Media Center

A utility’s workstations needed an upgrade, custom hardware and a tight schedule added pressure. Three plants were facing obsolesces issues, yet virtualization created a new set of IT and cyber challenges. For some elements of the program, schedule was a challenge. And, projects were not run as loosely as they were even 10 years ago, when the last of the original systems were installed, so the new project process was also a challenge. Lots of engineering expertise on both sides was needed to identify, document and carry through custom elements of the hardware and software to the new platform.

Our newly-acquired team from Schneider Electric’s nuclear I&C business meant we had experts ready to take on the job. The first upgrade projects used the same personnel as used on the most recent TVA projects, giving the utility familiar engineers and project management. We worked differently to stay on schedule and installed a custom, expandable Foxboro DCS system with unique modifications to hardware and software. In the Foxboro DCS virtualized environment, all control communications to/from Foxboro DCS stations occur over the control network while all remote desktop traffic operates over a Distributed Control System Auxiliary Communications Network.  So, the virtual workstations are no longer tied to the host hardware which means upgrades and requalification become much simpler and a longer lifecycle going forward. The innovative approach also involved development and test of software on testbeds for use in an integrated FAT setup with the utility’s vendors. We also switched lead units to adjust to customer changes combined reporting to support customer design packages.

Our innovative approach reduced testing issues, met the timeline and even improved a control that had been variable for years.

Framatome Engineering