The debate over the virtues of DCS vs. PLC has been ongoing since these two architectures came into existence 40 years ago. For certain industries, a distributed control system (DCS) provides substantially more value as the basis for automating the plant than a programmable logic controller (PLC)-based system. As functionality differences narrow and price points align, the debate over these virtues is getting more intense and the arguments for and against each system are getting more and more murky. This white paper discusses the “Top Ten” issues to consider when evaluating a DCS vs. building your own “DIY” distributed control system using a PLC-based architecture.
In the decade before Stuxnet attacked process control systems in Iran, there were just five known supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) vulnerabilities for all control systems in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). In 2011, the year after Stuxnet, that vulnerability count jumped to more than 215. Last year, it reached 248 (Figure 1). No surprise then that Chemical makers are increasingly focusing on protecting their process control systems from intrusion both from the inside and outside. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Secure plan(t), we take a look at:
How to better protect your control system - “Defense in depth” is crucial, and new and maturing technologies may help
Cyber Security Challenges – learn about countermeasures to protect control systems
Case Study: A vulnerability assessment reveals critical gaps in the security of a natural gas pipeline
How to mitigate security risks in legacy process control systems - several steps can help protect against threats and extend the life of legacy equipment
Learn how to secure your process control systems – and your plant. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Special Report: Secure plan(t) now.
Perhaps the most critical challenge facing the automation industry is that of aging control systems at or near the end of their product lifecycles. A legacy control system can suffer from technical, functional or supply obsolescence. With a well-planned and executed control system migration, however, plants can improve availability and reliability, while increasing production flexibility. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Making the Most of Migration, we take a look at: Obsolescence planning – addressing concerns and planning for a successful evolution strategy; Restoration Possibilities – how new tools and innovative methods support and breath new life into aging distributed control systems; DCS Migration; More!
Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Special Report: Making the Most of Migration now!
For chemical processors, changing process conditions demand quick responses in order to keep processing effective and to keep processes running properly. For processes undergoing such changes, accurate and timely measurements, such as vibration monitoring, redundant tank level measurement and steam header temperature profiling can be difficult to collect. In well-established plants it’s both very expensive and time consuming to get measurement points online using conventional wired instrumentation. Many processors are now turning to wireless devices that can supply data from numerous points that never could have been justified otherwise. In this Chemical Processing Wireless eHandbook we take a look at wireless technology solution successes:
** How installing a wireless pH analyzer for crucial insights on seal integrity provided Fuji Film with a low-cost monitoring solution for protecting a pricey pump ** How one of the world’s largest producers of chlorine, caustic soda and vinyl chloride embraced wireless technology and achieved operating economies and more efficient control of its chemical processes ** More!
Patching process control system software to remove security vulnerabilities is fraught with risk. System issues can be the result of installing a patch, but a system is also vulnerable without patching. Fortunately, virtual patching can improve the process and raise the system’s security at the same time.
As companies and industries increasingly rely on technology, security risks become greater. With growing numbers of Windows machines and increased scarcity of skilled technical resources, a “perfect storm” of cyber threats in production facilities is looming.
While upgrading process control systems is vital to maintaining a plant’s performance, the migration process often brings confusion and frustration for customers. See how Honeywell keeps control systems running at the best possible performance throughout the migration process and into the future.
With an aging installed legacy Distributed Control System (DCS), the PRALCA petrochemical plant needed advanced control strategies to improve plant efficiency. Find out how a comprehensive migration solution extended the life of plant equipment and provided a cost-effective path forward to the latest automation technology.
FMC Minera del Altiplano, a leader in the mining of lithium ores and brines, wanted to automate its production processes but lacked sufficient capacity to keep pace with continuous operational improvements. See how FMC expanded processing capacity while minimizing risks to critical plant information.
"Migration could be the biggest single issue facing automation end-users today," stresses a report from the ARC Advisory Group. ARC estimates that installed automation systems worth about $65 billion are reaching the end of their useful lives. Distributed control systems (DCSs) more than 20 years old will need replacement within the next ten years. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Migration we cover:
Updating process control systems – understanding the challenges and missteps to avoid
Case Study: FMC Corporation – we look at the production processes, operational challenges and automated solutions this diversified global chemical company chose when migrating their DCS
Case Study: PRALCA – control systems migration for a petrochemicals facility
The business case for control systems migration - strategies for protecting investments, improving business results and reducing risks
When steam traps leak or fail, energy is lost and there could also be steam equipment failure or damage and potential safety hazards. A major food manufacturer improved their steam trap program and enhanced their ongoing leak repair campaign with remote steam trap monitoring using Smart Wireless Solutions from Emerson.
One of the challenges that companies have faced in implementation of continuous monitoring systems is the lack of infrastructure for sensing and data collection. The devices to be monitored are widely dispersed throughout plants with large areas, have no existing power or signal transmitting wire infrastructure, so the capital costs associated with the power and communication services have historically prohibited continuous monitoring. This white paper will unearth best practices to prevent product loss, reduce emissions and ensure ROI.
Whether we are headed toward an economic rebound or continuing with the current economic downturn, specialty chemicals manufacturers should take steps now in order to get or keep a competitive edge. But what steps should specialty chemicals manufacturers take? This Special Report will discuss actionable strategies including: Reducing costs while maintaining quality and compliance; Committing not just to "lean manufacturing" but to "lean supply chain" strategies; Implementing "agile manufacturing" practices.
The performance of wireless networks can change over time due to increased performance demands, changes in the radio frequency (RF) environment and changes in the physical environment. This article will explore the use of a wireless diagnostic OLE for Process Control (OPC) server technology to embed diagnostic information in human machine interfaces (HMIs), thus optimizing industrial wireless network performance.
Jim Ralston, Wireless Sales Engineer, ProSoft Technology
The WirelessHART standard provides a robust wireless protocol for the full range of process measurement, control and asset management applications. Based on the proven and familiar HART protocol, it enables users to quickly and easily gain the benefits of wireless technology while maintaining compatibility with existing devices, tools and systems.
Plants across the world are increasingly having to make thedecision to implement wireless technology in their industrial facilities. The right decision enables an infrastructure that provides significant benefits from wire savings to improved operations. Wireless is a complex enabling technology that requires many considerations before broad deployment in an industrial facility.