They also had limited windows in which to complete the work, with just two opportunities to do the upgrades.
The first was during a planned shutdown period – normally two or three weeks in the summer period, and the second was through concurrent replacement of running components and infrastructure elements prior to the shutdown.
Overall, the main objectives were to replace system components to overcome spurious trips and major obsolescence issues, while having spares available until at least 2020, provide the facility for future remote operation of Dunbar from North Alwyn, implement a cost-effective upgrade with minimal risk to production and, of vital importance, complete the upgrade with no risk to the safety of the platform, personnel or the environment.
Satisfaction of this final objective was considered a great success in the overall project, with the engineers from Rockwell Automation being nominated for a Health & Safety award.
The strategy for the upgrade comprised a number of individual, but not mutually exclusive steps. The PCS System was upgraded prior to the shutdown, being installed in tandem with the existing system to maintain production capacity.
The F&G system was also upgraded prior to the shutdown and the ESD solution was upgraded during the shutdown in parallel with the other new systems being bought on line.
Rockwell Automation was assigned as EPC contractor with responsibilities for placing orders with all equipment vendors, completion of all detailed engineering, organising control and shipment of all materials to site, supervision of vendor site installation and commissioning activities and management of the sub-contractors.