Efficient Plant April 2022 - 26

feature | solution focus
DCS
Advances
Process
Capabilities
Upgrading an aging distributed-control
system provides growth and long-term
stability for a coating-resins manufacturer.
WHEN A PRODUCER of industrial coating resins and additives
sought to upgrade its aging distributed-control system (DCS), minimizing
production disruption was critical. A DCS system is a hub of
operations, monitoring key variables such as fl ow, applied temperatures,
pressure, level, and material conveying/handling.
Th e challenge was that replacing the manufacturer's decades old
DCS had to be accomplished quickly, while accurately maintaining
the specifi cations of its fi nal resin products. Failure to do so would
equate with lost revenue due to downtime or rejected product.
Much of the documentation on the process was unavailable, and the
tolerances were tight enough that there was a risk of product being
produced out of specifi cation.
As a DCS ages, there can be increased risks to a process manufacturer.
An old or obsolete system may no longer be supported by the
original supplier, spare parts no longer readily available, and system
performance issues may begin to appear. When replacement is no
longer avoidable, changing over without aff ecting production can
seem daunting.
THE CHALLENGE
Although the plant's existing DCS was functional, replacement parts
and service were not readily available. If the automation system
equipment were to fail, it was possible the plant would not be able to
operate for an extended time.
" Th is plant was running continually day and night, all year long so
any production downtime means the company is losing money, " said
Chris Gepfert, who was involved with the upgrade project as regional
sales manager at Owings Mills, MD-based NovaTech Automation
26 | EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM
Above. Upgrading a DCS provided greater reliability, process control, and automation
for an industrial resin manufacturer.
Below. The new DCS made it possible to expand overall throughput by 50% and
increase production effi ciency by as much as 30%.
(novatechautomation.com), a provider of distributed control systems
and solutions.
Proactively upgrading the DCS would provide much greater
reliability, process control, and automation, as well as additional
capabilities. Th e required system migration, data transfer, and integration
with legacy equipment would need to be handled expertly to
minimize any downtime.
NovaTech had to program the new DCS based on how the prior
system was programmed. Some re-engineering and redesign of
the new system was necessary, given that process documentation
was unavailable. At the same time, the new system would include
APRIL 2022
http://www.novatechautomation.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant April 2022

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