ALM boosts Kazakhstan plant performance

Invensys Process Systems (IPS) is pioneering Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) oil projects in Kazakhstan under an initiative called Performance Advantage

Maintaining an obsolete automation system is both costly and a drain on plant efficiency. One common solution is to ignore the problem altogether. While this strategy can bring short-term cost savings and some increased return on investment, overall it exposes users to potentially devastating risks. For example, unexpected failures lead to expensive downtime, rush charges and hasty replacement purchases. To make matters worse, a user might opt to replace existing functionality only and so miss out on the competitive advantages associated with new technologies and solutions.

Another solution goes to the other extreme. Here, the old system is completely replaced. While this certainly has its advantages, the cost and downtime involved can be prohibitive. In addition, a user can be paying for functionality that is never going to be needed.

In the face of these diverse challenges, a third approach is now emerging. Known as ALM, it leverages the capacity of a user’s existing automation while at the same time simplifying integration of new generations of technology.

Invensys Process Systems (IPS) is pioneering ALM oil projects in Kazakhstan. Under an initiative called Performance Advantage, IPS has developed a comprehensive lifecycle management programme for safety and control systems that helps to minimise or eliminate the risks associated with obsolescence and sustain systems in a position where new and emerging solutions can be applied to maximise the overall performance of production assets.

IPS has also addressed the issue of multiple vendor systems being installed in a single plant.  In addition to offering upgrade solutions for Foxboro automation systems, IPS can also upgrade obsolete systems from various vendors with unique one-for-one, plug-in replacements for legacy system modules. The solution eliminates any need for rewiring and simply re-uses existing cabinets, racks, termination assemblies, field wiring, and power supplies. This reduces costs, risk and downtime

"The key here is upgrading the obsolete elements of a control system without compromising safety. Employing an effective lifecycle management solution helps preserve intellectual property investments and avoid the risks associated with obsolescence,” said Nicholas Pomeroy, manager of IPS Kazakhstan.

IPS also handles ongoing maintenance, both in terms of equipment spares and new software versions. To do this, the company uses its primetime software support package coupled to an annual comprehensive systems check and report. Depending on user requirements, this can include Safety Integration Audits, SIL analyses and other certification programmes.

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