Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by The Mirmido » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



I am a Chemical Engineer and have operated chemical plants for the
last 20 years.

The equipment that is used by the chemical industry is what you might
describe as open source.

Open source means that I can open a piece of equipment and repair it
or modify it or redesign it etc.   These eqipment are not black boxes
that are installed on faith based on the word of some vendor.  In
fact, eqipment that are "black-box-like" are avoided like the plaque.
To give you an example, consider the centrifugal pump, a fairly common
piece of equipment in the chemical industry.

a.  We specify ANSI pumps because they are interchangeable regardless
of who makes them;  i.e. you can replace a Goulds pump with a Durco
without having to worry about modifying the piping in your process.
The new pump simply fits in the place of the old one.

b.  We can replace the impeller of such pump and put it into a
different service - say from pumping water to pumping slurries.

c.  We can trim the impeller (to a smaller diameter) and thereby
change the flow and the pressure of the pump or install a bigger
impeller and increase the flow and pressure.  Or change the RPM
of the pump and accomplish the same thing.

etc etc etc.

The point of this discussion?  Why not have the same flexibility in
our computer systems?   If we have a problem, then lets fix it
ourselves as opposed to ordering another black box from someone to do
the job or wait for ever from some vendor to supply us with a security
patch.

I am a hands on kind of a chemical professional and have little time
and patience with people who rely on black box solutions.

I am not a computer expert but I know what I want from a computer
system and our computer professionals.  And there is no doubt in my
mind that Linux and its open source model is the way of the future.

Let me close by saying that a computer is a tool to be used to make
our jobs easier and not some kind of a temple to be worshiped.  It is
time that we stopped re-inventing the wheel and go on with life.
Those who are betting against open source are in for a rude awakening.

-=Mirmidon=-

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by The Mirmido » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


Let me add that the people who are and will be developing Linux are
not unemployed and do not work for free.  I have seen countless
engineers write an article in some professional journal or present a
paper in some symposium - articles and presentations that have
improved the knowledge of the chemical engineering profession.

I cannot see why this does not apply to the computer professionals.
And it doesn't matter if they run their own companies or are employed
by someone else.  A professional who contributes to the improvement of
his/her profession is someone who is highly valued.

From my side of the fence, I would love to have someone running our
computer systems who has put his $0.02 or $2.0 in the development of
Linux.  These are the people who make things happen and not the
advocates of "write me a check and I will buy us another black box to
solve our problem."

-=Mirmidon=-

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by Peter Nelso » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



>I am a Chemical Engineer and have operated chemical plants for the
>last 20 years.

>The equipment that is used by the chemical industry is what you might
>describe as open source.

. . .

Quote:>a.  We specify ANSI pumps because they are interchangeable regardless
>of who makes them;  i.e. you can replace a Goulds pump with a Durco
>without having to worry about modifying the piping in your process.

I thought that ANSI just specified fittings, presssure, etc.   Does
it also specify the entire internal design, materials, etc?     If
Gould comes up with some better material or design which
improves performance, reduces vibration, uses less energy, improves
MTBF, etc, can they patent it?     If Durco copied those designs
without licensing the technology from Gould is that OK?

If Gould can't use Durco's inventions for free it's not open source.
I don't think you inderstand open source.    I buy pumps all the time
and see patent numbers or patent-pending numbers on them.
Those are not open source.

. . .

Quote:>The point of this discussion?  Why not have the same flexibility in
>our computer systems?

We do.  ANSI and/or IEEE specifies all kinds of standards that
allow computers to hook up.

Quote:>                                                   If we have a problem,
then lets fix it
>ourselves as opposed to ordering another black box from someone to do
>the job or wait for ever from some vendor to supply us with a security
>patch.

Who is "we"?   Every end user?

---peter

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by S » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


that's BS, each piece of equipment, though in principal should do the same
thing,  ie. end results the same, the actual piece of equipment or system
may differ greatly on design and operation from manufacturing company to
company


Quote:> I am a Chemical Engineer and have operated chemical plants for the
> last 20 years.

> The equipment that is used by the chemical industry is what you might
> describe as open source.

