InTech estimates more than 10 million DCS input/output (I/O) points will need to put updated over the next decade. There is a lot of work to be done in the industrial world to migrate these points to an updated and optimized system. Before an outdated system causes major harm, a plan for migration should be put in place.
There are 10 areas Intech recommends you consider in deciding whether or not it is time to migrate, most of which involve how your current DCS is affecting your business. If your performance, security or ability to interconnect with third-party systems is compromised, it is time to consider migration. Perhaps even more important are future goals and milestones for the business. A system that holds the plant back from achieving its goals is a system in serious need of migration.
Finding the right partner is the next step in migrating DCS systems and may be one of the most important. Obviously experience and competency are key. What people sometimes don’t consider are the processes and culture of the partner they choose. The experience needs to come with the flexibility and pace that fits well with your business. At Synergy, we pride ourselves with being open and welcoming to our clients, often inviting them to our offices for meetings. We are equally flexible and can fit into just about any schedule a client request. Our vendor independent approach puts the control in client hands when it comes to what brands they want.
The truth is, you want to like the people who provide you with a DCS system because building an ongoing relationship with them will benefit both of you. Trust is especially key if you want to have a service contract with the partner in order to have future support for upgrades and repairs.
The final and most obvious consideration is cost. InTech mentions costs and resulting savings. This can be tricky as the old adage is that you get what you pay for. A balance must be maintained between cost and quality, and that balance is usually found in savings. Migration, and updating any area of a plant in general, often means there may have to be some downtime. Operators may have to be trained and, of course, there is the initial cost of the system. No matter how cheap a system is, these prices will always exist and they are offset by savings. The return on investment is key. The more optimized a system is, the fast you will receive a return and savings.
Many of Synergy’s solutions take less than a year to earn back in savings the money spent on the service. From that moment on, the increased efficiency translates into savings for the business. If you are looking to migrate your DCS or any other area of your plant, give us a call. We’d love to discuss your business goals and help you achieve them.