I&C Planners or Instrumentation and Control Planning is a necessary part of a successful plant operation. To operate a plant safely and reliably, the first prerequisite is to know exactly what shape it is in. The plant documentation needs to reflect plant reality as accurately as possible. It is the instrumentation and control planning systems and those scoped to manage those systems which provide the necessary support a plant requires.
Traditionally, large production plants consisted of individual plant components which are mostly non-centrally organized. These individual components are often built up gradually, and as the components expand so does the need for the I&C planning to manage a larger facility. Depending on the date of construction, an I&C system may not have been planned in originally, but as the plant grows so too does the need. Here are just a few benefits that an I&C planner can bring to an organization in just this sort of situation.
Consistency and Standardization
An I&C Planner is key in helping your company understand and leverage the opportunities offered by I&C Planning systems. While everyone can’t do all tasks equally well, it’s the automation experts who can bring this core competence of instrumentation and control engineering to the table. By coming at the need from a high-level perspective, I&C Planners can consistently ensure that their I&C system provides key interfaces to the software of other manufacturers. Where software is concerned, the consistency and integration of one system rather than every corner working in a silo provides long term benefits and customized support.
Likewise, standardization is a key element to a smooth and fully integrated I&C planning role. The depth of information needed for plant documentation can create confusion and even lost data. But with a standardized I&C process, at the touch of a button, details of devices can be retrieved, stored, documented, and inspected.
Real-Time Data for Real-Time Power Generation
A “living” plant needs “living” documentation, and it’s I&C Planners who can help you achieve that. Changes are continually being made to plants, whether due to maintenance, to keep them technologically up to date, or even due to changes in legislation. Changes also need to be consistently documented. In this respect, electronic plant documentation has unbeatable advantages. But only if you have the expertise on staff to help you leverage those advantages.
Real-time data means more data than your plant has ever managed, and raw data without an interpreter is a missed opportunity. A planner can use simple analytics processes and tools to track any changes made to the plant from a portable device. For instance, the Service Center in charge of Emergency Maintenance can access the digital I&C documentation, and can thus react faster when problems occur. Updated documentation provides the basis for reliable, efficient plant operation.
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