> Open source means that I can open a piece of equipment and repair it
> or modify it or redesign it etc.   These eqipment are not black boxes
> that are installed on faith based on the word of some vendor.  In
> fact, eqipment that are "black-box-like" are avoided like the plaque.
> To give you an example, consider the centrifugal pump, a fairly common
> piece of equipment in the chemical industry.

> a.  We specify ANSI pumps because they are interchangeable regardless
> of who makes them;  i.e. you can replace a Goulds pump with a Durco
> without having to worry about modifying the piping in your process.
> The new pump simply fits in the place of the old one.

> b.  We can replace the impeller of such pump and put it into a
> different service - say from pumping water to pumping slurries.

> c.  We can trim the impeller (to a smaller diameter) and thereby
> change the flow and the pressure of the pump or install a bigger
> impeller and increase the flow and pressure.  Or change the RPM
> of the pump and accomplish the same thing.

> etc etc etc.

> The point of this discussion?  Why not have the same flexibility in
> our computer systems?   If we have a problem, then lets fix it
> ourselves as opposed to ordering another black box from someone to do
> the job or wait for ever from some vendor to supply us with a security
> patch.

> I am a hands on kind of a chemical professional and have little time
> and patience with people who rely on black box solutions.

> I am not a computer expert but I know what I want from a computer
> system and our computer professionals.  And there is no doubt in my
> mind that Linux and its open source model is the way of the future.

> Let me close by saying that a computer is a tool to be used to make
> our jobs easier and not some kind of a temple to be worshiped.  It is
> time that we stopped re-inventing the wheel and go on with life.
> Those who are betting against open source are in for a rude awakening.

> -=Mirmidon=-

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by S » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


last time i checked, and i worked on em, real time computer control system ,
which came out in the 80's cost big time moola, and latelky, in the 90's
have been shifting toward a common os, ie win nt to save costs, and shifted
away from bigger mainframe nodes to pc like nodes, etc etc


Quote:> Let me add that the people who are and will be developing Linux are
> not unemployed and do not work for free.  I have seen countless
> engineers write an article in some professional journal or present a
> paper in some symposium - articles and presentations that have
> improved the knowledge of the chemical engineering profession.

> I cannot see why this does not apply to the computer professionals.
> And it doesn't matter if they run their own companies or are employed
> by someone else.  A professional who contributes to the improvement of
> his/her profession is someone who is highly valued.

> From my side of the fence, I would love to have someone running our
> computer systems who has put his $0.02 or $2.0 in the development of
> Linux.  These are the people who make things happen and not the
> advocates of "write me a check and I will buy us another black box to
> solve our problem."

> -=Mirmidon=-

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by tserghi.. » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




Quote:

> I thought that ANSI just specified fittings, presssure, etc.   Does
> it also specify the entire internal design, materials, etc?     If
> Gould comes up with some better material or design which
> improves performance, reduces vibration, uses less energy, improves
> MTBF, etc, can they patent it?     If Durco copied those designs
> without licensing the technology from Gould is that OK?

> If Gould can't use Durco's inventions for free it's not open source.
> I don't think you inderstand open source.    I buy pumps all the time
> and see patent numbers or patent-pending numbers on them.
> Those are not open source.

I think you are missing the point.  Dimensionally the pumps are the same
- never mind that the material of construction is different or that you
may have a different impeller design.

But the science governing the operation of a centrifugal pump is the
same regardless of who makes it.  An engineer can modify and change the
performance of a pump regardless of who makes it.

I agree with the original poster.  Nothing wrong with having the same
flexibility in an operating system.

Quote:

> >    If we have a problem, then lets fix it
> >ourselves as opposed to ordering another black box from someone to do
> >the job or wait for ever from some vendor to supply us with a
> >security patch.

> Who is "we"?   Every end user?

No, the system administrator or computer professional.

If an engineer can take care of the plant and his equipment then you
would expect your counterpart in the computer side of the fence to do
the same with his equipment.

And this is only possible with an open system.  Again, I agree with this
analogy.

Quote:

> ---peter

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.
 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by Aaron Sherma » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


[...discussion of chemical engineering use of Open Source-like philosophy
    in specing and maintaining equipment ...]

