• ISA Insights
    June 2013

    DCS Top 10: The 10 essential elements of a successful DCS migration

    Need to upgrade your DCS soon? You're not alone. A recent study shows that 68% of control engineers plan to upgrade within the next six months. And it's safe to say that most of them experience fear, uncertainty and doubt about how to move forward. That's why we've developed this list of what it takes to guarantee success for your DCS migration.

    1. Lifecycle Solution - Go with the migration solution that delivers value throughout the entire lifecycle. Begin your planning with FEL studies that include full lifecycle cost estimates. The best solution will help you implement your plan efficiently and lock in the gains through sustaining services.
    2. Solid planning - Incorporate process knowledge and impact. Involve your process engineers in the FEL planning stage and develop your project plan based on the process, not the hardware. This approach results in a cutover plan that minimizes risk and maximizes operational uptime.
    3. Resource Availability - Choose the migration partner who can walk in your shoes. Work with someone who will sit down with you to understand your people, process and technology while bringing fresh ideas to the party. This partner should help define your goals and be there whenever you need them. True collaboration ensures efficient communication and less rework.
    4. Funding - Develop a phased approach that spreads the capital investment over a period of years. Ask for budgetary estimates and TCO figures for different migration paths in order to get your funding approved and maximize ROI. This is the smartest, most cost-effective way to run your migration project.
    5. Buy-in - Form a strong partnership with key internal stakeholders. Keep  your resources involved and work as your company's advocate when managing third- party deliverables. This way, you take a team approach to your migration.
    6. Objectivity - Remove bias from the decision process. Make objective vendor comparisons and involve all key stakeholders in the upfront discussions, evaluation and project planning. It's the only way to truly consider all your options.
    7. Leveraging the Legacy - Preserve and build up the positives of your legacy systems while eliminating the negatives. First, ensure your project team understands your existing control platform and installation. You'll end up with a detailed engineering plan for your ideal system.
    8. System Integration - Employ a single point of contact for your migration. The right migration partner will help you integrate your DCS with all other systems required for operating and managing the plant. This approach minimizes risks and delivers better results.
    9. Risk Mitigation - Define your risks upfront, then eliminate them. Identify  and address potential risk areas upfront. Consider things such as safety, downtime, resource allocation and network / data security early in the process. Preserve your intellectual property.
    10. Need-based Solution - Don't assume you know the migration solution before you've studied the problem. Consider best practices from other industries and all viable options - and pick a partner who can help you sort through them all. You'll get a solution based on your needs, not the needs of the technology.

    To learn more about how MAVERICK Technologies can help you with your DCS Migration, visit DCSNext.com.