Specialized Engineering Expertise aimed at Optimizing Industrial Control Systems
As Control Systems Engineers, it is our job to help our clients to evaluate, design, implement and maintain a secured, reliable, and cost-effective Industrial Control solutions.
Challenges within Industrial Control Systems
Industrial Control System (ICS) encompasses several types of control systems and associated instrumentation used for industrial process control. Such systems can range from a few modular panel-mounted controllers to large interconnected and interactive distributed control systems with many thousands of field connections. Larger systems are usually implemented by Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems or Distributed Control Systems (DCS).
New automation technologies and industry trends have been expanding the scope and value of automation. These include the centralization of all the localized panels, with the advantages of reduced manpower requirements and consolidated overview of the processes.
The boundaries between SCADA and DCS systems are blurring as time goes on. With the increasing speed of today’s processors, many DCS products have a full line of PLC-like subsystems that weren’t offered when they were initially developed. Also, RTU systems have grown more and more capable of handling local control.
We understand this highly complex environment. Our services include the entire range of professional services in providing the fit-for-purpose Industrial Control Systems.
We understand this highly complex environment. Our services include the entire range of professional services in providing the fit-for-purpose Industrial Control Systems.
Client Benefit #1:
Being vendor neutral allows Dexcent’s team of industrial control systems professionals to ensure that inter-compatibility of products and technologies are the design principles used to engineer unbiased, non-proprietary, standardized, flexible, and expandable control systems solutions.
Client Benefit #2:
We, as experts in SCADA, DCS and industry applications, can help clients to choose the right technology available in the market for specific client application and to ensure the technology is used in a secure, robust, reliable, usable, and cost-effective manner.
Client Benefit #3:
We have gained vast experience in working with F500 companies, since our inception back in 2006, in the fields of Oil and Gas, Mining, and Utilities. Our consistent ability to execute and deliver has earned us superior reputation in Canada from both our customers and suppliers. We continue to rely on this experience and our professionals to provide the best possible service locally to our customers.
Modern industrial control and automation systems have evolved into integrated control and monitoring consisting of SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) with industry based applications, like operational liquids or gas specific applications. Regulatory compliance and cyber security also play major roles in these systems. In addition, there is a notion of local SCADA and host-based SCADA to cover a larger geographical region for control and monitoring.
Dexcent's Advantage: We continue investing in developing highly specialized and diverse teams capable of delivering technical, professional, and consultative expertise in this domain. We have been successful in building a team of skilled Engineers with practical know-how of most major SCADA platforms for different industries.
Control Systems Services PLC/RTUs
Ensure that the services provided in configuring and programming the PLC/RTUs are in compliance with the developed designs from a functionality and cyber security perspectives. The challenge today is that most clients have acquired systems over the years that have multitude of different brands of PLC/RTUs. It is a difficult task to hire the right expertise to have a structured and disciplined approach to configuring, programming, testing, and commissioning of these devices across multiple brands.
Dexcent's Advantage: We have invested heavily in hiring and developing the right expertise to carry out these tasks with the same rigor and disciplined approach across multiple brands. Our experts have provided these services since our inception back in 2006 to F500 companies. Being vendor agnostics, we provide an unbiased approach to the issues at hand for the benefit of our clients for the best possible solutions.
Ensure that an expert local supplier has the capacity to provide a multitude of services for continuous enhancement, configuration, maintenance of the SCADA systems together with professional staff being able to provide just-in-time in-class and hands-on training to customer staff. Most OEM vendor services are provided only for the OEM SCADA systems. Some clients have more than one brand of SCADA system and so it is a challenge to get consistent support and training for all their systems. Also, the OEM vendors tend to ask clients to comply with their pre-planned yearly schedule for support and training.
Dexcent's Advantage: Being a local SCADA provider, we can be an extension of our clients’ teams in providing multitude of services for different brands of SCADA. We have developed teams that have worked on different systems and can provide expert and professional services locally. These services will include “SCADA management (database configuration, backup and recovery), “configuration of new points, PLC/RTUs, and sites”, “testing and commissioning”, “interface to other systems like OSI PI, “report generation from real-time or historical databases”, etc.
