Your.control.system.is.the.nervous.system.of.your.plant..It.communicates.every.decision.to.the. control.units.in.the.field..It’s.the.reason.operators.know.the.state.of.the.plant.and.the.process.. Like.the.body’s.nervous.system,.a.plant’s.control.system.is.complex,.particularly.if.it.has.grown. over.the.years.and.has.changed.significantly.from.its.original.design.

In.this.second.of.four.white.papers,.we’ll.show.you.how.to.minimize.the.risk.factors.in.upgrading. your.control.system.to.meet.the.requirements.of.the.new.century.

Many.plants.in.North.America.and.elsewhere.were.built.in.the.past.century..For.example,.the. ExxonMobil.plant.in.Joliet,.Illinois,.is.currently.the.youngest.oil.refinery.in.the.United.States.—.and. it.was.built.in.the.early.1980s..You.may.work.in.a.plant.that.is.well.past.its.original.life.expectancy,. but.you.have.somehow.kept.it.working.all.these.years.

Some.process.plants.have.done.partial.DCS.upgrades,.but.others.—.maybe.even.yours.—.are.still. operating.with.large.parts.of.the.original.control.system.still.in.operation..You.may.have.patched. it,.upgraded.it.and.coddled.it.along,.but.it.may.be.well.past.its.prime.

Worse.yet,.your.control.system.wasn’t.designed.for.the.plant.you.have.today.—.it.was.created. specifically.for.the.plant.that.was.built.long.ago..Think.of.all.the.changes.that.have.been.made. in.that.time,.all.the.improvements.in.quality,.throughput.and.enterprise.integration.you’ve. made.—.or.would.like.to.make.—.if.only.the.control.system.would.let.you.

Do.you.have.the.ability.to.make.rapid.changes.in.product.or.product.mix?.Do.you.have.adequate. physical.security?.Sufficient.cyber.security.for.the.control.system?.How.well.does.your.safety. instrumented.system.work.with.the.basic.process.control.system?.Is.your.control.room.an. operator-friendly.workplace?.Do.you.have.enough.I/O.to.add.new.sensors.and.controllers.for.. the.future?

How.does.the.DCS’.HMI.handle.alarm.management.issues?.Do.you.have.a.history.of.near-miss. accidents.because.the.alarm.management.system.doesn’t.work.well.in.crisis.situations?

Do.you.have.the.ability.to.add.an.historian.and.an.advanced.process.control.package.to.your. existing.DCS.without.much.blood,.sweat,.tears.and.cursing?

Do.you.have.adequate.spare.parts.on.hand.for.your.control.system?.Are.spare.parts.even. available.anymore?.For.how.much.longer.will.the.OEM.support.your.DCS.and.how.much.is.that. going.to.cost.you?

If.you.are.faced.with.these.issues,.you.know.you.need.to.do.a.major.upgrade.on.your.control. system..You.also.know.it’s.a.monumental.decision.—.one.an.engineering.team.makes.only.once.or. twice.in.their.entire.careers..A.major.mistake.on.a.DCS.upgrade.is.surely.a.career-limiting.move.

The.easy.option.is.to.rely.on.whichever.OEM.supplied.the.original.control.system,.or.did.the.most. recent.upgrade..It’s.the.easiest.option.—.but.is.it.the.right.one?.To.determine.the.best.choice.for. your.plant,.you.will.need.to.do.some.serious.pre-planning. MAVERICK Technologies (2012) Avoid the Pitfalls of DCS Migration with Front-End Loading

MAVERICK Technologies (2012) Avoid the Pitfalls of DCS Migration with Front-End Loading
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