One of the most important and most commonly neglected aspects of a plant is the industrial control system. Responsible for plant safety and efficiency, the ICS must be kept updated, with updates done more frequently than other plant equipment since upgrades not only increase overall operational performance, but also lower cybersecurity risks and keep employees safer overall.

The following infographic looks at three important ways to better maintain an ICS:

control systems infographic

Information for this infographic was taken from Nathaniel Martin’s “3 actions to maintain control systems from the May 2016 issue of Processing magazine. In that article, Martin says:

[ICS] need to be continuously monitored for potential upgrades that can improve their overall performance and changes in operational behavior that could indicate dangerous equipment flaws or cyber threats on the network. While a turbine may only need to be updated every half century, the lifecycle of digital components in the control system can be exponentially shorter, typically every four to five years.

Martin lists the three critical steps for maintaining ICS as:

  1. Conduct proactive updates to human machine interfaces (HMIs) and network hardware.
  2. Establish partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to leverage their knowledge of proper maintenance and care and to ensure use of and access to high-quality parts.
  3. Upgrade ICS software and hardware to keep controls systems running at optimal performance and to protect the units from issues resulting from obsolete hardware.

For the original article, please CLICK HERE.