Delivering Value to the Process Industries

A Parable from History: Ignoring the Oncoming Storm

It’s September 6, 1900, a beautiful sunny day on the central Texas coast: partly cloudy, typical winds, and everyone carrying on with their lives just as they did every day.  They had no idea 48 hours later the city that had been Texas’ commercial hub would lie in ruins.  All homes and buildings, except those […]

The Process Industry’s Response to Natural Disasters

But let’s be clear about how process safety professionals assess the risks associated with these chemical processes: it’s based on probabilities; a reasonable and fundamentally sound probability of something to happen or fail. Safety Integrity Level (SIL) calculations…

The Root Cause of the Lack Soft-Skills in Graduates

There is a big disconnect in what employers are looking for in job candidates and what skills recent STEM college graduates possess.  We have talked in other blogs about graduate’s lack of practical skills and basic know-how. But, there are skills that are lacking as well, employers refer to them as “soft skills.” What are […]

Why Is There A Decline of Process Control in the HPI?

Process Engineer in Control Room

The mindset of management toward process control has also contributed to the demise of process control. Is management’s view that process control is just a few buttons to click to maintain the process, maintain the system; and, there is no need for experienced process engineers? It’s a plug-n-play item, right?

U.S. Worker Productivity on Steady Decline

Economic results are in for last quarter and once again we see the U. S. worker productivity on steady decline.  This marks a full year of decreased rates and an ongoing slump in productivity, the longest one we’ve seen since 1979.  Since the supposed end of the recession, 7 years ago, the US has only […]

Basic Mechanical Skills Needed Are Being Lost

We talk about the labor shortage and the skills gap in the engineering field often in our blog.  It’s a real problem that affects all areas of the HPI industry, not only engineering, and other industries.  It’s not just that the workers are entering retirement age or that students are choosing other fields; it starts […]

New Training Courses: Process Control, Operational Excellence, Process Design and Distillation Control

In line with S&D’s philosophy that more and better trained engineers are needed in the hydrocarbon processing industry, S&D Consulting is now offering training courses in the following subject areas: Practical Process Control Obtaining and Maintaining Operating Excellence in the Process Industry Dynamic Analysis: The Forgotten Side of Process Design Distillation Control Find more information […]

Felony Convictions for Corporate Managers Involved in Safety & Environmental Investigations

To send a very clear message to employers who fail to provide safe workplaces, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are teaming up to investigate and prosecute company managers and supervisors responsible for Health, Safety and […]

Michael Taube, President of S&D Consulting, Presents at IRPC 2016 in Milan

Michael Taube, President of S&D Consulting, Presenting at the International Refining & Petrochemical Conference (IRPC 2016) in Milan, Italy TOPIC: Achieving Robust Design & Real-Time Plant Performance with Dynamic Process Analysis SYNOPSIS:   Prior to the use of digital computers and process simulation programs, plant design projects required dozens of engineers performing hundreds of manual calculations. […]

The Road Most Traveled: Neglecting Human Knowledge and Expertise

The first blog in this series, No Circumventing the Facts: It Takes Knowledge, Experience and Time, introduced the premise that ten inexperienced personnel cannot produce the same result as an experienced engineer in one tenth the time, regardless of the apparent cost-saving and how desperately corporate management desires it. The second blog, Dismissing the Reality: It Takes […]