Quote:> last time i checked, and i worked on em, real time computer control system ,
> which came out in the 80's cost big time moola, and latelky, in the 90's
> have been shifting toward a common os, ie win nt to save costs, and shifted
> away from bigger mainframe nodes to pc like nodes, etc etc

What an amazing non-sequiter. The point of the original post(s) seems
to have been that CS is not the first proof of concept for this mode
of work (i.e. Open Source), and that we can look to the success of
other industries for a fair estimate of the risks and rewards.

Please try to keep on-topic, it makes discussion easier. Thanks.

                        -AJS
--
Aaron Sherman          

www.ajs.com/~ajs   BF8E 8987 1D58 E01E E0B8  4BB6 B388 2F80 97AE A001
 "Do you come from a land downunder, where bitters flow and the
  men chunder?" -Men at Work

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by Aaron Sherma » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00





> > The equipment that is used by the chemical industry is what you might
> > describe as open source.
> > Open source means that I can open a piece of equipment and repair it
> > or modify it or redesign it etc.   These eqipment are not black boxes
> > that are installed on faith based on the word of some vendor.  In
> > fact, eqipment that are "black-box-like" are avoided like the plaque.
> > To give you an example, consider the centrifugal pump, a fairly common
> > piece of equipment in the chemical industry.
> > a.  We specify ANSI pumps because they are interchangeable regardless
> > of who makes them;  i.e. you can replace a Goulds pump with a Durco
> > without having to worry about modifying the piping in your process.
> > The new pump simply fits in the place of the old one.
[...]
> that's BS, each piece of equipment, though in principal should do the same
> thing,  ie. end results the same, the actual piece of equipment or system
> may differ greatly on design and operation from manufacturing company to
> company

Nope, that's exactly what he's saying is NOT the case. The equipment
conforms to a standard, format (just like a Zip disk from Iomega or
Fuji will be the same size and work in the same drive). This is not
quite the same as Open Source, but it certainly does demonstrate the
advantages of standards conformance, which has always been one of the
strengths of OS....

                        -AJS
--
Aaron Sherman          

www.ajs.com/~ajs   BF8E 8987 1D58 E01E E0B8  4BB6 B388 2F80 97AE A001
 "Do you come from a land downunder, where bitters flow and the
  men chunder?" -Men at Work

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by S » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


open source is what led to the decling of properity in house real time
systems, too expensive, was cheaper to buy NT load it on 'puters and buy
control software packages to run under NT !!



> [...discussion of chemical engineering use of Open Source-like philosophy
>     in specing and maintaining equipment ...]

> > last time i checked, and i worked on em, real time computer control
system ,
> > which came out in the 80's cost big time moola, and latelky, in the 90's
> > have been shifting toward a common os, ie win nt to save costs, and
shifted
> > away from bigger mainframe nodes to pc like nodes, etc etc

> What an amazing non-sequiter. The point of the original post(s) seems
> to have been that CS is not the first proof of concept for this mode
> of work (i.e. Open Source), and that we can look to the success of
> other industries for a fair estimate of the risks and rewards.

> Please try to keep on-topic, it makes discussion easier. Thanks.

> -AJS
> --
> Aaron Sherman

> www.ajs.com/~ajs BF8E 8987 1D58 E01E E0B8  4BB6 B388 2F80 97AE A001
>  "Do you come from a land downunder, where bitters flow and the
>   men chunder?" -Men at Work

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by Peter Nelso » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



>I think you are missing the point.  Dimensionally the pumps are the same
>- never mind that the material of construction is different or that you
>may have a different impeller design.

>But the science governing the operation of a centrifugal pump is the
>same regardless of who makes it.

The science of *everything* is the same.    All scientific laws apply
equally, everywhere.    The science of semiconductors is the same,
too.   Hitachi can't take advantage of special laws of physics that
Intel can't.   What varies is the *engineering* - materials, design,
construction, etc.

Quote:> An engineer can modify and change the
>performance of a pump regardless of who makes it.

No they can't.  Many pumps cannot be disassembled without
damaging them.

Anyway someone who changes a pump is not required to make
his changes public.  Moreover he can patent hhis changes and
make them proprietary.  So the analogy with open source doesn't
work.

