Wouldn't it be nice if distributed control systems (DCS) could be migrated to new solutions during a nice leisurely shutdown?
It sure would, but this dreamlike scenario almost never happens, so most real-world migrations are rife with complex switchover and integration tasks, harried schedules – not to mention disorganization and stress.
Faced with increasing DCS failures and eBay purchases of replacement parts, Givaudan collaborated with Automated Control Concepts, Inc. (ACC), a Rockwell Automation Solution Partner, to replace their aging DCS and other components at its food flavorings plant in East Hanover, N.J.
As the world’s largest manufacturer of vanilla flavorings and all-natural ingredients, the catch was that they also needed the migration to be done with no downtime or loss of production, so it would have to be completed over just a few weekends.
The decision was made, and over several weekends in 2014 a seamless transition was made to a new PlantPAx DCS.
The Givaudan staff wanted the new control system to work the same as the old one, to maintain existing points and to reuse field wiring and field devices.
The plant's new control system and network consists of four primary process areas with 3,800 I/O points.
These areas include large and small distillation areas, flavor concentration and conical extraction, mix tanks and blend tanks, dedicated vanilla extraction equipment and a roaster/dryer application for vanilla with highly automated sequences.
To serve these applications, the new control system and network included five PlantPAx controllers, HMI software, historian software and a web-based manufacturing business intelligence solution.
The application's Windows-based server environment also uses VMware components.
In addition, several I/O panels were reused by combining existing enclosures with newly fabricated subpanels using Flex I/O modules.
The plant's new displays included three thin clients repurposed from existing workstations, an ACP ThinManager terminal server, another thin client for vanilla processing, and an engineering workstation.
All of these devices are linked via a redundant, multimode fiber-optic network, which includes two main Stratix switches, and a parallel Device Level Ring network for motor control centers (MCC) and solenoid panels.
The migration also included a switch from multicolor to grayscale in the new system's HMI display. Although initially met with some hesitation, when staff were shown that programming in code was no longer necessary and they need only check boxes, they quickly became believers.
The migration was phased in over the available long weekends in a series of five short cutovers consisting of approximately 400-800 I/O in each.
Before each cutover, the Ethernet network was installed and tested, faulty instruments were repaired and replaced and finally operator and technician training was completed.
In the end, Givaudan was treated to an outcome as sweet as the products they produce, a seamless DCS migration completed ahead of schedule.
Find out more about the PlantPAx modern DCS from Rockwell Automation.
Givaudan presented "Seamless DCS migration with no loss of production time," at the Process Solutions User Group (PSUG) in Atlanta, Georgia.
This blog is based off an article from the editors of Control.