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.
Special Report: Making the Most of Migration
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!
OPC: The Ins and Outs to What it’s About, The Every Man's Guide to OPC
The Every Man’s Guide to OPC is an easy-to-read overview of the most popular industrial open connectivity standard - OPC. This paper introduces the main idea behind OPC, shows why OPC is different from conventional (often proprietary) communication protocols, and explains how OPC helps overcome the limitations of such native protocols. Next, the paper explains what the building blocks of OPC are (OPC Clients and OPC Servers) and how they work together to make data-sharing possible.
This guide to OPC helps readers of all technical levels quickly grasp what OPC is and how they can use it.
Building Productivity Automating Time and Attendance in Manufacturing
Manufacturing organizations face a critical balancing act – achieving the highest levels of efficiency, while ensuring that they are not over or under supplying the marketplace.
This need to be flexible and efficient requires exceptional visibility into all of the factors that influence productivity and output. This white paper will look at the challenges manufacturing organizations face and how automation of key workforce management processes helps manufacturers not only improve efficiency, but also better manage labor spend, reduce compliance risk and improve productivity.
Whitepaper: On-Line Instrumentation Helps Lower DAF System Costs
Many industrial plants use dissolved air flotation to remove fats, oils and grease, and suspended solids from wastewater. Chemical additions are often kept higher than necessary to account for variations in influent water quality that are characteristic of industrial facilities. Continuous monitor
Integrating Process Weighing Data
Efficient transfer of weighing process data to higher level PLC, MES or ERP systems makes manufacturing processes more efficient and more transparent. But identifying and implementing the most effective system for data transfer and integration can be challenging.
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!
No More Risky Business With Virtual Patching
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.
No More Tears for Control System Migration
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.
PRALCA’s Path to Modernization
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.
Expanding Production at FMC Lithium
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.
Chemical Processing Special Report: Migration
"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
Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook: Monitoring Flow
The purpose of installing a flowmeter system is to accurately measure flow in a reliable manner. Issues related to physical properties, process parameters, electronic features and interconnections are often given much consideration. Relatively little emphasis, however, is given as to how well the flowmeter will perform its intended purpose. Adding to the confusion are the differences in how performance is expressed and the incomplete nature of the available information. Nevertheless, the quality of flow measurement should be a concern. This Chemical Processing eHandbook takes a look at technologies and solutions affecting flow including:
* Coriolis meters - steps you can take optimize performance when faced with entrained gas
* Magmeters -- why you should consider using them
* How to achieve effective flow control with centrifugal pumps
This practical guide and checklist ties the unique operations of chemical manufacturers to specific ERP functionality and architecture. Topics include:
Variability and Quality
Product Accountability and Costing
Don't settle for a "one size fits all" ERP solution. With the "right fit" ERP solution, you will be able to streamline operations, reduce costs and scale production, while complying with federal regulations -- all with minimum customization.
You're Agile or You're Dead
Market activity shows that manufacturing in North America and Western Europe won't die soon, but some manufacturers will. The future belongs to the agile, and this white paper is your survival guide. Learn how to implement change, achieve real sustainability and boost profitability for the long run.
The 7 Steps to ICS and SCADA Security
The past two years have been a real wakeup call for the industrial automation industry. For the first time ever it has been the target of sophisticated cyber attacks like Stuxnet, Night Dragon and Duqu.
In addition, an unprecedented number of security vulnerabilities have been exposed in industrial control products and regulatory agencies are demanding compliance to complex and confusing regulations. Cyber security has quickly become a serious issue for professionals in the process and critical infrastructure industries.
If you are a process control engineer, an IT professional in a company with an automation division, or a business manager responsible for safety or security, you may be wondering how your organization can get moving on more robust cyber security practices.
In order to provide you with guidance in this area, Tofino Security and exida Consulting LLC have condensed material from numerous industry standards and best practice documents. They also combined experience in assessing the security of dozens of industrial control systems.