Posts tagged 'Work'

Proof that Distributed Control Works

Today we had a perfect example of distributed control working.

The way our DCS is set up is with individual plants on their own local networks and these are connected to a central network that runs to the control room where the operators and the advanced control schemes that work ...

Back in the Office

Today was my first day back in the office after a week long break. So I wasn't able to enjoy the sunshine as I walked or cycled through the park. Instead I was inside a blast resistant building with little connection to the outside world.

And it was brilliant ...

ABB Presentations

Despite being on holiday this week, I attended a seminar by ABB on energy efficiency and smart sensors.

There were two presentations, the second presentation was about permanent condition monitoring devices that remain in place on each piece of equipment and gather data every hour. Then the data is collected ...

Simple and Silly Pleasures

There are some simple things that can bring more pleasure than they probably ought to. During a meeting today, we were working out what the next steps were. My manager was mid way through assigning some tasks for me to do on Monday morning when I pointed out:

Except I ...

Not Such a Busy Week

Back in February we planned a dry 4un testing week to run through different parts of a migration to help answer what will happen during the changeover.

Since the Dade was put in the calendar, I have been invited to lots of other events which have all been scheduled for ...

Holiday Booked

I have ay last actually booked some days off work. I had great plans at the start of the year to work out when we would take time off as a family, but never actually did so. Earlier this week I realised that we are now nearly half way through ...

Well That Didn't Work

The ploy a couple of weeks ago to encourage better security has clearly failed. The person who unwillingly sent an email to the rest of our team, offering to buy pies, sent another one today.

This was followed up about an hour later by a different team member offering to ...

A Really Frustrating Afternoon

This afternoon, I attempted to merge two graphics together including all the custom code that makes them work behind the scenes. I had thought it would be pretty easy but in the end I failed. I did manage to get some problems fixed but never at the rate that it ...

Being a Unit of Measurement Part 2

Last month I wrote about a challenge at work where one of my colleagues had decided that he was going to weigh the same as myself by the end of the shutdown. Today was declared the last day and our weights were compared.

  • He started weighing 1.508 Alistairs
  • He ...

One Job, Multiple Professions

One of the things I like about my job is that I get to cover tasks that could be considered multiple different professions.

For example, today I was in a meeting discussing how to implement an upcoming project. We were particularly interested in how to upgrade the various parts of ...

Two Tasks

I started the day with two tasks that I wanted to complete. One, I thought would be very simple, it is done so many times, all I would need to do is find an example online and copy it, possibly with a couple of minor tweeks. The second task involved ...

Same Road, Different Journey

Today I needed to go back to our supplier's factory to do some more testing, but I also had a meeting first thing at our own site first. As a result, I drove over to the other factory at 10:15 rather than the usual 07:15.

What a ...

Encouraging Good Security

One of my colleagues, who is one of our cybersecurity experts, managed to walk away from his computer, leaving it unlocked. Considering their role within our organisation, and that they have been known to encourage other members of our team to buy cakes and pies for the rest of the ...

Alarms and HMI Presentation by Bill Hollifield

Yesterday I was able to attend a presentation on alarms and HMIs1by Bill Hollifield. Bill quiet literally wrote the books on alarms and HMIs.

The first part of the presentation was on alarm management, what problems different sites face and how to fix them. To be honest, there ...

No More FAT

That is us finished with the Factory Acceptance Testing of our new software package. Since the start of April, I have been mostly working at the supplier's factory rather than my usual office. There are some fixes that still need to be completed and signed off, so I may ...

Spending a Bank Holiday in a Quiet Factory

I am used to the idea of working on a bank holiday. The place I work at just lumps all the bank holidays into your normal annual holiday allowance1. If you want to take the bank holiday off, you need to book it off. The places my dad and ...

Factory Acceptance Testing

The work I have been doing at our suppliers factory has involved testing a new piece of software and ensuring it has been setup correctly for our site. As usual with these sorts of things, we have a procedure to follow to test each part of the system. Occasionally we ...

Being a Unit of Measurement

At the start of last month, a team member announced that at the end of the shutdown, he was going to weigh the same as me. He was going to start eating healthier and focusing on his exercise. I was unaware of this at the time, I was working off-site ...

Re-examining Exams

I was listening to a discussion about a study titled “Bullshitters. Who Are They and What Do We Know about Their Lives?”. Most of the other coverage of the study has been around which groups of people were shown to be either more or less truthful while merely describing the ...

Code Golf at Work

For the past three weeks, I have been at a suppliers factory testing a project prior to delivery to site. The other day, one of the managers of the other company came over to our group and gave a graduate a challenge, write an excel script to colour each cell ...

More on Hats

After yesterday's post, I remembered about a time when working in Newark. I was living on my own in a flat, and had no car at the time.

As a result, any time I was outside, I would have a helmet on. I had no garden to spend time ...

Teaching Others

One thing I noticed during the regen was that I always ended up in a better mood after I had a teaching session. Anytime someone asked me about the process, I couldn't help myself and would launch into a lecture about it. I really do enjoy the opportunity to ...

Done

That is me done. The regen is over. We reintroduced feed at 03:10 this morning and I am now off of nightshift.

I am extremely tired just now, partially because I have just worked for 12 hours a day, for 12 out of the last 13 days. The other ...

Regen Weather

The regen is progressing well but I noticed something weird last night as I walked into the unit. The ground was dry.

Up to that point there had been lots of large puddles around the unit, and the bits between the puddles were also kept wet with regular rain showers ...

It Doesn't Get Old

During last night's shift, we were talking about the construction of the building we were in and one of the operators asked if I remembered them building it.

