Private Client

Buffalo, New York

Industrial Network and Automation Modernization

Project Objective

This facility produces chemicals used throughout industry in the Northeast, including semiconductor grade “ultra-pure” chemicals. Due to the facility being in active production for over one hundred years, the facility needed to modernize and upgrade their entire industrial network – including cybersecurity concerns, network performance, automation improvements, and long term expansion capability.

Unique Project Features

Starting with a FEED (Front-End Engineering Design) Study, the project was broken down into phases for both engineering & construction to specifically minimize impact to site and increase flexibility as they upgrade individual production buildings or units to a modern SCADA system. After an initial fiber-optic “spine” and network upgrade as the first phase, each successive Operational Technology network expansion has been phased to bring the entire site to modern standards over several years of upgrades.

Encorus Group Solution

Encorus Group worked with the client to not only find a path forward that meets the ROI requirements of site capital funding, but a plan for constructability and design that minimized impact to site operations at the same time. This “back and forth” approach through the FEED Study and initial upgrade phases was more important than the technical solution on its own as it allowed a site with more limited resources to execute the upgrade without significant cost increases. The upgrades included Cisco network controllers, Allen-Bradley PLC and Remote IO hardware, a Plant PAx SCADA system, and an entirely new utility building on site to serve as the fiber-optic backbone central connection point. The project also includes opportunities to bring existing PLCs and SCADA systems onto the new Plant PAx system. This will ultimately result in a new and modern operator control room that uses a “glass cockpit” design. This design embraces modern operator interfaces as intended by ISA 101, with graphics and readouts which minimize operator fatigue, maximize sight lines, and reduce the overall footprint of the control room.

Specific Project Tasks

  • Develop a plant-wide ethernet Operational Technology network for automation
  • Create a cost analysis of the site upgrades and future costs
  • Create future opportunities to bring existing automation onto the new network
  • Develop standardized operator interfaces and graphics for the plant