Switching from a legacy control system to a modern one requires careful planning and execution, especially if done as a hot cutover–the switch happening while the process continues to run.
One element that must be carefully planned should be the training of the operators on the new system. By including dynamic simulation development for testing and operator training, the skills required to operate the process can be built before the new control system is completely in operation.
In this quick 1:39 YouTube video, Control System Modernization with Mimic Simulation Software from Emerson, it shows a plant with a greater than 30-year-old control system in need of an upgrade. For this plant, the engineers wanted two weeks of downtime for the cutover, but operations wanted less to meet their production goals.
A key concern was how the operators would accept a new system. To address this concern, the project team with Emerson Lifecycle Services simulation experts included Mimic simulation software with the new control system to test all of the control logic and system configuration before commissioning the system. The operators would train on this same control system and dynamic simulation of the running process.
Given this advanced testing and training gave the engineering team and operations staff more confidence going into the commissioning phase of the project.
This story had a happy ending with the project being completed ahead of schedule—not always a common occurrence among these control system modernization projects. The production plan to meet quality standards was achieved sooner than expected. Also, beyond just having a role in the project, the dynamic simulation is available to train future operators and allow engineers to test operational improvements.
You can connect and interact with these modernization, simulation and lifecycle services experts in the Improve & Modernize group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community. Or, engage with the experts face-to-face at the Oct 1-5 Emerson Exchange conference in San Antonio, Texas.