Autopro Blog

How Much Should Be Spent on a Control System?

June 20, 2019


During a customized Lunch n’ Learn session we hosted last week, a question was asked surrounding the dollars that organizations ultimately invest their control systems and if this is seen to roll over year-to-year.

We sat down with Brent Senio, Engineering and Technology Manager, for a deep dive into some of the rationale behind on-going investments and the control system.

Proactive Investment Vs. Reactive Maintenance

It should be a consideration of all facilities to be proactively investing into the health of their control systems to avoid drifting into “high risk” situations that often trigger unplanned downtime and can increase costs exponentially. In today’s modern control systems, there are patches and upgrades that system manufacturers release in an effort to keep systems running like well-oiled machines. Keeping the control system current ensures that you get vendor support in a timely and efficient manner should something break and need repair. If you fail to keep your system up to date; often vendors will say “run your updates and then call us back”, which could extend a costly outage.

Keep Your System Documentation Current

Another aspect of investment that often is overlooked is keeping your system’s documentation current. Again, this is critical in maintenance activities and out-of-date documentation can lead to increased operational risks and longer down time than expected. For every change that is made in the system the appropriate due diligence should be completed to ensure that the system is still in compliance with the original design constraints.

Annual Spend Can Be Minor or Complex

The annual spend of each organization will vary widely and can be attributed to a number of factors. Some of these may include, but are not limited to :

  • System complexity
  • System age
  • Training and efficiency of the physical team
  • Support contracts with vendors
  • Amount of change within the process
  • Certain platforms do cost more to maintain
  • System integrity (grounding and power issues, cyber security, environmental impacts, e.g., sour gas corrosion, vibration, etc.)
The old adage runs true, nothing lasts forever, and just like our vehicles and other equipment, if we proactively take care of it we reduce the risk of events occurring when we least can afford the system to fail.

Gain Deeper Knowledge on Your Control System's Health

Autopro’s Client Support Services (CSS) is a contracted service offering that combines real-time monitoring with scheduled predictive and preventative maintenance services and on-call emergency support.

It provides you with confidence that your control system is always operating at maximum efficiency and reliability, and peace of mind knowing that experts are managing routine maintenance and are available to respond to and resolve urgent issues.

Learn more about our Client Support Services offering or contact our R%60mdr%21Ud%60l%21to discuss your needs.