Autopro Blog

Control System Modernization Q&A

May 19, 2016

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Our recent webinar, Control System Modernizations, resulted in some excellent questions being asked by participants. Here are a few that we thought would be especially informative for many of you.

Question

In a brownfield where HMIs are highly customized, migrating these HMIs are typically a huge challenge. It is also difficult to justify the high number of man hours needed to allocate for these migrations. What is a good method to do such an estimate so it makes sense from a project management perspective?

Answer

Each Vendor HMI is unique. Some products are easier than others to extract the data in a usable format.

Unfortunately there is not one simple answer other than taking a systematic approach and determine the best path forward.

Preliminary engineering and budgeting is key. Review the HMI in question to determine if you can extract the database complete with scripts into a workable database. Likewise with the graphics, determine if x y coordinates can be extracted for each object. Once you have this information you should be able to estimate effort to develop a plan to migrate to a new system.

If you put the right amount of effort in the process and planning, you will be able to use less expensive resources to execute the actual migration successfully.

Question

Do you review the SDK and the control narrative for the new control system upgrade?

Answer

The SDK and narrative generally need to be reviewed and as-built. This process provides an opportunity to uncover incorrect function and optimizes the functionality in the new system.

Question

Based on your experience, what are the most important factors to make the operator happy?

Answer

The first step in operator satisfaction is to engage them early and make sure they are completely informed of the process. Hear their concerns, listen to them. Involve them in the testing so that by the time of implementation there are now surprises. Make sure you address every concern even if the answer is "no".

Do you have other questions about control system migrations? Feel free to contact us for assistance.