Dating back to the early 2000’s, NovaTech was one of the first to introduce Reliability Centered, System Life Planning (RC-SLP) assessments. The RC-SLP program provides a comprehensive audit and assessment on any process manufacturing automation platform with a detailed report deliverable that provides a complete hardware, software and documentation audit. Other deliverables include a system gap analysis, risk assessment and detailed recommendations on optimization, system improvement and upgrade/replacement strategies if required.
NovaTech expanded the RC-SLP program to support assessments for competitive automation platform including ABB, Emerson, Honeywell, Rockwell, Siemens, and other legacy automation platforms. System Lifecycle Assessment (SLA) is platform-agnostic and customers are finding the assessment extremely beneficial.
The NovaTech SLA program provides clear and uniform standards for maintenance and reliability of your process automation system and ancillary control assets across an entire plant or enterprise. Reliability Centered Maintenance (RSM) synthesizes reactive, preventive, predictive, and proactive maintenance practices and strategies across the plant to maximize and extend the life of the equipment at a minimal cost.
The final assessment 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. More importantly, our customers are finding the assessment extremely beneficial, using it for everything from maintenance planning to project justification for system upgrades, migration and/or legacy replacement.
System Lifecycle Assessment 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.
The next step 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.
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.
The final deliverable of SLA 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.