Every component of your control system – from controllers, I/O cards and network equipment to computers and software – has an expectant lifecycle. If any component of the control system is at or near its end-of-life phase, the potential risk for production shut-down is significantly increased. Therefore, it is critical to know the age of all components of your control system, whether your system hardware and software are still supported by the manufacturer and the availability of spare parts so that you can avoid costly unplanned downtime.
Recognize the red flags.
Are you experiencing any of the following?
Are support personnel constantly tied up in maintenance issues?
Do you experience unexpected and frequent downtime?
Have your operations and maintenance costs increased?
Have any of your control components failed?
Have you experienced a decrease in vendor support? Are your components obsolete?
Do you have difficulty locating and purchasing spares or replacements?
Are you having to search for parts on the internet versus buying directly from the manufacturer?
Have you had difficulty mixing new technology with your components?
Is the refresh/update rate of your HMI getting slower?
Are you still using a serial platform for data communications?
Do your operators have difficulty finding information within the HMI?
If you checked any of these boxes, it might be time to upgrade.
Realize the benefits.
The latest component technology provides a vast array of benefits that ultimately increase your bottom line. What can you expect to see with a fully-upgraded control system?
Today’s control systems are able to process, communicate, distribute and display information much faster than yesterday’s systems, enabling operators to access data more easily and respond as needed. The latest software can even optimize processes that increase plant operation productivity and efficiency.
Automated processes ensure your system can deliver consistent performance when you need it, alleviating intermittent issues.
Increased Financial Performance
New control components are equipped with better technology that decrease the cost of ownership and reduce downtime, increasing the return on investment.
Manufacturers of today’s control components provide hardware and software communication protocol options to monitor and control equipment for a seamless integration between various brands of equipment. Also, in the event of a plant expansion the owner is provided with many options that allow for a seamless integration into the existing control system.
Avoid unnecessary downtime.
If you know you have an outdated control system and are not thinking about upgrading, you are putting your plant at high risk. Developing a plan to upgrade the control system is critical to avoid downtime while increasing your plant efficiency and profitability.
Know your risk.
If you are unsure of the age of your system components, let us do the work for you. Complete and submit this itemized checklist to get a clear picture of the overall lifecycle phase of your control system.