Providing Expertise on Control System Evaluation

E Tech Group, being a trusted system integrator for this client, was asked to consult on the analysis of their current control system and evaluate potential new platforms.

Project

An American biotechnology company was dealing with aging control system. The vintage installation of GE iFix, iBatch and CompactLogix were approaching end-of-life, making an upgrade essential for locations in California. The client was grappling with key questions such as: What is the best control system platform to meet their business needs? Do they upgrade their current system or install a new system altogether?

The company approached E Tech Group with this problem, interested in learning about the different platform options and working with an integrator to make the right choice based on their needs. For a project of this magnitude, creating a strong partnership between client and integrator was crucial. The E Tech Group team includes seasoned engineers who have been through large-scale control system platform selection and conversion projects themselves and supported similar decisions for other clients. 

Solution

E Tech Group went through a process of user requirements definition and user group meetings, assessing the company’s site and global needs. E Tech Group engineers participated in workshops with all stakeholders within the company: Automation, Environmental Health &Safety, Facilities/Maintenance, Instrumentation, IT, Production/Manufacturing, Process Engineering/Development, Procurement/Finance, Quality, System integration partners. Based on experience in providing many controls upgrades, the E Tech Team challenged the client to think beyond basic requirements from a technical and business perspective. Engaging the team together in workshops enabled each group to learn about how others in the company would be using the system. 

At the conclusion of the process, the platform vendors considered were evaluated against the newly defined requirements. E Tech Group worked with all of the internal stakeholders at the company to evaluate the options and assess how the different platforms could best support the business needs.

Using a scoring system and working with the decision analysis team at the biotechnology company, E Tech Group supported efforts to develop financial and statistical models and help the client determine the best option from a financial and risk perspective. After deep analysis and evaluation, it was unanimously decided that the proposed DeltaV solution would best help reduce the risk that obsolescence and instability will disrupt the supply of critical patient therapies, help enable agile expansion of future capacity through a thoughtfully designed automation system, provide flexibility and self-sufficiency for production needs, and ensure delivery of quality product in a compliant manner.

The client and all stakeholders reached a unanimous decision on the future platform for the site, landing with DeltaV.

Result

Understanding what a large, financial undertaking this would be, the client, the platform vendor, and E Tech Group are continuing to collaborate on a long-term roadmap to support the upgrade/conversion of the site, to the new platform.

Learn more about our DeltaV expertise.