Solomon Benchmarking

Automation Study

Optimize Your Automation Systems and Staffing

On one hand, your current automation system may not be “broken” or obsolete. On the other hand, it may be introducing added risk from unplanned outages or poor, abnormal situation management. It may also be creating unnecessary maintenance cost.

Reported Reasons for Upgrading Core Automation Systems

Automation Study Website Graphic

Comparative Analysis

With the 2019 Worldwide DCS/Automation Performance Analysis (Automation Study) you’ll be able to compare how your industry peers handle a variety of issues, including:

  • Real-time optimization (RTO)
  • Advanced process control (APC)
  • Data control system hardware
  • Regulatory control
  • Alarm management
  • On-stream analyzers and inferentials
  • Automation personnel
  • Network systems for automation
  • Safety instrumented systems
  • Process data historian
  • Field instrumentation and field wiring

We compare the various control system installations and staffing levels of your facility, ranging from corporate Advanced Process Control Lead to Analyzer and DCS technicians at the site. The study includes refineries and chemical plants.

We use actual industry data to help you ensure that your DCS and plant automation systems are in line with others in your industry. This knowledge gives your team valuable guidance into investing the right amount of effort and capital to be competitive with industry peers and maintain reliability. We also tie back to related Solomon Comparative Performance Analysis™ (CPA™) benchmarking studies (Fuels, Lubes, Olefins) by correlating the data with key metrics.

The Automation Study helps you answer such questions as:

How well does my automation strategy compare?

We give you visibility into how your Distributed Control Systems (DCSs), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Safety Instrumentation Systems (SISs), Plant Historians, on-line instrumentation, and much more compare to your peers.

How do my plant information and control systems infrastructures compare?

The study reviews the structure of your process control and plant information network against actual industry data. With this knowledge, you have insight into other practices in the industry to determine if any gaps exist in automation.

Is the industry adopting newer technologies?

This analysis focuses on examining data on where the industry is using RTO and other areas of interest and focus.

How does my SIS system and staffing compare?

Learn the extent of implementation of emergency shutdown SIS systems and compare your design, staffing, and testing practices to the rest of the industry.

The Result

The 2019 Automation Study optimizes your planning by allowing you to make the most informed decisions when it comes to major budgetary choices regarding your DCS and automation systems. Our team of experienced consultants have real-world experience managing and working in the field of industrial automation and control with an array of companies at diverse sites. You can count on our know-how to ask the right questions to review your operations and focused staffing from the best perspective, so that you have the tools you need to remain competitive in a rapidly changing environment. We then produce complexity factors for your DCS and APC systems and tie back to our Worldwide Fuels Refinery Performance Analysis (Fuels Study), Worldwide Paraffinic Lube Refinery Performance Analysis (Lube Study), and Worldwide Olefin Plant Performance Analysis (Olefin Study) to reflect Gross Margin Efficiency Index (GMEI), Net Cash Margin (NCM), Yield, and Operational Availability (OA).

Insight and Strategy Guidance

The Automation Study provides industry insight into various risk reduction, process control, and technology review strategies, including strategies involving the following:

  • Cyber security practices
  • Security instrumented systems
  • Process alarm policies
  • Knowledge management plans
  • Operator training simulation
  • Wireless technology use

Knowledge of these strategies gives your planning team ability to determine whether you are expending the right amount of effort and capital to maintain reliability, improve your processes for better competitive performance, and keep you in line with industry peers.

Ask us how you can participate in Solomon's Automation Study and get answers to the critical questions key to your business success.