Which DCS to select?


Thread Starter


Which DCS should be selected to control a 30 kBarrel/day oil-production plant with about 10-12,000 points and 15-20 nodes. Experion or DeltaV or other?
>Honeywell or Yokogawa

For what type of application?

In general if you are not making frequent changes in the logic then Honeywell is best option.

MA Khira


which DCS/PLC can support changes online in the logic??? Furthermore, I'm in the migration of Logic Manager LCS621 I/O to LIOM. many people here in the plant say that they can do change online with the Logic Manager, this is True?? the LIOM can't do logic changes online.
We have ABB Advant OCS which totally support online programming and also online/hot removal/insertion of 95% cards.


>Honeywell or Yokogawa

Honeywell Experion has been known as the solution of trouble at least version 100 and 200. Their customer support has been loosing its respect and there are still lots of patches in version 300.

Yokogawa looks not having the required network in N.America, no info about robustness.

DeltaV looks "easy" to use, good service reputation and even online upgrades are possible.


Can the Opto 22 really handle 12 local controllers with 1000 physical tags each, plus 3 operator stations, 2 online development stations and 1 maintenance station, each with quad monitors; web access for at least 10 internet viewers; the required historization for at least 20,000 parameters; foundation fieldbus instrumentation with integrated asset management; integrated, TUV approved safety system and all of these with a redundant, robust way with system components 2-3 km apart from each other?

In Yokogawa DCS, the following are possible.

1) On line changes of logics and download
2) On line H/W reaplacement 100% available
3) H/W is more reliable and rugged.
4) S/W is easy to install and user friendly.

Yokogawa have more than 80% installation and Saudi Arabia and good performance.
One of our power plants has been using a Yokogawa CS3000 for the past 8 years and have not had a single hardware failure. Logic changes can be made online and the engineering tools are very easy to use and understand.
I can suggest. please go for Invensys. Which can offer I/A series DCS and TRICONEX for emergency shutdown for fuctional safety requirement.

I've had a little experience with Honeywell, DeltaV, Invensys and ABB 800xA. Let me summarize the PROS and CONS:

Honeywell: I agree with Julios, Honeywell is been losing their market in the past few years. There are many bugs in the Experion and C200 or C300 based systems.

DeltaV: Very good Software for programming. Personally I dont like the Power Supply scheme for their controllers. They use a 24Vdc PS for I/O which feeds another 12Vdc PS, and finally this last PS feeds the 5Vdc ps for the Controllers and Electronic Boards. Every other systems has only the 24Vdc, so they are adding another failing device. They have Controller PS to work directly on 24Vdc but they're not so efficient so they limit the maximum I/O capacity.

Invensys: I've worked only with the Windows version 8.1 and the software for programming sucks. Apparently this has been solved in newer versions, but I haven't seen it yet. I've heard good comments from people using older versions of the I/A based on Unix. About the Hardware, I think is one of the best. All the systems is based on F.O. network with may be good or bad depending on how you like it. Very robust boards with an embedded heat dissipator.

ABB 800xA: Never really understood the software myself. Very hard for programming. About the Hardware is good, but in the new controllers there are some common devices that make me suspect about the full redundancy of the system. Perhaps there are more redundant options that I haven't seen yet.

Yokogawa: No on hands Experience, due to the lack of confidence on the service. However 'on the paper' it looks like a very good system, and that might explain why they're the #1 on Installed Systems in the world.

All the DCS I've know allow online changes, by far better that in a PLC. Comparing all the systems the small hardware/software differences are not enough to dismiss any out of hand. But I it's very important to have a very good service when you eventually need it.

Hope this helps.
Nowdays people are going towards ICSS (Intergrated Control Safety System) solution which combined DCS, SDS, FGS and all sort of things on to a single network backbone which means single source as well. You can consider this solution if you want a seamless integration between your system. I'm currently doing a project that is using this type of solutions. I think Yokogawa (centumVP) and Emerson (deltaV) are currently leading the pack on ICSS.
Honeywell C300 with SMPKS (safety PLC).

There are numerous myths about EPKS: online download is not possible, bugs etc.

But for all who claim that online download is not possible, I would like to recall that even TPS/TDC system allowed online download with certain configurations. So does EPKS. Most of the people are not aware of it.

You cannot have a more flexible system than EPKS in terms of application engineering, logic design, graphics etc, especially for refinery/petrochem plants. The hardware of C300 is rugged like TPS/TDC systems. C300 works excellent with old PMIOs also.
Diagonstics of the system are excellent to the extent that on this Open system DCS you can have diagnostics of your PCs which are your console stations. It very well supports on-process migration to a newer release provided you have redundancy.

