Control platforms: An industry standard perseveres, in many forms

The Bailey Infi 90 has a long history that is still being written.

09/03/2008


The cover story for the September 2008 issue of Control Engineering is about upgrading older DCS platforms. While researching the story, one name that came up again and again was the Bailey Infi 90 . They seem to be everywhere, and if you are still running one, there are many people who would like to talk to you.

 

First a bit of history: Bailey Controls Co. (nee Bailey Meter Co.) dates back to 1916, and was formed by Ervin G. Bailey to build instrumentation and control apparatus (Bailey Boiler Meter) for boilers and industrial technology of that era. Over the decades its equipment evolved and made the move from mechanical to electromechanical and eventually computer based. In 1989, Bailey Controls merged with Italy’s Elsag Group to form Elsag Bailey Process Automation. The group merged with ABB in 1998.

 

In 1980, Bailey introduced its Network 90 System. In 1988, after making a number of changes, the company rechristened it the Infi 90 System. This name stuck but went through more iterations, including Infi 90 Open System in 1992 and the final “musical” phase with Harmony/Infi 90 System in 1996. By 2004, it was offered along with ABB’s new System 800xA. Infi 90 is the generic name that has survived.

 

The capabilities and reliability of the platform made it hugely popular and many are still in operation today. Many companies out there would like to get to know you if your plant still has one running a process unit.

 

First, ABB still offers replacement hardware and software as the OEM. There are also aftermarket Classic Automation , Rosinante , Process Control Services , and Integrated Control System Services . With a little searching, you will find others as well. Of course eBay has a selection of items in its business and industrial sections as well.

 

Second, there are companies that still build ancillary equipment to interface with the system, such as OPC servers , simulator platforms , loop tuning utilities , historians , and so forth.

 

Third, ABB and other DCS suppliers offer strategies to migrate to a newer system, either incrementally or a large scale change-over. For example:

 

  • ABB is still the OEM for the system and offers original parts. It also offers

  • Emerson offers a phased changeover to DeltaV and PlantWeb.

  • Foxboro (Invensys Process Systems) has hardware to support a changeover to its I/A platform.

  • Honeywell can use Experion to raise performance while retaining original controllers.

  • Siemens offers solutions to replace original consoles to the Simatic PCS 7 platform while maintaining your controllers, I/O, and field wiring.

 

And there are more. Given that, there are many ways you can either extend the useful life of your old system, or make more extensive upgrades that will add new functionality in a more integrated package. Even if you have managed to keep your classic running, there is much new functionality that you can take advantage of if you make the change to a newer platform.

 

—Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
Process & Advanced Control Monthly
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of free eNewsletters .

 



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me