What we can see as a future trend is more of the ‘pump up’ types of functions. As long as a process is going well, there is no need for information about it. But when something starts to go wrong, an early warning should show up with all information relevant for diagnosing the problem. There may also be a need for more advanced types of graphics. If you are out in the plant you see everything as three-dimensional (3-D), but on the display everything is two-dimensional (2-D). To make it easier to see where something is situated, such as sensors, it may be good to have 3-D displays—for example, an image that zooms in on a sensor when a fault is detected. Another future trend will be the display of new types of data and information than before. To date, the majority of information has only been available on a ‘standalone’ basis. Trends of change can be observed from separate images. These can be filtered to reveal the core of important data. This allows particular segments of data to be compared.
In the future it will be possible to produce different types of key performance indicators (KPIs) for different parts of the process. It will also be possible to follow these step-by-step to understand the process and the symptoms of any faults that build up over time. Operators will be able to construct different types of process models and then to fine-tune these online using new process data, after verification of the quality of this collected data.