Data networks

Engineering services for data networks

Modern process control systems are truly distributed, from the client/server operator stations to the “smart” devices in the field.

It is no longer enough to know which “bus” to use – there are multiple network architectures and protocols in use in all plants. Process control network’s topology, media, hardware components, and protocols are all factors when it comes to getting the most value out of a control system. Considerations when installing new networks or amalgamating networks in operating plants are:

  • Ownership
  • Security
  • Performance
  • Reliability
  • Cost
  • Available resources

Our personnel are well-versed in designing and commissioning these networks. ANDRITZ offers: 

  • Process control network assessment and upgrades
  • Process control network design
  • Network troubleshooting
  • Network security
  • Asset management systems
  • Wired networks
  • Fiber-optic networks
  • Wireless networks
  • Modular infrastructures to facilitate portable equipment

ANDRITZ employees configuring an electrical cabinet at an industrial site

For new plants, a proper equipment specification must be made to ensure the reliability of networks. For brownfield plants, existing networks must be connected to one another, and the ensuing systems are a mixture of state-of-the-art and legacy installations. This creates challenges in the implementation and enforcement of security measures. Furthermore, many automation and modernization programs are now employing intranet/internet technologies in industrial control strategies that are vulnerable to security breaches.   

Connecting the process control network to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) brings even more opportunities for payback due to the following benefits: 

  • Higher profitability
  • Increase in ROI/IRR/NPV
  • Operators see the effect of their decisions on ROI/IRR/NPV
  • Inclusion of MACT rules for operational compliance
  • Financial impact of operational decisions are seen immediately
  • Operations and management work to a common denominator

ANDRITZ helps to achieve the most with a plant’s process control system by providing solutions for accessing production data trapped in the plant floor control systems. Many companies have large quantities of historical and trended data that cannot be viewed or reported in a meaningful way. This data can be analyzed, interpreted, and then converted into information that is available to the business systems, resulting in more efficient operation.

The ANDRITZ control system personnel are experts in process and discrete manufacturing industries, with hands-on experience in plant floor control systems and instrumentation. They are skilled at plant-level integration, including the development of custom interfaces between disparate systems. ANDRITZ can also develop custom software, as well as a large number of standard tools and applications.

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