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INTUNE+ Loop Optimization Software

INTUNE+ Loop Optimization Software is a plant management and process control predictive maintenance tool that combines process control monitoring with powerful diagnostic and PID loop tuning / optimization tools, including:

  • Comprehensive performance analysis
  • Customized diagnostics for plant-specific indices
  • Web-based reporting and event notification customized for engineers, operators, and managers
  • Automatic, adaptive, model-based, and offline tuning

INTUNE+ can report on any Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that the end user requires. You can champion your process control strategy based on: energy reduction; increasing productivity; more consistent product quality; increasing plant engineering productivity; and supporting continuous improvement.

With INTUNE+, you can finally complete your process control predictive maintenance program by going beyond the device level. Differentiate between hardware and tuning problems with functional, flexible, and customizable tools that truly put you in control.

ControlSoft has generated this revolutionary new software as an integral part of our Process Navigator. The INTUNE+ software is the foundation of ControlSoft's partnership to improve plant operations, maintenance, and engineering productivity.

Overview

INTUNE+ is a non-intrusive plant management and process control predictive maintenance tool that combines process control monitoring with powerful diagnostic and tuning features to help companies achieve their goals in any of five core areas:

  • Increasing plant productivity
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Improving consistency of product quality with less waste
  • Increasing plant engineering and maintenance productivity
  • Supporting continuous improvements, such as with Six Sigma

Statistics

New to INTUNE+ are more than 80 standard process measures with real-time moving window analysis and condition-based assessment. Much more than just a number cruncher that pulls data from a historical file, the INTUNE+ performance indices feature allows you to start and stop calculations based on shifts or batches, reset error calculations based on operator mode changes, or trigger entire sets of calculations based on alarm states—all in real time. The conditioning triggers can be based on any INTUNE or I/O tag addresses that can be read via INTUNE's OPC client.

The real-time analysis uses moving windows customizable to user-specified length (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months), ensuring the calculations use the most up-to-date information. And, since INTUNE also stands as its own OPC server, it's no problem to connect other OPC clients to INTUNE's rich assortment of assessment indices. With INTUNE, you get intelligent process assessment that is customized to your specific needs for each and every process loop.

Custom Key Performance indicators (KPI's) and Diagnostics

To complement its standard statistics feature, INTUNE+ also provides a diagnostic scripting tool for the creation of user-defined metrics and KPI's. This flexible scripting tool allows you to turn raw data and statistics into useful metrics that managers can use to optimize their process control.

Customer feedback: "The INTUNE+ software is very useful. There are many products that mine data but none that evaluate the data." This data evaluation is what makes INTUNE+ much more than an HMI or historian program. INTUNE+ is specifically designed to help plant managers optimize process control.

With the scripting feature you can:

  • Differentiate between hardware and tuning problems
  • Automatically identify poorly performing loops
  • Calculate the economic impact of poor performance in terms of real dollar value
  • Track raw material waste, excess fuel, and energy costs
  • Benchmark various measures of product quality and consistency based on operating conditions

Each script gives the user complete freedom in its development and design, using up to ten input addresses from any INTUNE+, I/O, or user-defined tag. Script outputs can be floats, integers, Boolean values, strings, or bitmap images that are easily incorporated into INTUNE+'s customizable, web-based reports or can be used elsewhere as special event triggers, reset or fault bits, or alarms. With so much flexibility in their creation and design, the INTUNE+ custom performance measures are a tremendous support to any process control predictive maintenance scheme.

INTUNE+
This sample script includes custom functions for calculating process waste, energy cost,
loop tuning quality, and assessment indices for the specific process.


KPI Trending

Once critical performance info is calculated, INTUNE+ provides a variety of ways to visualize and understand these metrics. One way that INTUNE+ makes metrics visible and understandable is by trending them over time with the KPI Trending feature.

Now plant personnel can track higher level unit and process performance information in real time as easily as they track process variables in the HMI or historian. This trending module is a powerful analysis tool for any tech, engineer, or manager; it provides a user-friendly alternative to performing hours of side-by-side report comparisons.

