Working in our industry it is impossible to avoid bumping into the HART Communication protocol. Introduced in the mid-1980s by Rosemount as an attempt to find an inexpensive, almost trial way to get more information from smart field instrumentation, it later developed into something that finds its way back even when it seems to have outlived its purpose.
The corporate world we live in today relies on the information highway, an interconnected network system where business transactions are carried out in cyber space. Left undiscovered, a system’s vulnerability can lead to Intellectual Property (IP) loss, financial loss and confidential data exposure. In the Industrial Control System (ICS), hidden vulnerabilities can be exploited through malware, such as viruses and trojans, and can cause similar outcomes including unpredictable operations and expensive downtime, resulting in a loss of production and compromised safety systems.
If you’ve been in controls long enough, it’s happened to you: a project that seemed to be going well suddenly hits a wall that was unforeseen and whose effects threaten to derail it irreversibly. My Waterloo came with a project to automate a press that made abrasive bars for honing pipe welds, compressing sand-like material into rectangular “sticks” that were then baked to produce the final product.
With budget constraints, fear, uncertainty and doubt, DCS migration most likely feels like a nightmare. But we can make it easier. MAVERICK’s Upgrading DCS with No BS can help you sort through the mess and come out on top. Here are four good reasons to attend.
A perfect storm is brewing in the automation world, and it has nothing to do with hardware or software. It’s about resources, which are fast becoming a bottleneck in the industry. Why? Well, there are several factors at play. I’ll address some of the bigger ones:
Is fear of failure haunting your upcoming migration project? Engineers are pretty good with band-aids and bailing wire, so absolute failure is rare. But in process control, pitfalls like exceeding budget, operations rejection, and maintenance headaches could constitute failure. In migration projects, most of these pitfalls originate not from incompetence but from missed opportunities.
Most people on the hunt for a new DCS system have never been through a migration before. The industry average life of a DCS is about 17 years, so it’s not something that happens every day. A DCS migration is a substantial investment that should be carefully weighed and fully vetted before making a final decision, so consider these important factors before you migrate.
In the past 10 years alone, there have been some big changes in the MES space. Not just changing business requirements or changing manufacturing work. I’m talking about changes that come from new technology and new architectures and solutions presented by the various MES vendors. The good news is, most of these changes are really pretty good — and a lot of the new technology is excellent and well worth taking a close look at.