SCADA HMI Services
Ensure that the services provided in developing Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) for the pipeline or site operations are complaint with appropriate regulations. It is paramount to have HMI developers who are aware of the regulatory requirements so that the design and the work under development will not only be complaint but also help with efficient and error-free operations.
Dexcent's Advantage: We have built proficient teams of individuals backed by regulatory experts that can develop API 1165 compliant HMIs that are also aligned with performance and support requirements. We can also provide a structured HMI Performance assessment and recommendations to help with existing HMI environments.
SCADA Quality Control (QC) Services
Ensure that the SCADA development and pre-production activities are fully tested and controlled. In addition to Quality Assurance, Quality Control strives to prove system readiness for operations. As SCADA systems are used for mission critical operations, this task takes on a higher level of expectations.
Dexcent's Advantage: We have trained and will continue our investment in building qualified Quality Control individuals for the mission critical systems. Our offerings in this domain include “testing of SCADA systems, applications, databases, HMIs, and interfaces”, “factory acceptance testing with SCADA provider”, “site acceptance testing at client’s site”, “pre-commissioning and commissioning of systems, applications, field points, PLC/RTUs, and sites” in order to bring the acquired SCADA system to a “ready-for-operation” state.
SCADA Professional Services
Ensure that as a supplier of SCADA services, there is adequate capacity to provide professional services to ongoing work at client sites. Most clients when acquiring a new SCADA system or upgrading an existing one, would prefer to have their own staff involved in the activities. This means that their day-to-day jobs and tasks will be affected by them picking up additional duties for the duration of the projects.
Dexcent's Advantage: With many years of experience in delivering project work in the SCADA domain, we are well positioned to provide technical and professional services, including Project Management, Requirements Definition, Business Analysis, Technical Leadership, Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) and creation of Statement of Work (SOW), or backfilling customer professionals in peak periods
Ensure that adequate training is provided for staff at different levels developing, supporting, maintaining, or operating SCADA systems. As SCADA is used for monitoring and control of critical infrastructure, it is becoming increasingly paramount to provide just-in-time training for the staff in the SCADA environment for all aspects of the system including awareness of the regulatory requirements
Dexcent's Advantage: We have recognized that just-in-time training is the most efficient use of our clients’ staff time to familiarize them with the SCADA system acquired. We have developed specific training schedule for different levels of staff, including SCADA Administration, SCADA Development, SCADA Operations, and SCADA Support staff. We combine structured in-class training with customized on-line and hands-on training for the most efficient and effective delivery of training material.
Liquids Pipeline Applications Services
Ensure that if Liquids Pipeline Applications are acquired by clients in addition to SCADA systems, that this suit of applications is configured optimally for efficient operations of the pipeline. Generally, the staff available for SCADA systems are not well trained or qualified to configure and use the liquids operational applications.
Dexcent's Advantage: We have been able to invest and secure highly skilled professionals in understanding these applications from a pipeline operations perspective and being able to use their knowledge of the pipelines operations in optimally configuring these applications. The Liquids Applications have a wide range of different uses, including scheduling, metering/ticketing, mete proving, meter factor management, tanking operations, batch and anomaly tracking, hydraulic profile, column separation, volumetric line balance, leak detection and location (real-time-transient and statistical modelling), safe operational routes, and operational batch and inventory reports.”
Gas Pipeline Applications Services
Ensure that if Real-time Gas Pipeline Applications are acquired by clients in addition to SCADA systems, that this suit of applications is configured optimally for efficient operations of the pipelines. Generally, the staff available for SCADA systems are not well trained or qualified to configure and use the gas operational applications.
Dexcent's Advantage: We have been able to invest and secure highly skilled professionals in understanding these applications from a pipeline operations perspective and being able to use their knowledge of the pipelines operations in optimally configuring these applications. The Operational Gas Applications have a wide range of different uses, including generating, monitoring and revising predicted loads for current and future, allowing operators to make supply and demand adjustments, real-time metering, gas quality downloads, flow totals, line pack monitoring, inventory management, and load forecasting.
