Regardless of your plant’s age, your control system is now one of its most critical components.
You cannot operate effectively in the 21st century without a modern control system designed for the way your plant works now—and for the way it will work in the future. Upgrading your control system is much more than a “rip and replace” exercise.
Selecting a Migration Partner
Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade your control system, the first step is to pick a migration partner and begin the planning and design process. A migration partner could be a DCS manufacturer /OEM, the manufacturer of the system being upgraded, an architecture and engineering (A&E) firm, or system integrator /automation partner. Each of these options has positive and negative points.
How to Design a 21st-Century Control System
Once you have your automation partner in place, have set up the business and engineering practices that allow you to work together and know how your project must be presented in order to get approved, it is time to get down to the difficult part. Remember, we’re designing for the 21st Century.
You have to reconfirm that the existing process control diagrams (e.g., P&IDs, PFDs, loop sheets) are still representative of the actual processes and systems, if they ever were, and that they have enough detail to design from.
Though it’s tempting, a simple “rip and replace” is not going to do anything to provide flexibility and additional business value. Doing a “rip and replace” may, in fact, reduce the flexibility you will need over the new lifecycle of the control system.
You Need a Comprehensive Study of the Challenge, a Phased Approach to Execution and Ongoing Support
Every day we talk to manufacturers who are struggling with questions about their DCS migration. The risks involved. The business case. How to get started. We understand your concerns and what’s at stake for your organization — and your career.
Because we specialize in control system migration, we’ve developed a four-part series detailing the optimum process for upgrading your control system; in this third paper, we will focus on designing a 21st-century control system and the importance of selecting the right migration partner to carry out your plan.
We’re also hosting a DCS Migration webinar on January 29. In just 90 minutes, you’ll tap into more than 87 years of experience. These are real engineers, and they’ll discuss real migration and real results. There’s no hidden sales agenda. We just want to help you avoid the migration mistakes others have already made.