With the myriad of control systems on the market today, it is difficult to sort through all the different protocols, architectures, and technologies that are available and to move forward with control system upgrades in a well thought out manner. Often there is no "one perfect solution" that fits all the unique challenges of your situation, your process, or your plant.
The Fitch Company can help make sense of all the choices. Our engineers have collective experience on nearly every major control system used for industrial applications today and in the past decade.
So if you are contemplating an upgrade or perhaps jumping into the PLC or DCS world for the first time, we can help you identify which system or systems will best fit your needs. Our control system evaluation techniques will take the guess work out of the selection process and put some objectivity into what has historically been a very subjective decision.
Our approach is to work with clients to determine what features are important and relevant to the particular control system opportunity they are wrestling with. We'll collaborate with mill engineers and technicians to develop the "must have" and "want to have" criteria for the evaluation. Based upon our experience, we'll provide a preliminary evaluation of four to six possible vendors that will take into account available technologies, mill experience, vendor support, and process suitability. This step usually involves half day general presentations from each of the vendors.
To proceed to the next step, The Fitch Company will help you evaluate a specific opportunity for control system implementation or upgrade. This step is much more comprehensive and involves the following:
• Develop conceptual system design and generic architecture
• Develop a preliminary bid specification
• Solicit bids from (typically) three vendors
• Coordinate site visits by each vendor
• Evaluate the submitted bids against client criteria
• Compare and contrast the vendor bids
• Report on findings and make recommendations
This process will give you a clear understanding of the alternatives available for a system installation and/or upgrade as well as a preliminary cost analysis. You will have all the information needed, presented in a clear concise format, to make an informed choice about which system will meet your needs.