For new plants (or revamped ones) with the new Distributed Control System (DCS), it is very convenient to take advantage of the Dynamic Simulation model being built for an OTS in order to carry out the so-called Virtual DCS FAT. The integration of the dynamic process model with the soft-controller emulating the DCS creates an ideal environment in which to check out the pre-FAT configuration of the DCS database before commissioning. The PCS and the SIS can be verified, identifying potential issues (controllers settings, alarms, interlocks, etc) far in advance. Our OTS projects show that a DCS checkout with dynamic model can eliminate between 70% and 80% of the errors in the control system design before plant commissioning.
Through control systems test studies, improvements can be made to the sequence logic giving smooth and trouble-free performance during plant start-up. The test studies also detect configuration errors, speeding up the project during critical and costly commissioning phases.
Some of the typical verification tests are for:
- Alarm and trend systems
- Control and shutdown logic
- Start-up sequences
- Controller tuning
- Plant operations robustness