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Updated Industrial Control Systems Have Short-Term ROI

Updating ICS

Many have heard the famous Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish; he eats for a lifetime.” This sage wisdom gives insight that training someone how to do something is far better than doing it for them.

But what does this wisdom lack? A couple of things. What if the man has another job to do? What if the man is choosing the wrong fishing spot? What if the man has a broken or old fishing pole? What if the man doesn’t want to fish? Without expert knowledge and interest in fishing, the man won’t be eating for a lifetime, taught or not. It also begs the question, who is teaching the man?

When it comes to industrial control systems (ICS), companies are looking for a trusted advocate to care for their operations around the clock, share expert knowledge to better run and secure their systems, and reduce operational costs. In this week’s blog, we look at how Casne has helped our clients find the right tools and knowledge to “eat for a lifetime.”

The Right Fishing Pole for the Job

Industrial Automation

A recent customer of ours shared that before partnering with Casne, an operator had to single-handedly operate batch runs that would take at least seven days to complete. This operator had to be onsite 24x7 during these batch runs because it lacked reliable automation, alarm, and visibility into the system. The operator’s presence any time after the first eight hours each day was billed to the company as overtime. This single operator would repeat this intense living-working-sleeping batch run discharge five to six times a year, costing the company at least $12,000 in extra operating fees each time, and more than $60,000 per year.

In this case, our client needed the expert fisherman to help them find a better fishing pole. 

When our client reached out to us about modernizing the control system, we worked to provide upgrades to their systems from a discontinued PLC platform to a more modern supported one. This upgrade included redundant instrumentation, surge protection, rain gauge, auto-dialer, and SCADA computer with HMI. Afterward, the operator could complete a batch discharge without having to be continually onsite during the process, providing a savings upwards of $100,000 per year. Additionally, our client saw the ROI in less than two years, plus a reduction in risk and increased automation.

Trout or Marlin: Dinner is Served

Water Treatment Towers

One of the biggest misconceptions we hear when talking to our clients is whether a company or project needs to be substantial before implementing an ICS. In our experience, small investments in historically manual processes can produce significant cost savings and risk reduction. Having an ICS can reduce labor and operation costs with a return on investment in a short amount of time. 

One of our clients had a non-automated system that an operator had to check after every rainstorm to see if it needed repairs. Additionally, an operator had to be onsite to monitor regulatory standards like pH levels in the water. We worked with our client to install components of an ICS system that would automate some of the daily operations, like checking water capacity levels, pH levels, and other analytical instrumentation. It would send alerts via email and auto-dialer if the operator needed to perform an intervention. What used to take the operator hours to complete could be done in less than a minute from a remote location. Our client saw a return on the $10,000 project investment in six months.

Whether your project is $10,000 or $100,000,000, Casne’s engineering and design solutions provide a short term return on investment with an immediate benefit of risk reduction and an increase of O&M cost savings. With over 40 years of success in professional engineering and technology integration services for critical industrial facilities, Casne Engineering has capable engineers and technologists. We develop and support engineered solutions using the best of breed products and technologies. Our engineering design team works to create, modernize, and implement cost-effective, reliable, and secure solutions. With Casne as your engineering partner, you’ll be eating fish for a lifetime.

Contact Neale Jentsch at neale.jentsch@casne.com

Topics: Control Systems

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