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PLANT MANAGEMENT


Virtual commissioning enables real-time simulation


of extensive engineering projects to design, engineer and test automation projects without the risks of working within a ‘live’ environment. Consequently, automation system design testing and the delivery of higher quality code can, for example, shorten overall commissioning times, reduce project risk, eliminate human error, support operator training goals and, ultimately, allow automation projects to move from a test to live environment seamlessly and speedily.


SAFETY AND INDUSTRIAL SECURITY Increasingly safety and industrial security are being seen as two major potential factors that impact on productivity. The use of safety instrumented systems (SIS) that comply with the international standard IEC 61511 has been the process industry norm for many years. There are distinct economic benefits that can be achieved through taking a ‘safety integrated’ approach to SIS. The goal of safety engineering is to avoid accidents and consequential damages after occurrence of errors to achieve maximum safety for humans, process and the environment. Operation and construction of process plants with risk potential have to comply with the international standard IEC 615 11 for functional safety of safety instrumented systems. The connection between SIS and industrial security is a focus for the process industry. The threat of a cyber security attack in relation to SIS can have long-term damaging effects on a business in terms of impact to human life, ability to produce and brand image. Increasingly, the need to consider and develop an industrial security strategy is becoming day-to-day life for the process industry, a defence-in-depth based approach provides the best opportunity to overcome this issue and ensure that safe production can carry on.


LIFECYCLE SERVICES The costs arising in the operational phase of a process plant constitute a significant share of the overall life cycle cost over the typical 15-20 year asset life of a plant control system. The baseline for profitable life cycle costs is high plant availability, achieved by a robust DCS with solid application software based on standards and by preventative plant maintenance. Service costs for engineering support, maintenance and upgrades play an important role as well. Consequently, plant management should be aware that the main requirements for a comprehensive service package include: investment protection through service products; system availability by ensuring serviceability; serviceability using suitable migration concepts and clear obsolescence management linked to the market withdrawal of technical components or software versions.


28 www.engineerlive.com Obsolescence has typically proved a cyclic problem


that has culminated in the large amount of legacy control systems we see on UK plant infrastructure. The conclusion that plant owners/operators quite rightly draw is that a large part of the decision-making process to migrate to a modern process control system is its ability to be modernised and innovated without reproducing the same legacy issues that have gone before. A modern DCS platform such as Simatic PCS 7 comes with those lifecycle guarantees built in, so process manufacturers no longer need to feel that this is a cross they have to bear. n


Steve Leech is business manager - Process Control Systems, Siemens UK & Ireland. www.siemens.co.uk


Siemens offers the Simatic process control system to help plants improve


productivity


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