Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kit Bashing a DCS

So why is it that some third party integrators think they can build a better mousetrap? It’s one thing to go to Home Depot, buy a bunch of nails, screws, 2x4’s and build you a storage shed. And if you want to “kit bash” a prebuilt shed by adding a bay window, that’s cool, but be real careful turning around and trying to resell your new and improved shed if you haven’t taken into account the structural implications of that window.

And while the conversion van business has been around for a long time and has done well, I can’t say the same for the DCS “kit bashing” I’ve seen. Four times now I’ve had customers get caught in one of these “better” mousetraps, kit bashed from various control systems. The integrators don’t have a dog in the fight so it’s really easy for them to blame, after the fact of course, the hardware platform or system level software.

So the options to the end user are usually to do a major rewrite or hope and pray that hardware platform enhancements (faster processors, more memory) will somehow come to the rescue.

Be wary of someone pitching a DCS agnostic package that will have the same look and feel whether you use, for example, DeltaV or a SLC 5/05. Chances are if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

1 comment:

Mr. Harrold said...

Oh Bruce, you know why they promise "a just as good" solution, it's so they can sign-on for a long-term contract to "maintain" and "up-date" all that spaghetti software they develop. I've seen it happen so many times in the past two-plus decades that I've lost count.
Dave Harrold, curmudgeon with an opinion.