How to upgrade control systems the right way, Part 3

In part three of this three-part article, we explore factors to consider when evaluating suppliers.

By Larry O’Brien and Dick Hill, ARC Advisory Group

ARC recommends you treat a major control system upgrade or migration project as you would any strategic business opportunity. By following the process outlined in this three-part series, you will greatly enhance your project’s successful outcome. (read Part 1 and Part 2)

Once your decision criteria are in place, the rationale for evaluating the supplier approaches should be to look at anticipated performance and reliability. Standard products are best, and this is what many migration products have become. They are designed for purpose, tested and warranted, and can be expected to have the right performance and reliability characteristics. You should be cautious of migration solutions that do not use a standard, productized approach.

The same holds true for the tools used by suppliers to automate procedures such as graphics conversion and control-strategy conversion. Many suppliers treat these as standard products within their own organizations. Several suppliers are just developing these tools, which, in some cases, have not yet reached a level of functional reliability or even full functionality. Migration solutions that depend on third-party components to satisfy intermediate needs, but are not tested and warranted as standard products, would not be expected to have the characteristics of standard products.

To learn more, read "Optimize Process Control System Upgrades" from Chemical Processing.

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