SCADA Regulatory Services
Ensure the operations environment is compliant with regulatory advisories and requirements. Most suppliers in the SCADA domain only provide services related to a specific vendor product. This means that the client needs to hire from different vendors to ensure all developed work is compliant with regulatory requirements.
Dexcent's Advantage: We have been able to invest and secure highly skilled professionals in providing Regulatory Assessment and Recommendations, in addition to investing in teams to deliver the work. We are a one-stop-shop capable of doing audits and recommendations together with the development of the work. Our audits include API 1165, API 1167, and PHMSA 49 CFR Parts 192 and 195.
Modern industrial control and automation systems have evolved into Integrated Control and Safety (ICS) systems consisting of distributed control systems with control and safety functionality. Adding to the complexity is the convergence of the OT and ICS infrastructure and the importance of well-designed HMIs.
Dexcent's Advantage: We invest in developing highly specialized, cross domain-skilled and diverse teams capable of delivering technical, professional, and consultative expertise. In providing control system services, we have built a team of skilled Engineers with practical know-how of most major automation platforms used today in many different industries.
Process Control Systems (PCS)
Ensure the enhanced control strategy fits the application. Due to tighter performance limits and more efficient operations, control systems are subject to much more careful scrutiny. Achieving fewer process steps, less intermediate storage, and lower demand on processing capacity, promote higher efficiency and performance from your PCS.
Dexcent's Advantage: Our team with experience and knowledge in instrumentation, field networks, controllers, redundant control networks, and system consoles (Engineering, operator and application workstations) will ensure the enhanced control strategy fits your automation objectives. In designing or integrating a PCS system based on PLC, DCS, or SCADA, our team will use a structured and methodical approach giving consideration to impact on safety, process, equipment, environment, people, and cyber security at each major decision point or milestone.
Ensure automation solutions is connected with other systems effectively and is integrated in compliance with ISA standards. Rising safety concerns and increased demand for energy efficient production, requires integration of automation solutions efficiently, cost-effectively, and in accordance with industry standards.
Dexcent's Advantage: Our team of professionals, design and integrate automation solutions in compliance with regulatory and ISA standards. We also adopt a creative project team sourcing strategy inclusive of end users, suppliers, and speciality engineering firms, to ensure an efficient and cost-effective integration approach.
Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS)
Ensure successful implementation of ESD, BMS, and F&G systems. A single process plant accident can potentially be disastrous and result in loss of life or productivity with significant financial loss. An SIS is designed to prevent high risk and high impact consequences. Danger of safety complacency during operations is a common industry challenge and is compounded by the confusion around technology choices, conflicting vendor stories and differing interpretations about what a dedicated safety system should do.
Dexcent's Advantage: We can lead this whole effort and guide you through the design lifecycle steps: Analysis (Risk Analysis, SIF Identification, SIL determination), Realization (Design, Installation, Commissioning) and Operation (Operation, Maintenance, Modification). From the sensor to your logic solver, and back to your actuation devices, your safety loops are safe with us. Our team of professionals have experience implementing successful Emergency Shutdown Systems (ESD), Burner Management Systems (BMS), and Fire and Gas Systems (F&G).
Plant-Wide Data Historians
Ensure data historians are designed to allow for data to be collected, validated, stored, and that information can be distributed to the business and operational consumers. The data collected from the multitude of sources available today provides true business and operational value only when the information is integrated into the network and made available to all end users in an actionable manner.
Dexcent's Advantage: We offer the full range of data management services required to design, collect, validate, store, and distribute information to the business and operational consumers.
Integrated Control and Safety Systems (ICSS)
Ensure that cyber security knowledge is leveraged to have a successful ICSS strategy. New digital technology makes it feasible to integrate process control and safety instrumented functions within a common automation infrastructure. While this can provide productivity and asset management benefits, if not done correctly, it can also compromise the safety and security of an industrial operation.
Dexcent's Advantage: We fully appreciate the processes under control, and not just the safety equipment or the electronics, but the process areas that are being controlled. Our team of Engineers strive to understand the processes, how the devices are used, and how and when they fail and what will happen if they fail. We put a high value on the importance of cyber security within the processes under control, particularly for safety and security of industrial processes.
