in several packages. The pre-engineered packages are configurable to meet the client's operational requirements. The CCS is readily configured to implement a variety of fuel-saving optimization techniques, including fully metered / cross-limited fuel air control with oxygen trim, and interfacing to a wide variety of field sensors, analyzers, and valves. The CCS is often supplied as an integrated Combustion Management System package, which includes an aeSolutions BMS for safe startup, shutdown, and interlocking.

  • Graphical HMI common to CCS and BMS
  • Alarming, tuning, and diagnostic displays
  • Communications to BMS and DCS
  • Multiple fuel optimization
  • Cross-limiting, Oxygen trim
  • Boilers, heaters, dryers, thermal oxidizers
  • Combustion Management Engineering

Human Machine Interfaces

Interacting with Intuitive Information aeSolutions designs and configures human machine interfaces for control and safety systems. HMI varieties range from DCS vendors' hefty client-server systems to small touch screens engineered with special purpose panels. To avoid incidents, an operator needs to quickly comprehend and react appropriately to changing conditions in the plant. Flashy graphics of the 1990's had too many distractions and made it hard to comprehend abnormal situations. Standards working groups like ASM, and ISA101-HMI are driving toward industry consensus.

  • Control rooms, ergonomic multi-window stations
  • Field panels, touch screen HMI
  • Situational awareness
  • Contextual data and trends
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Meaningful dynamics
  • Single HMI for multiple control platforms and migrations
  • Project specific HMI style guide

Alarm Management Systems

Alerting Appropriate Action aeSolutions provides services and systems to bring the client's alarm management practices into compliance with the standards that are now required for hazardous processes. Poor alarm management has been a critical factor in major process safety incidents. The new requirements address the effectiveness of alarms and the ability of operating personnel to respond promptly and correctly. aeSolutions can supply expertise at all stages of alarm management including consulting, training, and facilitating rationalization teams, followed by full design and implementation services.

  • IEC 62682, ISA 18.2, EEMUA 191
  • Alarm management training seminars
  • Alarm philosophy document
  • Alarm Master Data Base
  • Alarm rationalization, classification, prioritization
  • Alarm suppression and shelving logic
  • Alarm summaries, journals, hit lists
  • Alarm audible / visual annunciation

Advanced Control

Enlisting More Variables aeSolutions process control specialists solve problems with Advanced Regulatory Control (ARC) when single variable PID control is not adequate. Cascade, feed forward, ratio, Smith predictor, and override controls are standard methods to include an additional process variable in PID loops to compensate for process dead time, or non-linearity. Multivariable and model-based controls are employed for more complex process automation challenges encountered in chemical plants and refineries. aeSolutions helps the client's process engineers take advantage of the multivariable control capabilities found in the latest generation of DCS systems. These offer real time performance with multivariable models available at the controller's function library level.

Batch Control

Automating Batch Procedures aeSolutions designs and implements discrete and continuous batch systems for DCS supervision and control. Some clients who chose to avoid batch in previous generations of DCS now find it advantageous to implement batch with their process automation migrations.

  • ANSI/ISA-88 standards
  • Batch management
  • Batch historian
  • Batch reports
  • Golden batches
  • Recipes
  • Routing
  • Process units, equipment and control modules
  • Unit procedures, operations, phase logic
  • Sequential function control

Migration Solutions

Moving up with Modernization Many clients are faced with moving their safety and control systems to a newer platform, sometimes to a different vendor. aeSolutions offers project services to assess system options and define an architecture that best serves the client's needs. Then the project stages described under "Automation Services" will shepherd the migration through definition, design, installation, and startup. Migrations offer opportunities to realize a maximally integrated safety and control system, with great benefits for functionality, operability, safety, maintenance, and engineering productivity. Migration projects with careful planning can be done in phases, such as replacing operator consoles first. Finally, migrations usually involve moving from obsolete systems to newer generation platforms. aeSolutions' clients are encouraged to embrace the enhanced technology and take advantage of the opportunity to add improved process automation and modernized human interfaces.