Major Chemical Manufacturer Upgrades Obsolete DCS on Five Separate Operating Units

Major Chemical Manufacturer Upgrades Obsolete DCS on Five Separate Operating Units

Five chemical units were utilizing Honeywell TDC 2000/PMX, a 1980s-vintage legacy control system. Because this system was soon to be no longer supported by the vendor, the owner was faced with a massive project to upgrade the systems to Honeywell Experion PKSTM. The owner chose MAVERICK Technologies as its migration partner for this successful, multi-year project.

Main Objective

The customer’s plants were operated with a DCS soon to be no longer supported by the vendor. Without sufficient internal resources to handle a migration project of this magnitude, management decided to partner with MAVERICK to staff the project and develop efficient migration tools in order to complete the DCS migration in a timely manner with minimal impact on production.

Customer Results

The five-year project was completed on schedule and under budget. The customer was extremely satisfied with MAVERICK’s dedication to the project, quality of work, and professionalism. MAVERICK provided over 40 engineer-years of service for the project with zero safety incidents. The customer has since continued to utilize MAVERICK engineers for various other DCS migrations, new DCS implementations, and advanced process control (APC) support.

Application Description

  • MAVERICK assisted with the migration of the control systems for five complex chemical units operated from four control rooms. The existing control system at these five units was Honeywell TDC2000 with a PMX computer control system. This was replaced with Honeywell Experion.
  • MAVERICK developed toolkits to automate a large portion of the migration. The old system’s configuration was extracted from text files. Visual Basic (VB) macros were then used to populate an “as-is” database in Microsoft® AccessTM. Once the data was in the database, queries and reports were used to catalog all of the I/O and applications, identify interdependencies, and document the existing system for all developers to access. At this point, a series of VB macros converted this database into a similar database for the new DCS, which transformed 80-90% of all configuration parameters into the new database. The new database then served as a tool to pre-configure the new DCS in an easily accessible format. Finally, another set of VB macros created bulk load files for the new DCS that could automatically populate the DCS from the database information.
  • Over 10,000 I/O and 470 advanced supervisory (APC) applications were migrated to the new DCS. Every application was configured, tested, and commissioned through a rigorous quality control procedure. This QC procedure was executed in all three phases: application development, application testing, and application commissioning. Peer reviews and signatures were required in order to pass QC prior to implementation.
  • One of the objectives of the QC procedure was to test the robustness of the advanced applications under different scenarios that could cause an undesired control reaction. This resulted in a very smooth hot cut-over to the new DCS with all advanced applications immediately available for use by the board operators.
  • Specifically, MAVERICK worked around the clock with the customer during the cut-over to the new DCS. The new applications were activated in parallel with the existing applications. One by one, all valves and instruments were migrated, along with the associated applications. This provided a smooth migration with zero impact on the processes.

The MAVERICK Difference

The customer’s post-project evaluation noted that MAVERICK provided unequaled value by taking total ownership of the entire controls migration from conception to final hot cut-over, with zero process interruptions and zero safety incidents, and well under the project budget for contractor migration assistance.

John Hopshire

John Hopshire

John Hopshire, PMP, is currently the oil & gas industry manager for MAVERICK Technologies. In his role, John sets the strategic direction for MAVERICK while working with all oil and gas industry customers. He has worked in the oil and gas, chemicals and engineering services industries for more than 25 years.

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