The same goes for engineers who have traditionally designed these “straight line” procedural applications and are now facing retirement. Modifying these “spaghetti-coded” applications can be difficult. A standardized approach to the design and implementation of these procedural operations needs to be replicated throughout a site and company. The current recession has exacerbated these issues as companies continue to cut workforces which gives rise to another concern – safety. The cause of some recent industrial accidents has been partially due to the lack of good procedural-based, emergency shutdown operations or an abnormal situation putting too much pressure on an operator in a crisis. The pressure initiates out-of-sequence procedural operations with disastrous consequences. To solve these issues, we are using the ISA-88 principles to address procedural operations in industries that are outside traditional batch operations and we have coined the term “Modular Procedural Automation (MPA). MPA would use the ISA-88 modules below the unit such as phases, control modules and equipment modules. This modularity would provide the standardization that would help with repeatability and reproducibility across units and from site to site within a company. It would help with safety, engineering and the retention of operator knowledge as well as with the training of new operators.
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