News Column

"System and Method for Event Logging in a Technical Installation Or a Technical Process" in Patent Application Approval Process

August 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- A patent application by the inventors HOLLENDER, Martin (Dossenheim, DE); Rissanen, Mikko (Singapore, SG), filed on February 5, 2014, was made available online on August 14, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Abb Ag.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In exemplary commercial installations, a large amount of installation-specific or process-specific information, including operator control actions, process reports, alarm reports, system events, audit logs and installation parameters, is stored as alarm and event logs.

"WO 2009/112252 describes a method and a device for storing data that are in each case part of an alarm or event report containing a plurality of attributes, wherein a stipulated table is used to directly store a first portion of the attributes that are part of an alarm or event report in normalized form, and additionally both the first portion and a remaining second portion of the attributes are stored as a provision data record.

"Operating and observation systems currently used in commercial installations, such as control systems, also called a digital control system (DCS), log time series data and/or historic process values from process signals and also event data, from process alarms, system events and audit logs, and store these data in appropriate archives, for example in special databases with real-time functions, where said data are stored for long-term storage at stipulated intervals of time. In particular, the historical process values comprise instances of limit values being exceeded and/or instances of limit values being undershot, which are usually linked to a timestamp.

"The stored data are used, inter alia, to analyse accidents and incidents and also the process as an initial basis for improvements, for example for control loop tuning, for alarm management, for monitoring or inspection logs, what are known as audit trails, and for evidence about the observance of limit values for legal and environmental regulations.

"The handling of the data stored in logs can be rendered more difficult by the fact that important information relating to the operational context is not incorporated. Often, it is unclear whether a reduction in the production volume can be attributed to a process problem or whether this was an intentional change of the production plan.

"By way of example, a faulty pump with reduced capacity would be known to the operators of the installation. If this state is not input directly into the logging system of the installation, however, it is difficult at a later time to comprehend why there is a reduced capacity from the pump, which is indicated by appropriate reports, since the reason for the fall in capacity is incomprehensible. The fault in the pump, that is to say information relating to the operational context, is often no longer retrievable in the logs provided, even though it would be essential for particular analyses.

"At the present time, operators use control or SCADA systems in order to manage industrial processes or a power supply system. In addition to this, it is desirable for them to work together with the servicing personnel, for example, who are located outside the control room. This cooperation often involves numerous telephone calls, the exchange of e-mails and exchange with superordinate systems, such as a computerized maintenance management system CMMS or an enterprise resource planning system (ERP), which manages the action planning for the resources that are existent in a company.

"Often, important information is also written down as reminders on sticky notes or note paper, which can later be lost.

"Many installation operators also avoid inputting texts into an available computer, such as an electronic shift book, since this often appears too time consuming."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A logging system is disclosed for detecting, conditioning and presenting installation-specific and/or process-specific operator control actions, process reports, alarm reports, system events, installation parameters and digital text messages for a technical installation or a technical process having at least one input apparatus that automatically converts audible and/or spoken information and information that is present in written form into digital text messages and provides said information, together with information relating to operator control actions, information relating to navigation steps performed and further text information that is present in digitized form, for a processing unit, comprising: a processing unit for automatically attributing timestamps to digital text messages, information relating to operator control actions and navigation steps performed, or for linking said timestamps thereto; at least one search module provided in the processing unit for attributing an appropriate context, together with time series data, provided from at least one data archive, from process signals and alarm reports, system events and installation parameters, to particular events, and the digital text messages, operator control actions, process reports, alarm reports, system events; and a search module for retrieving installation parameters conditioned in this manner upon a complete search integrated in the search module, for presentation as an operating log or event log.

"A method is also disclosed for detecting, conditioning and presenting installation-specific and/or process-specific operator control actions, process reports, alarm reports, system events, installation parameters and digital text messages for a technical installation or for a technical process, comprising: providing, from at least one input apparatus used to automatically convert audible and/or spoken information and information that is present in written form into digital text messages said information, together with information relating to operator control actions, information relating to navigation steps performed and further text information that is present in digitized form, to a processing unit; automatically attributing timestamps to the digital text messages, the information relating to operator control actions and the navigation steps performed, or linking aid timestamps thereto, in the processing unit; attributing via at least one search module provided in the processing unit an appropriate context, together with time series data from at least one data archive of process signals and alarm reports, system events and installation parameters, to particular events; and retrieving the digital text messages, operator control actions, process reports, alarm reports, system events and installation parameters conditioned in this manner using a complete search integrated in the search module for presentation as an operating log or event log.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The invention and advantageous embodiments, improvements and further advantages of the invention will be explained and described in more detail with reference to the exemplary embodiments shown in the figures that follow, in which:

"FIG. 1 shows an exemplary embodiment of the inventive logging system of an operating and observation system,

"FIG. 2 shows an exemplary presentation that is provided by the inventive logging system on the screen of an operating and observation system, and

"FIG. 3 shows an exemplary presentation for producing a log entry in the processing unit."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: HOLLENDER, Martin; Rissanen, Mikko. System and Method for Event Logging in a Technical Installation Or a Technical Process. Filed February 5, 2014 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=5435&p=109&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Abb Ag, Information Technology, Information and Data Archiving.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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