Preventative Maintenance

System Life Planning

Plant_xray3

An Ounce of Prevention Means a Pound of Profits

System Life Planning (SLP) is a thoroughly detailed and objective inventory, risk analysis, and planning process that enables cost-effective preventative maintenance. SLP provides plant managers and maintenance engineers with a thoroughly detailed and prioritized analysis of control system reliability that identifies and outlines corrections for the most likely points of failure that could lead to downtime.  This allows maintenance programs to shift from a response- or time-based methodology to a more proactive and economical needs-based strategy.

The SLP Process provides a detailed and prioritized system inventory including all control system components, software compatibility, communication networks, spare parts levels, and general facility safety and procedural practices. This precision targeting of risk areas conserves maintenance resources while providing a greater level of system reliability.

Interview

System Life Planning starts with an interview designed to get a sense of overall system issues, particular areas of concern and liability, and system history.  Areas of focus include recurrent system alarms or device crashes, system slowdowns, I/O board failure rates, existing maintenance and backup practices, patch updates processes, and any unexplained anomalies.

Inventory

The next step in System Life Planning is a thorough accounting of all system components. Particular emphasis is paid to the physical state (dark marks indicating overheating, poor soldering points, warped fiberglass, extreme dirt, etc.) and operational conditions (power, grounding, temperature, humidity, vibration, electrical noise, intrinsic safety, etc.) of each element. This inventory process covers hardware, software, spare parts and network components.

  • Hardware includes Process Control Modules, I/O boards and termination panels, PLCs, Equipment Cases, Power and Data Cables, CDCM, DCM, OCM, VXT Terminals, RAID drives, Keyboards, Pointing Devices, CRT and LCD monitors, Multiplexers and associated boards, Power supplies, etc.
  • Software includes CPU Usage, System Alarms, Process Alarms, Patch Levels, D/3 log files, Service pack levels, D/3 Licenses, Hard Disk Utilization, etc.
  • Network covers all network components including routers, firewalls, switches, network interface cards, printer servers, etc. Complete Cabling Map including the types, length, and routing of cabling, electrical noise, power supplies, etc. System logs for long response time, collisions, broadcast storms, etc. System Monitoring Tools including Ethernet Network Analyzer, SNMP data on individual switch and router ports, and more.
  • Spare Parts for all of the above systems are catalogued. Their current physical condition, storage environment, dates of manufacture and last service (if applicable), and other information is recorded.

Analysis

NovaTech engineers analyze the inventory to identify the greatest liabilities and opportunities for process improvement. Issues of hardware degradation, software improvements, and system obsolescence are addressed. Single points of failure (any single bottleneck or non-redundant component that could cause shutdown) are red-flagged for highest priority. Safety related issues are analyzed and documented.

Report

The final deliverable of SLP is a report containing all of the inventories (hardware, software, network and spares), analysis of problems found and recommendations for improvements, and a migration path for future enhancements and system upgrades. This document serves as your guide to minimizing risk and optimizing the performance of process control systems at a single facility or across an entire company.

  • It is fair to say that without a fully functional distributed control system (DCS), a modern plant cannot operate safely and efficiently and in some cases, cannot operate at all. Therefore, it is vital to ensure the integrity of all DCSs and protect them from malicious attacks, accidental corruption, and data breaches that may jeopardize safety or production or may compromise the end user’s competitive advantage in the marketplace.

    This paper describes the philosophy and guidelines for keeping your D/3® DCS secure from cyberattacks.

    August 1, 2016

  • PCM5 — D/3 Process Control Module 5 Series  

    The NovaTech D/3® Process Control Module 5 Series (PCM5) represents a leap forward in the development, virtualization, and Cyber Security capabilities of the D/3 PCM family. The upcoming PCM5™ will deliver even higher levels of agility and performance to the DCS with the longest life cycle support and lowest total cost-of-ownership in the industry: the D/3.

    June 7, 2016

  • D3v15: Futureproof of Automation  

    D/3® Version 15 (D3v15) includes an array of valuable enhancements to the most adaptable and powerful DCS on the market. D3v15 delivers the highest lifetime value by preserving investments in applications, hardware, and I/O while incorporating the latest advancements.

    March 21, 2016

  • ARC View: NovaTech Continues as Trusted Partner  

    In partnership with NovaTech, the ARC Advisory Group recently produced a 5-page ARC VIEW article promoting NovaTech as a long-term, viable, and trusted partner with a strong product offering. 

    February 18, 2016

  • DAK – Value Driven Control System Migration  

    During the 2016 ARC Forum in Orlando, FL, NovaTech customer Emilio Paramo, Manager of Systems and Telecommunications for DAK Americas – Mexico, presented a case on aging control systems and improving business performance through innovative solutions.

    February 5, 2016

  • Additional Datasheets, Application Notes, Customer Success Stories and other documents in our documentation library

    D/3® SABL® [#M456]

    A five-day course, using D/3® software, covering the steps involved in developing and using the SABL® package. Students will develop the Sequence Database and SABL® programs necessary to manipulate and interact with the continuous database and operator console.

    October 17, 2016 – October 21, 2016
    Owings Mills Training Office

    D/3® SABL® [#S456]

    A five-day course, using D/3® software, covering the steps involved in developing and using the SABL® package.

    December 12, 2016 – December 16, 2016
    Aiken Training Office

    D/3® SABL® [#S456]

    A five-day course, using D/3® software, covering the steps involved in developing and using the SABL® package.

    February 20, 2017 – February 24, 2017
    Aiken Training Office

    D/3® SABL® [#S456]

    A five-day course, using D/3® software, covering the steps involved in developing and using the SABL® package.

    June 20, 2017 – June 24, 2017
    Aiken Training Office

  • D3v15 Webinar

    The latest release of the D/3 Distributed Control System includes new configuration tools that make the system easier for new and existing users. The webinar covers building tags with MDL Builder, writing automation code with D3Edit, web-accessible History and Reports, features to facilitate migration to High-Performance HMI, and OSIsoft PI integration.

    March 24, 2016

  • D/3 Distributed Control System Overview

    This video introduces the D/3, the Distributed Control System trusted by many Fortune 100 companies to keep their global operations’ continuous and batch processes running smoothly and efficiently. Part one reviews the system architecture and configuration tools.

    November 21, 2014

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