LIOM is not a PLC. it is a controller very similar to C200/C300 introduced to replace LCS/LM/IPC processors, retaining their I/Os.
Security features are reliable. Totally open system where u can interface anything and everything, to get any data that you want.
Honeywell started its DCS business with Oil/Gas/Refining hence are the domain experts.

If you go for EPKS c300, i suggest you to understand the system, features, facilities, procedures well during engineering, FAT, commissioning etc. If you know this system well it is the best.

For user friendliness of any system, i would like to say, it is just a matter of resistance to change. Each system is user-friendly in its own way, only thing is we humans take time to acquaint with the changes and most of us resist that change.
For the bugs part of it, honeywell does provide service support with patches etc. After all it works on MS Windows, not to forget.

EPKS is not only a DCS but an Information Management System in which u can seamlessly integrate:
- CCTV for tankfarm/flare/critical area monitoring
- Fire & Gas system
- MIS (common feature to all)
- APC (common feature to all)
- ESD (common feature to all)
- wireless instrumentation
- Alarm management
- Asset Managament
I agree with SPR.

I have worked on Experion C200 and C300 controllers and they are good. C300 is exceptionally well with respect to ruggedness.

There is no system available in the market as flexible as Experion. Once you acquaint with the system, you will never need Honeywell Engineers for any Engineering activities on it. It is all that simple.

Expanding the size of the system in future is also easy and almost without any down time. We have done that in our Plant. I also feel that for any growing business, Experion is the best suited as Honeywell themselves offer solutions for different automation levels which can be very well integrated with Experion.
Selection of DCS type is generally based on technical supply specifications required by customer that fit all his requirements.

the first step is to issue a general supply specifications for the control system function based on your process facilities and available sources, identify the SIL rating that meet your process facilities, I/O list, No of nodes, no of servers, no of operator stations, no of display graphics, communication with different systems,,,,etc

then tendering out to receive more than one offer from different vendors.

Perform technical evaluation between the offers
and prepare a technical evaluation sheet to compare between the different offered system.

make a list for the technically accepted offers

then based on your approved budget and the lowest price you can select the technically accepted offer.
Yes, Experion especially the R400 version is a very open system and truly going to be a OCS. But, having worked in PCS 7 recently and comparing it to Experion I have come to some very interesting conclusions. Ironically to the myth that Honeywell made the first DCS, theirs is really one of the recent OCS. The CEE (Control Execution Enviroment) is very much similar to a 1990 S5 system. Siemens have had 10 yrs to perfect their OCS artheicture, by evolving PCS 7 from S7 controllers.

1. The CM in Experion is said to have been derived from a TDC 2000 Box so that they can be independently loaded and run, the same is in PCS 7 with a chart concept that was mapped to an FC.

2.Online download is possible in both controllers, but separate download and activation of Chart/CM is only possible in Experion.

3. If you have to create a custom block in Experion an engineer will have to actually write it in VB.NET, the same can be accomplished in PCS7 by STL,LAD,FBD or IEC standard SCL.

4. Batch application are relatively easy to engineer on the PCS 7 without the requirement of a Batch Server(Even though they have one) because of the Exquisite 'SFC Type' concept, that has a lot of power, unlike SCM in Experion which I guess is only equal to SFC in PCS 7

5.PCS 7 has very good Asset planning with its Plant Hierarchy, where browsing of charts is possible with respect to area,controller in Plant View and also component view. The Experion asset basically is used only for alarm management from my initial experience.

6.Graphics in PCS 7 are light years better than Experion. The faceplate in PCS 7.1 are all exceptionally operator friendly and readily available to use. Experion graphics suck big time, I think they really need to change/rename PV for solenoid vlave to 'feedback'.

7.Considering foot print of the C300 controller they have really beaten Siemens, but the same design has been maintained for their I/O's that finally give an I/O density for a 2000X1400X600 panel in siemens about 700 while Experion is about 200.

I wouldn't like to be biased, but the facts(almost i hope) are kinda true, considering still i'm still learning, I dont say one is better than the other, I just stated some point I think makes sense for a Commissioning Engineer.
Some small additions with respect to point no 2

2. Although separate charts/CM can be downloaded in Experion, if a connector is changed then both reference and referenced charts have to be downloaded in Experion, In PCS 7 only Download changes have to be done in a single step

This is actually very useful during online commissioning or overhauling logic at site, we dont have the memory power to keep track of the changes executed