A distribution control system migration, also known as DCS, is a radical process to a process plant. Plant managers are therefore looking for a well-planned approach to perform the DCS migration without any flaws, while maximizing efficiency, control and safety.
Some important factors that are necessary for a smooth DCS migration process will be discussed.
- One solution, a reliable migration solution is necessary to migrate the loops. One solid solution for all critical loop is the best way to improve efficiency and reliability.
- Efficiency, plant managers are looking for a quick and easy process. In the case of DCS migration time is money (literally). In order to save time, a quick and well-structured process is needed. Also, a limited amount of preparation time can save on costs. In order to have a well-planned DCS migration plan there should be a balance between the preparation time and a quick process; too much preparation is expensive and migrating too quick is risky. Another requirement for an efficient DCS migration is to prevent the occurrence of downtime. This is unnecessary and results in high costs.
- Safety, a safe migration and the well-being of the on-site employees are top priority to the plant managers. Again, planning is the best way of a safe migration. Mechanical blockage of the valves for instance, can be a dangerous method to use as a migration method. An investment in equipment to simplify the migration process is not a bad idea. The continuous development in the field of automation makes DCS migrations easier, safer, less time consuming and cheaper. A costly investment in the short run can turn into a very profitable choice on the long run.
- Clear and structured process, the migration process should be clear and well-structured. This minimizes the risk of human errors. A software guided process can guide the technician through the process while increasing safety and efficiency and eliminating risks. There are tools that provide software guidance to the on-site engineers during the migration. Check the link below for various DCS migration/ upgrade approaches.
These are just a couple of very important factors you need to be well-aware of when planning an online DCS migration.