10 steps to a smoother automation system upgrade

08/27/2013


Ancillary systems and space requirements

The new automation system components will be housed in a particular area, usually the control room where the older system resided. The following areas should be examined to ensure that they meet the required specifications of the new system, and the ongoing needs of operations and maintenance:

  • Power requirements, including UPS
  • HVAC requirements
  • Physical footprint, and
  • Control room ergonomics.

The UPS and other power systems must have sufficient capacity to handle the new automation system components. Similarly, the HVAC system must be able to keep the new electronics cool while maintaining a comfortable work environment for operators.

Sufficient overall space must be available to house and mount the new system components, including control hardware and operator workstations. Many older automation systems have custom consoles that can’t be used with the new automation system, or that must be substantially modified.

One area that’s often overlooked when a thorough FEL evaluation isn’t performed is the commissioning plan and its effects on the ancillary systems and space requirements. Many commissioning cutover plans call for simultaneous operation of the old and the new automation systems. This can obviously have profound effects, and careful planning is often required to accommodate the operation of both systems at once. Temporary auxiliary power systems are often necessary, along with transitional mounting spaces. 



Allen , TX, United States, 09/06/13 02:03 PM:

Matt,
Thanks for the great article. I'm also a big fan of FEL activities. Do you have any metrics relating to the cost of FEL as a percentage of the TIC? I suspect that it's in the 3%-5% range (meaning that it's definitely worth the money), but I don't have data to back that up.
Jonas , , 11/10/13 09:55 AM:

You can modernize any plant with new wireless measurements on any system, regardless of how old, because the wireless gateway supports multiple protocols such as Modbus/RTU, Modbus/TCP, EtherNet/IP, and OPC for process variables as well as HART-IP for intelligent device management (IDM) software past of the asset management system such as for calibration trim, configuration/setup, device diagnostics, and internal variables etc.
http://www.eddl.org/DeviceManagement/

Very often the asset health information, the energy consumption readings, and HS&E status etc. do not even go into the basic control system (DCS) or the safety system (SIS), this new data from wireless sensors often go into the asset management system (AMS). This is tons of new data received by deploying sensors everywhere; “pervasive sensing”. These new sensors can easily be added to an existing plant to modernize that plant because not only do you eliminate power wiring and signal wiring for these sensors, many of them have non-intrusive mechanical installation. For example, to monitor the position of the bypass valves or any other control valve, on/off valve, or hand valve, a wireless transmitter simply screws onto the outside. It is non-intrusive. No process penetration. Similarly, there are clamp-on temperature sensors that measure the surface temperature of the pipe. This is good enough in most asset and energy monitoring applications, and is totally non-intrusive. Clamp-on temperature sensors can be used when thermowells are not available. Acoustic transmitters to monitor if a steam trap is passing steam wasting energy, or blocking condensate which could damage equipment or cause insufficient heating, simply straps onto the outside of the pipe, again non-intrusive. It can also strap onto a relief valve to detect release, or another valve to detect leaks. Vibration sensors for wireless vibration transmitters can either be screwed on, stuck on with epoxy, or even a magnet without any process penetration. Pressure transmitters often take the place of mechanical dial gages so again no new process openings required. This makes installation of these additional sensors low cost and low risk.

Most kinds of wireless transmitters are already available: pressure, flow, DP level, valve position, pH, conductivity, on/off contact, radar level, vibration, temperature, multi-temperature, and acoustic as well as level switch and even on/off valve actuation

Plant modernization is a new business opportunity for EPCs. EPCs can go back to all the plants they have built over the past 20-30 years and offer plant-wide modernization by deploying a second layer of automation based on Wireless transmitters for asset monitoring, energy conservation, and improved HS&E beyond the P&ID. A formal process starting from audit, through FEED, detail design, installation, commissioning, and handover is available.

Having said that, if you get a new control system, you can get one with native integration of wireless transmitters, enabling you to access the PV directly from a wireless transmitter without going through Modbus register, EtherNet/IP instance & member, or OPC item data mapping. Getting a system with native support for wireless could be one more reason for migrating.
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.