Examples of metrics that can be tracked include

  • individual control loop health
  • overall unit or process area variation
  • automation improvement indices
  • availability factors
  • reliability indices
  • productivity or capacity indices
  • recipe modifications
  • batch statistics or any user-defined metrics

Below is a look at the KPI Trending module in action. Its adjustable scaling and color-coded labels for all trends make identifying and tracking key performance areas an easy task, not a complex procedure.

(Click graphic for larger image.)

Automatic Event Notification

The customizable capabilities of the Event Server tool provide users a crucial element in process control predictive maintenance. Notify operators, engineers, maintenance personnel, shift managers, and/or plant managers via email the instant an alarm is reached or another user-defined event occurs. Automatically record the event to your system's event log while notifying the appropriate employees. Each event is user-specified, and the initiating address can be read from any INTUNE or I/O tag.

The Event Server realizes its greatest potential when used as part of a predictive maintenance scheme that includes notifying appropriate personnel before alarm levels are reached, when loop quality becomes less than acceptable, or when the costs of energy or raw material waste exceed certain pre-defined limits. Customize the event notification so that the right personnel (maintenance, operators, engineers, or managers) get the right notifications without receiving extra clutter. Customized reports can also be generated and sent along with the email notification. As with the Diagnostic Script tool, the Event Server lets you fully customize your INTUNE+ software to truly put you in control of your process.

INTUNE+
Sample configuration dialog for the Event Server.

Tuning and Simulation

To help correct loop quality problems, INTUNE+ retains its core structure of robust Tuning Tools, including its auto tuning, heuristic-based adaptive tuning, offline data tuning, and offline model-based tuning. Also included is a PID comparison tool, along with a variety of online and offline process and PID simulation features. See INTUNE Tuning Tools section below for more details on these powerful problem correction tools.

Web Based Performance Reporting

Tying all the performance improvement functionality together is INTUNE+ reporting, which features customizable, web-based reports that provide what you need, when you need it—for corporate engineers, plant managers, or maintenance teams.

  • Automatically generate reports that indicate poorly performing loops for maintenance personnel.
  • Create in-depth statistical analysis reports for engineers who want to know the gritty details for all loop operations.
  • Generate bottom-line reports for managers that, in a few key indices, indicate which loops or areas are operating efficiently, which are not, and the real cost financial impact on the plant.

Reports can also be customized to visually indicate tuning quality or plant performance, saving busy managers and operators from the hassle of decoding obscure numbers and sorting through statistics. INTUNE+ also has a web report server, which allows managers access to all reports generated for a plant or corporation, with the ability to sort reports by date and time, category, or keyword.

(Click graphic for larger image.)
INTUNE+ quickly locates poor performance
INTUNE+ quickly locates poor performance.
  (Click graphic for larger image.)
INTUNE+ Identifies main inhibitors to poor performance
INTUNE+ identifies main contributors
to poor performance.

Bottom-Line Benefits

With INTUNE+, you can finally complete your process control predictive maintenance program by going beyond the device level.

As mentioned by Ali Haji-Valizadeh, ControlSoft's Technology Development Manager, in the December 2005 issue of Plant Services magazine, "Looking at loops as a cut on automation hierarchy and as a component in a plant-wide structure can help to devise an effective predictive maintenance strategy."

With INTUNE+, the complete dynamics of the process control loop become an asset to be managed, not just discrete valves and devices.

By extending the reach of predictive maintenance, INTUNE+ helps plant managers get their plants in control and keep them in control.

  • Benchmark loop and plant performance with the diagnostic and reporting features.
  • Use the performance monitoring and assessment tools to not only indicate gaps between current and goal performance, but to identify and prioritize the root causes of process control problems.
  • Differentiate between hardware and tuning problems.
  • Automatically identify poorly performing loops.
  • Use maintenance resources more effectively.
  • Support Six Sigma strategies.

Using INTUNE+'s powerful and flexible features, managers can realize the benefits of improved product yield, reduced energy consumption, increased product throughput, better plant startup times, improved product quality and consistency, and more effective use of manpower. In short, INTUNE+ is process control software that truly puts your plant in your control.

Contact ControlSoft for more examples of the benefits of our INTUNE+ Process Navigation.

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