DuPont is the world's largest producer of titanium dioxide. Our Ti-Pure TiO2 is manufactured in varying grades and used for a wide range of products in the coatings, plastics, and paper markets. The manufacturing plant in DeLisle, Miss., is one the largest TiO2 facilities in the world.
Following a DuPont business segment decision in 1997 to consolidate on Honeywell, the DeLisle site underwent a plant-wide conversion from a legacy control system to Honeywell's TotalPlant Solution (TPS) system with GUS operator stations and application process platform (APP) nodes. The site distributed control system (DCS) architecture includes a combined 59 GUS and APP nodes installed over two local control networks (LCNs).
One of the goals of the DCS conversion was to emulate the functionality of the previous control system so we could minimize the learning curve for the area operators. GUS introduced the new "open" human-machine interface (HMI) for the existing TDC platform based on industry-standard PC and Microsoft technologies. Since there was no existing Honeywell control system architecture installed, all graphics had to be configured using a display building tool that was new to plant personnel.
Process Views Too Costly
Many of the legacy system operator displays were graphic-intensive, and thus posed a performance problem for the initial 266 MHz GUS stations installed at the DeLisle site. It became evident that the advanced graphic loading resulted in slower call-up performance, actually culminating in an unacceptable occasion of loss of process view.
Figure 1: Had the Slows
Many of the legacy systems graphic-intensive operator displays posed a performance problem for 266 MHz GUS stations--slow call-up performance led to too many lost process views. Even with 450 MHz processors (shown) performance was not fast enough.
Part of the performance solution involved a better definition by Honeywell of the GUS graphic loading limitations, as well as recommending various configuration improvements. Another part of the solution was to use faster processors and additional RAM. Though based on an earlier version of GUS (R210), the performance improvements illustrated in Figure 1 (450 MHz processor) vs. Figure 2 (866 MHz processor) clearly provided the technical justification to invest in better processors and additional RAM.
By late 2001, DuPont had upgraded 10 of the original stations with 450 MHz processors and had ordered some newer stations with 866 MHz processors. However, the purchase price of a standalone GUS station exceeded $30,000, and the cost of the GUS-to-GUS conversion was approximately $7,000 each. This level of expenditure meant that GUS upgrades could only be performed on an incremental basis involving four to six nodes at a time. Because funding for the work was not included in the plant operating budget, DuPont management had to provide outside capital for each section upgrade.
The financial situation at DeLisle caused us to consider alternative approaches for the GUS upgrade. It initially appeared the facility would have to implement its own modernization and asset management program to ensure control equipment and HMIs remained up-to-date.
Let the Vendor Fix It
Rather than purchase upgrade kits to modernize its GUS and APP nodes on a station-by-station basis, Dupont DeLisle needed an overall program for continuous technology refresh and migration. Specific short and long-term objectives included:
* Upgrade all GUS stations to the latest revision level.
* Refresh system technology on an ongoing basis.
* Limit equipment age to five years maximum.
* Lock-in pricing for all spare parts and support services.
* Support and expand DOC3000 and AMO suites.
* Implement spare parts management.
* Expand site support capabilities.
Our service account manager, Jeff Mikos, told us Honeywells LifeCycle Management (LCM) program allows plants to make a seamless transition to a Honeywell solution--even if their previous supplier has discontinued their automation platforms. Payment for modernization can be either as a project or service over a three to 10-year period. In January 2002, DuPont entered an agreement with Honeywell providing a cost-effective, long-term solution for asset management and technology migration. The LCM program established a defined plan/roadmap for automation product support (see sidebar, "Delightful Deliverables").
Figure 2: Speed Killed the Budget
Call-up performance with new 866 MHz processors stations provided technical justification to invest in better processors and additional RAM, but at $30,000 plus $7,000 conversion cost, station upgrades could only be implemented a few at a time.
The major elements of the LCM program include:
* Continuation: Replacement of existing products with the same product type.
* Electronic refresh: Replacement of existing functionality with modern electronics.
* Modernization: Conversion of existing systems and migration to the latest technology.