---peter

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by Aaron Sherma » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00



> open source is what led to the decling of properity in house real time
> systems, too expensive, was cheaper to buy NT load it on 'puters and buy
> control software packages to run under NT !!

Try re-stating the answer in the form of english. Thanks.

                        -AJS
--
Aaron Sherman          

www.ajs.com/~ajs   BF8E 8987 1D58 E01E E0B8  4BB6 B388 2F80 97AE A001
 "Do you come from a land downunder, where bitters flow and the
  men chunder?" -Men at Work

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by S » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


well actually you don't, as a worker, want to get caught in a chemical plant
that's got a high chance of errr exploding:)

whereas the suits in head office don't want that same plant to lose money$






> >[...discussion of chemical engineering use of Open Source-like philosophy
> >    in specing and maintaining equipment ...]

> >> last time i checked, and i worked on em, real time computer control
system ,
> >> which came out in the 80's cost big time moola, and latelky, in the
90's
> >> have been shifting toward a common os, ie win nt to save costs, and
shifted
> >> away from bigger mainframe nodes to pc like nodes, etc etc

> >What an amazing non-sequiter. The point of the original post(s) seems
> >to have been that CS is not the first proof of concept for this mode
> >of work (i.e. Open Source), and that we can look to the success of
> >other industries for a fair estimate of the risks and rewards.

> >Please try to keep on-topic, it makes discussion easier. Thanks.

> S does have a point, however; NT is amazingly open.  Just undocumented.
:-)

> Granted, this flies in the face of *specced* openness, which
> is presumably what the previous poster wants wants (I've lost
> his attributions), but I'll admit, it's an interesting way
> to look at the problem, and it had never occurred to me to
> worry about piping problems at a chemical (petro or others)
> plant -- nor had I known that ANSI had specs thereon, although
> it doesn't really surprise me at all that somebody did.

> But the problems are similar; one has a complex, interrelated
> system of piping in one case, computer software (with piping
> of information!) in another.  They're also different, in that
> a chemical plant is physical, whereas a computer's storage
> is in a sense not physical, but virtual.

> However, It stands to reason that things should be field-replaceable.
> At least with Linux, FreeBSD, or other OSS, one has a fighting chance.

> Side issue:  one other issue might have to do with paranoid design.
> In a chemical plant, things can fail -- and, if one wants to go
> ultraparaniod, pumps, pipes, and tanks can be tapped by a
> "foreign agent" to siphon off the valuable liquid inside
> (well, I'm not sure how valuable slurry is, but I'm no expert
> in chemical plants! :-) ).  Presumably, this can be addressed by
> plant security -- and I've yet to see the plant which isn't lit
> up like a Christmas tree at night, when it's working.

> One might, however, contrast this with the computer model;
> there are no lights, and programmers are constantly bumping
> their heads (and other parts of their anatomy) into the pipes.
> At least with OSS, one has a chance of knowing where the
> biggest pipes are, and if a part *does* fail, one can manufacture
> or obtain an equivalent part which isn't virus-ridden or
> compromised.

> (Perhaps a better analogy would be the computer jungle? :-) )

> [.sigsnip]

> --


 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by S » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


it was a statement



> > open source is what led to the decling of properity in house real time
> > systems, too expensive, was cheaper to buy NT load it on 'puters and buy
> > control software packages to run under NT !!

> Try re-stating the answer in the form of english. Thanks.

> -AJS
> --
> Aaron Sherman

> www.ajs.com/~ajs BF8E 8987 1D58 E01E E0B8  4BB6 B388 2F80 97AE A001
>  "Do you come from a land downunder, where bitters flow and the
>   men chunder?" -Men at Work

 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by tserghi.. » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00




Quote:

> The science of *everything* is the same.    All scientific laws apply
> equally, everywhere.    The science of semiconductors is the same,
> too.   Hitachi can't take advantage of special laws of physics that
> Intel can't.   What varies is the *engineering* - materials, design,
> construction, etc.

I agree with you 100%.  And I am sure you will also agree that unless
you have access to the source code and the documentation of your
operating system, then all the science that you may possess with all
the laws of physics you may wish to employ and any engineering skills
you may have are all for naught.   Dealing with a "black box" in
essence renders you helpless and ineffectual.

