In the current world of cybersecurity threats, it's a must to keep your system up- to date with the latest patches released. These range from Windows patches to DCS/PLC vendor specific firmware updates. Evolve Automation can assist you in the monthly / quarterly patching cycles. As a service we can provide you with a SLA which will provide you with an external system administrator so your staff on site can spend their time on other maintenance jobs.
This way you will make sure that your system which is that hart of your plant is in the best condition possible, while limiting the cybersecurity threat exposure. To give an insight of which exposure you have against cybersecurity threats we can provide vulnerability tests with reports as evidence for further enhancements or as proof of the good health of your system. We have been providing these SLA agreements since the start of Evolve Automation, references can be requested.
Executing automation upgrade or migration projects can be overwhelming when these things don’t get done on a regular base within your organization, especially when you DCS/PLC newbuild/upgrade involves going from a physical DCS/PLC environment to a virtual environment for the HMI layer. Mostly in you organization this knowledge about those virtual system are available in the IT department, however virtual DCS/PLC systems are not IT systems. Special care needs to be taken to settings and implementation of different packages, for this reason It’s best to get expert help in virtualization of automation systems.
Evolve Automation can support you with all these subjects, either as being the lead contact to the automation vendor or as support for your own organization. We can assist in programming or overseeing the project from an external point of view. This way they have a 3rd party independent advice possibility which has knowledge about process automation systems.
You have reached the point of deciding to proceed to upgrade or migrate you system, this can range from a simple reinstall of the servers to a complete rebuild of the controller cabinets. You have been in contact with your automation vendor and a preliminary design has been handed to you as proposal, however you’re not 100% sure that what has been offered to you might be the best solution for you. In this case Evolve Automation can assist you in the technical design discussions with the automation vendor.
Each system has been designed and installed with a foreseen technical life expectancy, maintenance plans have been implemented or adjusted at the time of delivery of the new system. However when we have a look at the automation systems which are around these days in the industrial domain, more and more of them relay on platforms which are off the shelf available and for use in the IT domain.
Where in the industrial domain normally for example an HMI layer replacement of a DCS system is performed after 7 or 8 years of operation, the same hardware and software in the IT domain is normally replaced after a period of maximum of 5 years. This to increasing cost of ownership and keeping the system supported in cases of problems. With the movement of using operating systems based on the Microsoft Windows platform, there is a trend noticeable in the industrial world that systems are not supported anymore before reaching the technical lifetime expectancy. Some company’s cybersecurity policy is requiring that systems are being patched in such a way that there are no security risks which easily could have been prevented.
For some company’s this is a well considered scenario and the preferred one, for others this is something they haven’t seen coming due to various amount of reasons. Mostly lack of time to review their Lifecycle Management Plan to see if this is still in line with the current support statuses and technology possibilities.
There are scenarios known that in particular cases its better for OPEX costs and CAPEX investments, to keep systems continuously updated with the latest technology and gaining from new features becoming available for the O&M organization to streamline their efficiency.
Evolve Automation can offer support in your Automation Lifecycle Management Plan needs, to make sure all plans are up to date with information so you are able to make the correct and best investment choice for your site. This can be reviewing your LCM plan to the lifecycle status of your installed system, checking for improvements and possible solutions for ensured long time availability.
Is your plant nearing the end of his lifetime and you just need to keep your automation system up and running on a reliable way? We can help you advice with this scenario, so that you will be able to maintain your high availability of the automation systems at the lowest costs available.