Dancin’ Wit’ Who Brung Ya
Sometimes it’s far easier to stick with the controls vendor you have. Dynea UK Ltd. (Mold, Flintshire) upgraded the control system for its urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins and adhesives process. For example, Dynea chose ABB for the new system, based partly on its strong relationship with ABB and, previously, Alfa Laval, which supplied the original SattCon system on site.
Rick Hirons, Dynea’s plant engineer, says, “We worked with Alfa Laval for 10 years, and in all that time, we never had a problem. Because ABB is using the same engineers, we were happy to award them the contract to update the SattCon system.” Dynea found that ABB also had features that they needed. “One of the major benefits of the ABB system is that it includes batch management software,” Hirons says. “This allows Dynea to produce a more consistent product based on the ability to call up stored recipes.”
Another important consideration for migrators is how to maximize the value of the existing installed infrastructure. Dynea, for example, is interfacing all its existing HART equipped field instruments and control valves to ABB’s new control system. This will allow Dynea to use other new plug-ins to the ABB system, such as alarm management systems, computerized maintenance management systems (CMMA) and asset management systems (Maximo, Mettler-Toledo, Matrikon), without having to convert or replace field systems and wiring to Foundation Fieldbus or another digital field wiring system.Don’t Forget the Second Tier
As our senior technical editor, Rich Merritt, pointed out in his recent article (“Second-Tier Systems Replace Legacy Controls
,” CONTROL, Dec. ’05), it is often far less expensive to upgrade with a second-tier controls supplier than to stick with the Big Boys.
In another article, (“Choosing an Enlightened Control Path
,” CONTROL, Jan.’05), plant manager Yin Zuwei reported on Wuxi Dong Tai Fine Chemicals Ltd.’s upgrade from analog standalone loop controllers to a modern distributed control system. “The bids we received were all for small to medium-scale solutions,” he wrote, “such as ABB’s S900, Honeywell’s Plantscape system, DeltaV from Rosemount (sic) and MTL Open System Technologies’ MOST Matrix system.”
“We selected the Most Matrix system,” he continued. “We found the system we selected was comparatively cheaper than the DCSs from other companies, especially in Division 2 areas.” Yin Zuwei isn’t alone.So, What’s an End-User to Do?
Everyone we talked to said much the same thing. First, take control of your existing system, and clearly define the upgrade goals and objectives. Then determine your migration strategy. Then, and only then, start the vendor selection process, knowing that you have the upper hand. As ABB’s Dinesh Paliwal notes, “It is far cheaper to keep an existing customer than to find a new one.”