NEW HIGH TECNOLOGY! Kalle Heiska science journalist
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5 Jan 2001

Optimised reliability for process plants

New environmental requirements and changes in process control systems are affecting the work of process plant operators. The professional skill required of the operators and plant operating procedures are changing, and all of these changes affect the reliability of plant operation. A new integrated assessment and development method has been created in order to clarify operating reliability.

The method enables a more comprehensive analysis of operating reliability and a clearer picture of the effects of human factors. It is thus possible to analyse how users in their work take account of risks affecting reliability and how working methods and procedures affect the system's operating reliability.

The main work content and the requirements that it poses can also be conceptualised. This helps the management of a company to develop its operations and to create a new working culture for the company. Additionally, the results obtained from modelling can be utilised in the planning of personnel training.

Maria Nuutinen

The modelling method has been developed by Fortum Service Oy and VTT in the National Technology Agency's Competitive Reliability 1995-2000 technology programme, and it is based on a study carried out at Fortum's Hämeenlinna power plant. The method integrates techniques of studying psychological behaviour and the reliability of systems analysis. Assessments of the effects of human factors on process control and maintenance are insufficient if they are based solely on the incident reports of plants.

Additional information:
VTT Automation, Maaria Nuutinen, tel. +358 9 456 6758, +358 40 550 8615
maaria.nuutinen@vtt.fi

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