Legacy control system components can lead to failures, unplanned outrages, and long-term shutdowns. This is due to equipment that is not longer effective or even operable. In 2018, a large power generating company needed to conduct an engineering study evaluating modernization options for their aging DCS infrastructure. They contracted us, and we provided a detailed engineering study to evaluate the obsolescence and longevity of the plant’s control system. 

How We Did It

As a systems integrator, we performed a cost-benefit analysis for various migration strategies. We generated hardware, engineering, and construction cost estimates for modernization solutions, all customized to the power company’s needs. We documented the plant control system including I/O count with voltage levels. We developed DCS vendor support timeline and life-cycle analysis. We identified obsolete equipment and DCS reliability issues, and created a migration path assessment. We made recommendations based on risk tolerance and plant budget. Our budgetary estimate of migration paths included hardware lists and cash flow analysis. We also developed possible modernization schedules. 

For our solution platforms, we used Honeywell Experion PKS control system with simulated C300 controllers, Honeywell UniSim Design planet model, and Honeywell UniSim Operations simulation environment. 


All of this information will assist the plant with determining a path forward towards the most cost-effective modernization strategies. Single or multiple DCS vendor modernization strategies is just one of our solution benefits. We provided detailed recommendations using careful evaluation of product life-cycles. We ensured maintainability and reliability, extending the life of the control system. Our clear budgetary analysis of modernization options improved the plant’s decision making, and the plan has more accurate cost projection because of our detailed cash flow analysis. Finally, we determined the best upgrade strategies to meet needs within various constraints. 

Through out engineering studies, we provide power company’s a clear direction for a reliable future in regards to their control system.