Case Study: Novel Approach Enhances Control System Upgrade

Measures to mock-up wiring and limit project scope as well as operational improvements provided significant benefits.

By Ryan M. Iannucci, Eli Lilly and Co.

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The requirements, design documentation and coding standards all were very specific. This specificity resulted in very few surprises with the initial software delivered. The plant automation engineer on the team assessed this software using a process simulator and suggested some changes. Once these were made, the process team examined the software via the simulator. Following this review, the software was formally tested with the process simulator. This served to minimize any surprises during commissioning and qualification.

Hardware. With the scope of the hardware portion of the project effectively limited by the “Just Say No List,” the hardware team verified the landing points of all existing I/O, documenting results in a controlled project I/O database. All I/O for this particular Class I, Division 2 control room was run from the field into a central secured I/O room above the dedicated operator workstation area. The general hardware strategy was to remove the Measurex DCS field termination boards, control modules and computer system, terminate the wires onto generic termination modules and then connect these modules to the new DeltaV DCS termination boards and controllers using multi-pin connectors whenever possible.

Operations elsewhere in the building required the purified water handled by this control room well before the project would be completed; so the team developed a different strategy for the 230 purified-water I/O. New wires were run from the field devices to a prefabricated field panel. This setup allowed electricians to simply swap the wires at each device as soon as the shutdown commenced without having to terminate the wires in the panel.

In an effort to minimize shutdown duration for the remaining I/O points, we built a replica of the I/O room, known as the mock-up room, in an adjacent basement — this level of physical simulation of an I/O room was new to Lilly DCS upgrade projects. The mock-up room (Figure 2) enabled electricians to complete some work in advance of the shutdown (e.g., cutting wires to length, pre-labeling terminations, and fabricating controller and termination board panels) while getting a feel for working conditions during the shutdown. The mock-up room also allowed the hardware team to predict with a great deal of certainty the amount of time needed by electricians during the actual shutdown. This led to a shorter shutdown — the money saved by this more than paid for the cost of creating the mock-up room.

New operator workstations, controllers, servers and two fiber optic networks also were needed. The operator workstations essentially were replaced on a 1:1 basis. We determined the number of new controllers and servers based on past experiences with DeltaV at other similar facilities.

Operator training. We used two primary methods to get operators up-to-speed on the new DCS. The first involved a short computer-based training course developed in house to cover the basics of the new control system (navigation, alarming, graphics, logging in, etc.). Operators completed this training in advance of the shutdown. Once the shutdown started and removal of the old control system began, operators attended roughly 40 hours of training courses that used a process simulator that exactly replicated both the hardware and software of the production DeltaV DCS. The latter courses comprised an initial walkthrough of the new software followed by simulation of production batches using manufacturing tickets and SOP. These simulations included non-routine events, to give operators experience in this type of event handling.

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