The Challenge

A large Midwestern animal health manufacturing company needed to move from an old process control automation platform with diminishing upgrade and support options to a newer more customizable and expandable system. The same automation platform was being used for all of the major manufacturing processes at the plant site, from fermentation to recovery to finishing. The site was manufacturing at capacity to keep up with customer demand and the move would need to be done with as little impact to production as possible. The project would need to take advantage of any unscheduled process shutdowns and work within the current production schedule to make the automation switchovers. The project scope included replacement of computer system hardware, including I/O panels and operator workstations, and new software.

The Solution

 Performance Validation (PV) was selected for the project because of their flexibility in meeting client schedule, for delivering high quality C&Q documentation, and for having successfully supported several large projects at this particular animal health manufacturing facility over the past few years. PV was responsible for development and execution of loop check protocols to verify proper communication between the new software and the existing process equipment and instrumentation. PV was also responsible for development and execution of performance test protocols to verify automated process sequences and critical process parameters were maintained after the automation change.

The Results

The customer was very pleased with C&Q protocol development, execution, and management of approvals by PV. The dry loop test protocols were streamlined by system with inputs and outputs organized in tabular format by signal type for quick and efficient check out of each system. The protocols were pre-approved in phases well in advance of switchover executions and the C&Q team was able to respond quickly to switchover opportunities and schedule changes throughout the project. PV communicated very well with automation, operations, and the approvers to execute the switchover, document dry loop testing, resolve any test discrepancies, obtain document approvals, and return the systems to service. The project was completed several months ahead of schedule with minimal impact to manufacturing operations and C&Q costs expended at completion were almost half of the budgeted amount.

The Benefits

The project accomplished the following for the animal health manufacturing facility:
● Moved entire site process control to a newer more customizable and expandable automation platform.
● Identified a number of existing field instruments during loop check activities that had not been working properly for repair or replacement.
● Updated all old process P&ID and control drawings to current field conditions.

For more information on Performance Validation’s Commissioning, Qualification, and Validation expertise on process automation upgrade testing please schedule a call with one of our subject matter experts. 

Brad Henry
Vice President. Division Director, Indiana
Performance Validation, LLC.

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