The beauty of Linux is that it is an open system and not a black box.
It allows you to use your knowledge and skills to deal with your
computer system in any way you want and be master of your own destiny.

Quote:

> > An engineer can modify and change the
> >performance of a pump regardless of who makes it.

> No they can't.  Many pumps cannot be disassembled without
> damaging them.

In all my years experience with chemical operations, I have not come
across a single centrifugal pump that cannot be taken apart for
repairs and modifications - never.  And I do not see such a pump ever
making it through the front door of any chemical operation that I
have worked and known.  To buy such pump will in effect render the
engineers the operators, the mechanics and in fact the entire
operation helpless and ineffectual.  That is why I believe that the
Open Source model will succeed - in fact it is already succeeding as
we go on debating this.

Computer systems, as dynamic systems (dynamic, meaning systems that
can change from minute to minute and from day to day and as a result
need attention and maintenance) are not that much different than
Chemical plant systems.  And in a dynamic environment black boxes are
a hindrance and are avoided whenever possible.  And I submit to you
that a black box operating system will not much survive in the face
of an open source alternative.

Quote:

> Anyway someone who changes a pump is not required to make
> his changes public.

True.  But a lot of it becomes public through publications and
symbosiums - not to mention word of mouth through the industry.

Quote:

>Moreover he can patent hhis changes and
> make them proprietary.  So the analogy with open source doesn't
> work.

True.  But as stated earlier black boxes in the chemical industry
are avoided whenever possible.

In the case of Linux, patents are not possible, it cannot be sold
and it cannot be patented otherwise it is not Linux.

Quote:

> ---peter

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.
 
 
 

Process Engineering And Operating Systems

Post by S » Sun, 31 Dec 1899 09:00:00


it's too bad the rest of the world will never ever adopt linux or anything
close to it




> > The science of *everything* is the same.    All scientific laws apply
> > equally, everywhere.    The science of semiconductors is the same,
> > too.   Hitachi can't take advantage of special laws of physics that
> > Intel can't.   What varies is the *engineering* - materials, design,
> > construction, etc.

> I agree with you 100%.  And I am sure you will also agree that unless
> you have access to the source code and the documentation of your
> operating system, then all the science that you may possess with all
> the laws of physics you may wish to employ and any engineering skills
> you may have are all for naught.   Dealing with a "black box" in
> essence renders you helpless and ineffectual.

> The beauty of Linux is that it is an open system and not a black box.
> It allows you to use your knowledge and skills to deal with your
> computer system in any way you want and be master of your own destiny.

> > > An engineer can modify and change the
> > >performance of a pump regardless of who makes it.

> > No they can't.  Many pumps cannot be disassembled without
> > damaging them.

> In all my years experience with chemical operations, I have not come
> across a single centrifugal pump that cannot be taken apart for
> repairs and modifications - never.  And I do not see such a pump ever
> making it through the front door of any chemical operation that I
> have worked and known.  To buy such pump will in effect render the
> engineers the operators, the mechanics and in fact the entire
> operation helpless and ineffectual.  That is why I believe that the
> Open Source model will succeed - in fact it is already succeeding as
> we go on debating this.

> Computer systems, as dynamic systems (dynamic, meaning systems that
> can change from minute to minute and from day to day and as a result
> need attention and maintenance) are not that much different than
> Chemical plant systems.  And in a dynamic environment black boxes are
> a hindrance and are avoided whenever possible.  And I submit to you
> that a black box operating system will not much survive in the face
> of an open source alternative.

> > Anyway someone who changes a pump is not required to make
> > his changes public.

> True.  But a lot of it becomes public through publications and
> symbosiums - not to mention word of mouth through the industry.

> >Moreover he can patent hhis changes and
> > make them proprietary.  So the analogy with open source doesn't
> > work.

> True.  But as stated earlier black boxes in the chemical industry
> are avoided whenever possible.

> In the case of Linux, patents are not possible, it cannot be sold
> and it cannot be patented otherwise it is not Linux.

> > ---peter

> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> Before you buy.

 
 
 

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