Webinar: 10 Essentials of a Successful Upgrade or DCS Migration

Webinar: 10 Essentials of a Successful Upgrade or DCS Migration

This guest blog post was written by Charles Toth, a business development manager for MAVERICK Technologies. The post was written in conjunction with an upcoming ISA webinar co-hosted with MAVERICK on DCS migration strategies, set for 6 June at 12pm ET. Click this link to register for the webinar.

 

For many people, what we don’t know or understand can bring about a certain amount of fear, uncertainty and doubt. And, what we do know and understand makes us feel comfortable, so we tend to keep doing the same thing repeatedly. But sticking to the “status quo” isn’t always a good thing.

This is especially true when you must decide whether to upgrade or migrate your existing legacy distributed control system (DCS). You find yourself asking, what is the worst thing that can happen if we keep the old system? It runs, right? Perhaps. But to be realistic you must also ask, how long can we continue to support the existing system? What happens if it fails? Or, is it even compatible with the latest new technology on the market? In other words, you must weigh the facts carefully to see which path forward holds the most risk, and which one has the most potential to yield a favorable outcome – that is, which solution will positively impact the overall productivity, profitability and safety of your manufacturing processes.

 

 

Remaining “status quo” is easy: You know what you are working with in terms of your existing system, and you understand the huge risks involved if nothing changes. So, let’s look at what might give you the most angst if you consider an upgrade, or a migration to a completely new platform.

Risk zone: don’t panic

The potential for enormous risk is during the entire installation process, but particularly during the cutover from the old automation system to the new one. At this stage, production can be affected either for good or bad. The cutover point is where the parts of the larger automation system designated to stay in place are moved to the new platform. These typically include field instrumentation, valves, motor controllers, and so on—with all the supporting networks and wiring. These components interface with the system via input/output (I/O) cards, and every connection must be moved from the old platform to the new one. So, how can we minimize this potential risk? Proper upfront planning is key and should be done well in advance of the cutover process. Let’s see why.

Work zone: FEL planning ahead

A well-planned upgrade or migration project should have a detailed roadmap developed prior to implementation. Without strong upfront planning, the project will be subject to significant changes later, and its outcome could potentially be less than favorable. It is important to involve your process engineers and maintenance group in the front-end loading (FEL) planning efforts. During the FEL process, if you decide to work with an automation solutions provider or an automation system supplier, the cutover steps should be thoroughly outlined and scheduled. If everyone works together, the resulting cutover plan will minimize risk, lower your costs and maximize operational uptime.

Learn the 10 essential elements of a successful upgrade or DCS migration. Don’t miss the free ISA webinar co-hosted with MAVERICK Technologies on 6 June at noon ET.  Click this link to register.

 

The cutover usually signals the end of the project is in sight. By the time a new DCS is delivered to your facility, the following work should be done:

  • Documentation reviews and updates for the facility (with team leader audits)
    • Piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs)
    • Loop sheets
    • Panel drawings
    • Rack room drawings
    • Cable and conduit schedules
  • Field devices and their supporting wiring should be verified
  • Factory acceptance test (FAT)
  • Infrastructure needed to support the new system
  • Site acceptance test (SAT)

More migration considerations

Besides the upfront planning and the actual installation process, there are many other elements you must consider in an upgrade or migration project such as resource availability, funding and buy-in to name a few. It’s risky business to assume you know the best approach unless you have considered best practices and options from all available sources in industry. One of the key points to remember is to identify potential risk areas early in the planning process, especially during the installation process. A systematic analysis should consider things, such as safety, downtime, resource allocation, network traffic levels, data integrity and cyber security while there is still the greatest flexibility to deal with them.

With proper planning and implementation guidelines in place, you can take the fear, uncertainty and doubt out of your upgrade or DCS migration project and stack the odds in your favor with minimal to no risk.

Learn the 10 essential elements of a successful upgrade or DCS migration. Don’t miss the free ISA co-hosted webinar on 6 June at noon ET.  Click this link to register.

 

About the Author
Charles Toth started his seven-year career working as a senior engineer at MAVERICK Technologies, a platform-independent automation solutions provider. He is currently a business development manager for MAVERICK.

 

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Using OPC Technology to Support the Study of Advanced Process Control

Using OPC Technology to Support the Study of Advanced Process Control

This post is an excerpt from the journal ISA Transactions. All ISA Transactions articles are free to ISA members, or can be purchased from Elsevier Press.

