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Controller-based batch systems

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Chris Morses article in the March issue [Solving Common

Batch Problems: Controller-Based Systems, pp. 3943]
makes an excellent case for embedding the batch execution engine in the DCS controller rather than the commonly adopted legacy approach of relying on a PC-based
batch execution server. [. . .] As postulated by Mr. Morse,
our customers have, in fact, benefitted from absolute batch
execution security, scalability, availability, reduced cycle
times, ease of engineering and maintenance, integrated
operator interface, modularity, flexibility, and enhanced
batch reporting and analysis.
On the other hand, I would dispute Mr. Morses implication that batch manufacturers recent competitive pressures have drastically changed to suddenly require this
new embedded architecture. I offer a few examples to
support my point:
The stated benefits within the ISA S88 standard itself
are unchanged between the 1995 and 2010 versions.
These include reduced time to production, reduced
batch automation cost, straightforward recipe development, and reduced lifecycle engineering efforts
Presentations from the early years of WBF [World
Batch Forum] (late 1990s) tout the same manufacturers
needs and automation benefits reduction in implementation time and costs, reduced cycle time, less plant
idle time, better data and understanding, predictable
time to introduce new products, better schedule optimization, modularity, flexibility and so on
A review of Functional Design documents from our
own groups late 1990s projects reiterates the same
project objectives and economic justifications secure recipe execution, reduced cycle time, centralized
and integrated operator interface, reduced operating
delays, flexibility, better utilization of process equipment, enhanced reporting, and batch data archiving,
among others
All these are the same as the new requirements that Mr.
Morse cites. Instead, I would argue that the needs have
been there all along. [. . . ]
Dave Christie
Engineering Manager,Yokogawa Atlanta Engineering
Center, Batch Center of Excellence, Newnan, Ga.

April 2011 Newsfront Shedding Light on Microreactors, pp. 1720: On p. 19, middle column, the dimensions given for Ehrfeld-BTSs Miprowa system are
incorrect. Line 4 should read: The laboratory unit has
channel dimensions of 1.5 mm x 12 mm, which enable
the kinetics of the reaction to be understood. In the
pilot unit, the reactor has channel sizes (3 mm x 18
mm) that are small enough to maintain the advantages
of microchannels, but sufficiently large for increased
production volumes and reduce fouling problems. The
online version of the article and the downloadable pdf
file of the article have been corrected.