Industrial Control System (ICS) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) cybersecurity are skyrocketing in significance, but the attention to the issue is not rising at a similar level. If a process facility relied on conventional security methods - and on security product manufacturers to create patches for security breaches - it would only be partially protected. Firewalls and air gaps are good security precautions but are only part of a complete security solution.

Siemens announced the start of the “cancellation” phase of APACS products in 2011. If you still have APACS hardware running your plant, then there’s a good chance that you’ve started looking at migration options and Siemens recommends the SIMATIC PCS 7 line of controllers and remote I/O. This is best done with a phrased migration.

Commissioning is a team effort to document the continuity of a project as it moves from one project phase to the next. To achieve commissioning excellence requires that the testing documents be accurate and written in an orderly fashion. The Documentation Gatekeeper, a.k.a the Commission Lead, is responsible to develop, teach, implement, and guard the integrity of the process to produce accurate testing documents.

Instruments should be ranged to measure not only expected values but all values the system can produce. During upsets, actual values often exceed 20mA values for instruments tightly ranged for normal process conditions. For instruments with linear scale and additional capacity, the fix is simple: increase the 20mA scale on both the instrument and analog input (AI) in the controller. But nonlinear relationships complicate scale adjustments.

The purpose of this article is to outline general, acceptable best programming practices across all control system platforms. The intent is not to define how to program specific functions, but to cover a level of programming content that provides an exceptional deliverable, consistent in approach and well planned.