An ASM® solutions team was informally established in 1992 as an outgrowth of an effort to define improvements to current DCS alarm system technologies. Realizing that the alarm system was but a part of the larger issue of the management of unexpected process upsets, four companies (Amoco, Chevron, Exxon and Shell) teamed with Honeywell to develop a problem statement and a vision for the solution.
1994 ASM Consortium Formation
In 1994, the ASM Joint R&D Consortium was formally established with the original five companies plus four others (BP, Mobil, NOVA Chemicals, and Texaco). Furthermore, the ASM Consortium applied for and won matching funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Advanced Technology Program for a 3.5-year, $16.6MM technology development effort to develop collaborative decision support technologies.
For additional public information and available reports on the NIST Program click here.
The NIST program was focused on the development of a proof of concept system called AEGIS (Abnormal Event Guidance and Information System) that was incrementally developed in four program phases. More than two dozen collateral studies have been conducted to support the development of AEGIS and related technologies. The program successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the collaborative decision support technologies in the lab test environment, with a high fidelity simulation model of an industrial manufacturing plant.
The NIST program provided a critical mass of funding and focused effort for the development of a significant new technology-based solution concept. In 1998, the Consortium decided to embark on a three-year plan (1999-2001), using internal member funds, to prove the feasibility of the collaborative decision support technologies in the industrial plant environment. Under this new program plan, the ASM Consortium focused on abnormality diagnosis and early warning, and assessing and learning from experiences.
In 2001, the ASM Consortium assessed the progress and accomplishments of the past seven years of research. The ASM Consortium had developed a number of related approaches, technologies, and learnings, some of which were candidates for further development. Consequently, the ASM Consortium members decided to renew their commitment to continue their collaboration and the pursuit of "best practice" solutions to the ASM problem broadly defined. Under the new three-year program (2002-2004), the ASM Consortium emphasis was on closing the gaps in achieving effective operations practices with increased emphasis on development of products and services to support these practices. Honeywell committed part of its product development docket to Consortium control to further this objective.
Following on from, (and continuing), the solution development focus of the previous three-year program, the Consortium saw the need to drive for successful deployment of ASM solutions, and ASM knowledge in general. Deployment is thus a major thrust of the 2005-8 program, and this also involves increased communication with Operations organizations of User Members. Successful deployment of ASM knowledge in all its forms is the ultimate objective of the ASM Consortium; it is only by successful deployment that all members can obtain a good return on their investments of money, effort and intellectual property.