Electrical and Instrumentation components are the foundational building blocks of any industrial control systems. When sizing, selecting and designing measurement, analytical, safety or control applications, it is paramount to understand the fit-for-purpose and critical nature of the hardware, instrumentation, communication protocols together with supporting power and protection systems.
Dexcent's Advantage: During the design of a new or an upgrade of an existing system, we can support you in developing the best possible power designs, thereby, reducing overall process risks and increasing your control system’s lifespan.
Reduce process risks and increase control system lifespan with emerging technologies
Quantifying I/O and specifying the type of instrumentation (e.g. sensors, transmitters, valves and actuators) to be used to control the industrial process is just as important as realizing the impact of adopting emerging technologies.
Dexcent's Advantage: When selecting instrumentation for measurement, analytical, safety or control applications, our expertise helps appreciating that the instrumentation may also be subject to RF interference, highly caustic, corrosive, or humid environments, vibrations, dirt and dust, or other conditions that will challenge performance.”
Power and Grounding Design for Equipment
Effective power and grounding systems are critical for the protection of equipment. Designs and installations can be radically different for use in plants and isolated areas.
Dexcent's Advantage: Effective power and grounding systems are critical for the protection of equipment. Designs and installations can be radically different for use in plants and isolated areas.
Control Valves Selection and Sizing
Sizing and selecting the valves correctly has a significant impact on the proper operation of plants.
Dexcent's Advantage: Leveraging our experience under process operating conditions and control philosophy strategies, our team will ensure that the right control valves are selected for the application.
Field Level Networks
Ensure that the right wired and wireless communications protocols are selected. Designing a field level network for OT environment requires full understanding of and following proper media, protocol and data communication guidelines to ensure the information coming from the field instruments and going to the end devices are accurate and reliable.
Dexcent's Advantage: Our expertise spans from understanding the fit-for-purpose use of wired communication protocols, including classic I/O, 4-20mA HART, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus and Modbus, and wireless communication protocols, including WirelessHART, ISA 100, and Ziggbee (an IEEE 802.15.4-based specification).
Electrical Motor/Drives Control Applications
Ensure that the right motor and accessories are selected. Electric driven motors are widely used in the process automation industry. Sizing and selecting the motor, starters, contactors, and VFDs correctly can have a significant impact on the life of the system.
Dexcent's Advantage: Our team will ensure that the right motor and accessories are sized and selected for the application.
Cabinet Design and Fabrication
Ensure that custom instrumentation, control marshalling, or special application cabinets are properly sized and designed. Proper sizing and design of the cabinets helps with a more cosmetically aesthetic environment and also helps with proper usage of real estate, power, and heating/cooling needs.
Dexcent's Advantage: Working closely with industry proven cabinet fabricators, we design instrumentation, control marshalling, or special application cabinets and junction boxes, using proven standards and with consideration to enclosure rating, hazardous conditions, room layout, internal component layout, power distribution, heating/cooling, grounding and field factors (e.g. top hats, plinths, etc.).
UPS Design for Control Systems Equipment
Correct UPS system design is critical to ensure that the power continuity requirements for the equipment are met. Implementing a UPS solution keeps vital functions running for the designed time, and keeps your plant, people and environment safe when the power source is compromised.
Dexcent's Advantage: Our team has the right experience in designing UPS systems, exercising a balance between the unexpected levels of power outages and potential high cost of available solutions.
Our process of think, automate and secure is custom engineered to develop comprehensive solutions for our clients, making Dexcent a full-service IT and OT solution provider.
We think about your data and how valuable that information is, and the story it tells; what is happening, what can happen and what will happen. We use that data to provide data driven solutions to your operation.
We automate information delivery for improved efficiency and effective decision making, in line with your business and its operational targets.
We secure to enhance our client’s industrial Cyber Security posture along with ensuring compliance and building upon your security framework already in place.
We're Obsessed with Process Automation
We admit it, we’re obsessed. We’re obsessed with Process Automation, specifically Visualization. We think about your data and how valuable that information is, the story it tells; what is happening and what will happen. We're obsessed with how to use that data to provide information driven solutions in your visualization platforms. Subscribe to receive monthly articles to find our more on what we are obsessed about.