15 Jan

Updates to EEMUA 191 Alarm Systems Guidelines

This photo, “209/365/329 Red Alert!” is copyright (c) 2014 Alan Levine and made available under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

The Engineering Equipment and Materials Users’ Association, or EEMUA, has revised their alarm systems guidelines. According to a Control Engineering article on the subject, the association has added an additional 80 pages to the original publication and has expanded upon the industries addressed to include those associated with gas and water.

Of particular importance for the revision was what they call Human-Computer Interface (HCI) management. Even the world’s greatest technology can be brought down by human error, making human interactions with alarm systems crucial to any industry.

A healthy alarm system and a method of management is essential for business asset reliability. Synergy has the expertise to create systems with predictive alarm capabilities. This specific information is useful to the human element of a plant. The staff, notified before any real problem arises, then has the opportunity to be proactive. Such alarm systems can dramatically reduce down time and prevent damages.

The updated EEMUUA guidelines also goes into alarm suppression; that is, when should and shouldn’t an alarm be ignored? With predicative technology, it’s important to recognize which alarms should be addressed right away and which can wait.  Safety is always key, which is why Synergy makes a point to provide training to our clients on any new system we install.

04 Dec

Workforce and Asset Management

The work force is aging. As baby boomers get ever closer to retirement, the average age of employees increases. This is a trend seen in many industrialized countries and poses its own challenges. In the business world, this changing demographic can have a significant effect on asset management.

Asset management involves how to optimize operational performance and profitability of a business. Life cycle cost and return on investment play a huge role in the optimization of a plant, but equally important is the value employees bring to the business. The longer they work with assets, the more they understand the variables that affect them. With the right automation, these skills can be maintained in the workforce even as employees retire.

Sophisticated control systems have the ability to measure and record more information about a plant than ever before. When installed by industry experts, these systems also learn the finer points of each asset. In this way, the skills and knowledge of current employees can be passed down and built upon by new hires.

Synergy understands the great benefits employees provide. We have grown in our expertise of asset management and are committed to optimization of operational performance and client profitability. This is why we make a point to train client employees, the greatest asset to every business, on all new asset management systems we install.


23 Oct

The Third Internet Revolution and Security Demands

Rich Carpenter, chief technology officer of GE Intelligent Platforms, touched on the three internet revolutions in a Control Engineering article. The third revolution is happening right now and while it provides even greater opportunities for business, it also comes with its own risk.

The First Revolution:

The first internet revolution is rooted in the web’s very existence. People suddenly have access to information on a global scale. All the information in the world, and every opinion held, can be found within a few clicks.

Necessary security: Internet users need their computer to keep running so as not to lose pictures, documentation and other information stored on the device.

The Second Revolution:

Consumerism takes hold of the internet, allowing people to buy everything from cars to groceries online. Items bought online can be delivered straight to a consumer’s door.

Necessary security: Personal identity needs to be protected as well as financial information such as credit cards and bank accounts.

The Third Revolution:

Carpenter has named this third revolution the Age of the Industrial Internet, where machines and factory devices communicate with each other and with plant staff through an internet connection. This allows for an optimized process that is safe, more reliable and more profitable.

Necessary security: The internet is now linked to the most critical devices of our infrastructure. Previous concerns, such as loss of device or information, are still high, but another has been added. Loss of control is a huge safety concern. Security must be so tight as to ensure no one besides those authorized can communicate with a machine and yet simplistic enough that it is easy to use.

This industrial internet requires a level of security that goes beyond anti-virus software. Machines and site assets need to be programed with safety as a high priority. Intelligent software adds another level of security, so that a machine understands how to safely react to errors without a human user telling it to do so.

At no other time in history have we been able to so intricately design and program business assets. The continuing revolution of the internet provides greater optimization, reliability and efficiency. Safety is not to be forgotten, but it is also not suffering. That same technology which increases the need for safety also increases the ability to maintain safety.

Synergy programmers and engineers use the internet to remotely work on client assets. This means most problems can be addressed as soon as an engineer gets access to a computer. Without the need to travel to a client site for every problem, time is saved for the engineer and the client, resulting in faster maintenance and shorter downtime.

Is your security up to par with the third revolution of the internet?



24 May

Data vs. Information: a growing Synergy

Synergy Systems Services Include

These days, there is nothing our state-of-the-art technology can’t measure. From the amount of electricity being used per hour in a plant to the amount of product being created within a day, nothing is beyond measurement. While the data we can gather is remarkable, translating it into useful information that can be used at every level in a plant can be difficult.

To this end, we have updated our website to reflect three of our growing services aimed at turning data into information, improving the overall process of the plant and defining the specific information needed in all levels of a plant.

The following services are growing areas of Synergy Systems Inc.

  • Asset Reliability: We imagine a process system with tangible assets that have the ability to collect a variety of data and easily resent it as information relevant to workers in every level of a plant.
  • Business Performance:  Since business performance is often dependent on the human element of a plant and worker’s ability to make fast decisions, we strive to design HMI which takes this human element into consideration. We strive to create HMI that makes it easy to read and react to information about the plant or process.
  • Key Performance Indicators: Key Performance Indicators, also known as KPI, are specific measure of performance chosen by a business in order to maintain progress toward a goal.

These three services together create the most optimized system for safety, reliability and efficiency. Intelligent technology is able to gather enormous amounts of data and present to those at different levels of a plant the specific information they need.

We are proud to be growing our expertise into these areas and furthering our commitment to the creation of safe, reliable and efficient plants.