 

 

Abstract: OPC, originally the object linking and embedding (OLE) for process control, brings a broad communication opportunity between different kinds of control systems. This paper investigates the use of OPC technology for the study of distributed control systems (DCS) as a cost effective and flexible research tool for the development and testing of advanced process control (APC) techniques in university research centers. Co-simulation environment based on Matlab, LabVIEW and TCP/IP network is presented here. Several implementation issues and OPC based client/server control application have been addressed for TCP/IP network. A nonlinear boiler model is simulated as OPC server and OPC client is used for closed loop model identification, and to design a model predictive controller (MPC). The MPC is able to control the NOx emissions in addition to drum water level and steam pressure.

Free Bonus! To read the full version of this ISA Transactions article, click here.

 

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2006-2018 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

 

How to Detect Defects in Rolling Element Bearings Used in Manufacturing Processes

How to Detect Defects in Rolling Element Bearings Used in Manufacturing Processes

This post is an excerpt from the journal ISA Transactions. All ISA Transactions articles are free to ISA members, or can be purchased from Elsevier Press.

 

 

Abstract: The active health monitoring of rotordynamic systems in the presence of bearing outer race defect is considered in this paper. The shaft is assumed to be supported by conventional mechanical bearings and an active magnetic bearing (AMB) is used in the mid of the shaft location as an exciter to apply electromagnetic force to the system. We investigate a nonlinear bearing-pedestal system model with the outer race defect under the electromagnetic force. The nonlinear differential equations are integrated using the fourth-order Runge–Kutta algorithm. The simulation and experimental results show that the characteristic signal of outer race incipient defect is significantly amplified under the electromagnetic force through the AMBs, which is helpful to improve the diagnosis accuracy of rolling element bearing’s incipient outer race defect. The rolling element bearing is one of the most common components in rotating machinery. The health condition of these bearings directly determines the performance of the rotating machinery. Defects in bearings that may occur during operation or the manufacturing process can cause vibration, noise, and even system failure. It is thus critical to detect the defects in bearings at their initial stage to prevent catastrophic damage or failures to the rotating machine, resulting in plant downtime and reduced efficiencies.  

 Free Bonus! To read the full version of this ISA Transactions article, click here.

 

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2006-2018 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

 

Tuning Strategies and the Fragility of Fractional-Order PID Controllers

Tuning Strategies and the Fragility of Fractional-Order PID Controllers

This post is an excerpt from the journal ISA Transactions. All ISA Transactions articles are free to ISA members, or can be purchased from Elsevier Press.

 

 

Abstract: This paper analyzes the fragility issue of fractional-order proportional-integral-derivative controllers applied to integer first-order plus-dead-time processes. In particular, the effects of the variations of the controller parameters on the achieved control system robustness and performance are investigated. Results show that this kind of controller is more fragile with respect to the standard proportional-integral-derivative controllers and therefore significant attention should be paid by the user in their tuning. A properly designed control system must provide an effective trade-off between performance and robustness. One of the main reasons to investigate the fragility of fractional-orde PID controllers is to enable an engineer or technician to use alternative strategies for tuning the controller.

Free Bonus! To read the full version of this ISA Transactions article, click here.

 

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2006-2018 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Low Cost Test Rig for a Standalone Wind Energy Conversion System

Low Cost Test Rig for a Standalone Wind Energy Conversion System

This post is an excerpt from the journal ISA Transactions. All ISA Transactions articles are free to ISA members, or can be purchased from Elsevier Press.

 

 

Abstract: In this paper, a contribution to the development of low-cost wind turbine (WT) test rig for stator fault diagnosis of wind turbine generator is proposed. The test rig is developed using a 2.5 kW, 1750 RPM DC motor coupled to a 1.5 kW, 1500 RPM self-excited induction generator interfaced with a WT mathematical model in LabVIEW. The performance of the test rig is benchmarked with already proven wind turbine test rigs. In order to detect the stator faults using non-stationary signals in self-excited induction generator, an online fault diagnostic technique of DWT-based multi-resolution analysis is proposed. It has been experimentally proven that for varying wind conditions wavelet decomposition allows good differentiation between faulty and healthy conditions leading to an effective diagnostic procedure for wind turbine condition monitoring.

 Free Bonus! To read the full version of this ISA Transactions article, click here.

 

Enjoy this technical resource article? Join ISA and get free access to all ISA Transactions articles as well as a wealth of other technical content, plus professional networking as well as discounts on technical training, books, conferences, and professional certification.

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2006-2018 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

 

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