Procedure Analysis for SOP Optimization is to achieve consistent and efficient operating performance in DCS manual operation. By YOKOGAWA’s machine learning technology, the best operating practice can be identified based on DCS data collected from the plant.
What typical challenges do operators face regarding manual operation?
- Operating performance may vary from one operator to another, directly affecting production efficiency.
- Onboarding of new operators is difficult and requires great effort.
- The efficiency and safety of production may be impacted.
Why is it so hard to improve?
- Only the operator knows his/her actions, the actual operation is invisible.
- No good solution to capture the operators’ implicit knowledge.
- Visualizing the actual operating procedure by DCS data using Yokogawa’s technology
- Analyzing the operational differences among multiple actual operational practices and the existing SOPs
- Holding workshops to review the actual operations and existing SOPs with the customer, and identifying the best operating practice and the key points of the operation knowledge
- Supporting customer to establish optimal SOPs
- Objectively understand the current issues of manual operations utilizing DCS data.
- Efficiently identify best operating practice and operational key points through learning the actual operations of past practices.
- Retain and share the operational knowledge of experienced operators.
- Effectively reduce variations in operational performance.
- Increase operational efficiency and productivity.
- Reduce human errors and incorrect behavior.
Technology: Operational Procedure Extraction from DCS Log data
Yokogawa’s unique machine learning technology automatically extracts actual operational procedures from the DCS event log data.
With this technology, a group of events recorded in the event log can be aggregated and identified as a unit operation, which enables humans to clearly understand the operator's intentions and operation method.
Furthermore, the sequence of defined individual unit operations and the serial/parallel relationship between the operations can be automatically analyzed to visualize the operation procedure when an operator performs a specific task. Visualizing the operating procedure clarifies the operator’s specific actions for each device and the overall operation flow for completing a task.
In practice, operators will take different actions to complete a task manually, creating variations in operating procedures among the operators. The technology also can automatically classify the multiple operating procedures to clarify the variations in the manual operation.
Deliverable: Workshop & Report
Yokogawa will clarify the gaps between the actual operation and existing SOP, and differences in specific operation by various operators. Based on the analysis result, customers and Yokogawa will identify the best operation practice and SOP improvement points in the workshop. The final report includes the summary of improvement points and SOP check sheet to update the existing SOP
Further Solution: Digitalized SOP in Exapilot
Yokogawa recommends embedding the updated SOP into Exapilot, Yokogawa’s Operation Efficiency Improvement Package.
Exapilot is an online navigation tool that guides operators step by step by carrying out the operating procedure. Simple manual operations such as opening valves, checking levels, and starting and stopping pumps can also be automated by Exapilot to reduce the operator’s workload.
Furthermore, Yokogawa recommends annual “re-analysis” to optimize the SOP in Exapilot aiming for automation of manual operations.
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Procedural Automation (Exapilot) provides a flexible methodology to capture, optimize and retain procedural knowledge in a process plant while meeting requirements in reliability, flexibility, and lifecycle costs.
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