Skip to main content

Metso receives patent for automated root cause analysis

Oilfield Technology,

The US Patent office has issued a patent for Automated Determination of Root Cause to Metso Automation USA, Inc. The patent was developed by Metso’s ExperTune team, and is used in their PlantTriage Control Loop Monitoring software.

George Buckbee, general manager, automation, said: “Our clients see the benefits of energy savings, production increases, and quality improvements. With the proper training and methodology, a single engineer can perform like a large team of engineers”. The new tools are available in the current release of Metso ExperTune PlantTriage software.

Root cause analysis tools are advantageous as they:

  • Locate the root cause of routine variation in manufacturing processes.
  • Determine the root cause of quality upsets or alarms, as well as routine variation under normal conditions.
  • Can be used without prior process knowledge from the end user. The cause can be determined without physical description of the process.
  • Prioritise a list of likely root cause, displaying it in an easy to understand graphic.

The new patented method determines the most likely root cause of upsets in a control loop using a ‘big data’ technique, eliminating several costly and time-consuming steps in the problem solving process.

First, it gathers real-time data from hundreds of thousands of controllers. Then, it looks at correlations between controllers, and especially at the effect of time shifting on correlations. Since root causes usually appear as the first in a series of similar events, the software is able to identify the most likely root cause from this combination of correlation and time shift.

Because the new technology does not rely on process models, it is highly adaptable, and can be applied across many various unit operations. This is especially important in complex process plants where interactions are complex, and accurate dynamic process models may not be available.

Results of the automated analysis are displayed in a Process Interaction Map. The Map shows relationships graphically, using bands of colour to highlight the strongest correlations. For oscillatory interactions, the PlantTriage software also includes the Oscillation Details Problem Solver.

Adapted from press release by Emma McAleavey

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):