I knew it was a long time before I started working there but asked when it was built and was told ...

What a Rush

Ahh, I remember this feeling.

Each regen, I alway have a moment when I remember how previous regens have felt. I felt the feeling for most of last night's shift and the first couple of hours of this shift. It is not continuous throughout the event, but there are ...

One Shift Down

Slow progress but we did make progress. My brain felt like it was working through molasses. Very slow to do anything.

On the plus side: I got a good days sleep.

Hopefully tonight will be slicker.

After Midnight

It looks like the shutdown will be delayed slightly due to a vulnerability on a different unit. I went into work tonight to monitor a short trial, however the trial was cancelled.

I wasn't too bothered, I had intended to stay up tonight in an attempt to get my ...

Paperwork is Pointless...

Paperwork is pointless if you don't do the rest of the work.

This is a general rule that applies in most cases, but what got my thinking about it today was in relation to safety paperwork such as risk assessments and method statements. Earlier this week, a company was ...

Turning it Off and On Again

Yesterday we fixed a problem with one of our optimisers by, as you can probably tell from the title, turning (a bit of) it off and on again.

In this case it wasn't as simple as flicking the switch on the wall. It was one module on a remote ...

Get Ready for a Regen

This time next week, I will be on night shift and probably feeling pretty tired. The unit I used to look after when I worked in operations will be having a short shutdown to regenerate the catalyst and I have been invited back outside to assist.

I am not complaining ...

A Meta Work Day

Today was one of those days that I didn't actually do much 'real' work.

By 'real' work I mean building, fixing or improving things. No today was a meta work day. A day spend talking or writing about other work.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It involved ...

Caring Too Much

Back in 2013, I was the lead operations engineer for a shutdown event. It was not a full unit turnaround, however it did involve replacing the unit's reactors, which had been in operation since the unit was first built nearly 50 years ago, with new ones. On top of ...

Fixing an Unintended Consequence

Today I implemented a fix that will hopefully avoid a repeat of an incident that happend last week. It is the sort of problem that I enjoy to work on. Why isn't this doing what we would expect? And more importantly how do I get it to do what ...

The Easy Bit

I spent the majority of today finishing up the user interface for a simple app I am building. I have probably spent two days in total building the UI, though the program doesn't actually do anything with the information yet.

I still have to do the 'hard' engineering bit ...

Just Another Opinion

We are in the process of designing and building a new control room at the refinery. This will replace the building built in the 70s and the control system that has an user interface that doesn't look particularly different from the photographs of when it opened.

This is obviously ...

Wasted Effort or Useful Research?

I spent a significant portion of my day writing a small program to extract some data from one file and convert it into a different format.

I had thought that it would be a simple task but I need to have some level of user interaction, I need to ask ...

Back to Play

Today was the first work day of the new year for myself. Lucky the place was mostly quiet and everyone else was catching up on their own work.

As a result I was able to hyper focus on several jobs and I got much more work done than I had ...

Jack of All Trades

After posting yesterday's post, I thought further about it and though I don't need to know much more about electricity, I do know more and want to learn more. I like learning, particularly about different subjects.

My background as a chemical engineer has given me a good understanding ...

Twas the Day Before Christmas

And all through the CCB1
Not a control engineer was fiddling
Not even me2.

This is one of those days for working offline, in the office and wherever possible, avoiding doing anything in the control room. Sure if something breaks, fixing it is the top priority. But the ...

Little Tricks

One of my colleagues was having trouble earlier today with modifying a tag and asked me to help. This tag had some custom code attached to it and he wanted to add another set of custom code. Whenever he tried linking the code to the tag, he kept getting an ...

Working from Home

One of the kids was ill over the weekend and needed to be kept away from nursery. So rather than completely writing the day off, I setup my laptop as a remote workstation in the dining room. The child was kept entertained by the TV and the occasional interaction from ...

Safety Behaviours

At work we were introduced to an initiative that will be rolled out fully in the new year: safety behaviours.

The introduction went along the lines of: you all know how to behave in a church, and how to behave in a pub. These behaviours will be different and we ...

The Purpose of a Procedure

I frequently see people make a comment regarding procedures along the lines of "monkey see, monkey do", "they take the thought out of the job" or "they treat us like idiots".

I want to take this opportunity to say that is not how I see or use procedures. If you ...

Bullying Bosses

In one of my previous jobs, I did not particularly get on with one of my supervisors. This is not that surprising and to be honest, it would probably be surprising if I had gotten on with every supervisor I have encountered.

This particular supervisor was not my direct line ...

My Fingerprints are Everywhere

During the Process Hazard Analysis that we are currently carrying out, there have been a number of occasions when we are referencing procedures and other documents to check how we are currently managing the various hazards.

It is always a bit worrying when you see that the document in question ...

Ways to Make a Bang

It seems almost fitting that on the 5th of November, Guy Fawkes night, that I would spend the day working out different ways to blow stuff up.

Today was the first day performing a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) of the plant I used to look after as an operations engineer ...

The Joy of Running a Script

I had the joy today if running a script which took about 20 seconds to run, and in that time, saved another member of my team days of work.

Of course it took me several hours to write the script, to work on the first file but once that first ...

7 Years at Grangemouth

Today marks the seven year anniversary of my employment at Grangemouth Refinery. Unfortunately it has been spent at home recovering from a stomach bug.

I am sure that I managed the first few years without having to take any time off for sickness, but in recent years it has become ...

Starting to Cleanup My Own Mess

At the start of the year, I hacked together a small spreadsheet that did many things that a spreadsheet is not meant to do. It was meant as a proof of concept however is started adding more and more to it. I had a few goes at tidying up the ...