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Automation Systems

Specialty Chemical Plant Saves Time & Money by Switching to I.S. CHARMs

May 3, 2017
  • More than 72 hours of estimated down time saved during cutover
  • Reduced hardware footprint
  • Simplified Maintenance
  • Reduced design time
  • Space Savings
DCS migration of Westinghouse WDPF system controlling the operation of electrical equipment in hazardous areas.

Global Manufacturing Company


During the early design phase both R.E. Mason and the customer noticed an abundance of time spent integrating the new DeltaV control system with the site’s existing safety barriers. After spending many hours getting specifications on over 23 different models of safety barriers we came to the conclusion that certain models would not be compatible with the new DeltaV system. In these instances we found ourselves calling up manufacturers to spec out DeltaV compatible I.S. barriers. Unfortunately, it became evident that the new design was going to get messy, complex, and leave the customer with a solution that would be difficult to maintain.


Rather than continuing with this exacting design, engineers on the R.E. Mason team started thinking about different solutions entirely.

After the decision was made to change course, the design of the system became simpler and fewer hours were being spent on integration challenges. The new design drastically reduced clutter, disposed of peripheral devices, and freed up floor space.

Once designed, the installation approach changed entirely. Rather than focusing on the existing DCS cabinets we now concentrated on the existing safety barrier cabinets. These cabinets are where we would house the majority of our new DeltaV I.S. equipment, removing the existing DCS cabinets from the picture. Space was saved and installation time decreased by an estimated 72 hours.

Without having to deal with multiple devices and terminations, maintenance on the system would become a less daunting task. The instrumentation group can now run a signal directly from the DeltaV system to the field instrument. There is no more worrying about grounding issues or low voltage at the device. All of this is eliminated with the use of I.S. CHARMs due to higher voltage on the safe side and galvanic isolation between the field and DeltaV.

Considering the reduction in design time, the time saved in installation labor, space savings, and future maintenance, the I.S. CHARMs solution can become appealing to both the integrator and the end user.

The solution needed to make sense financially without affecting schedule. The I.S. CHARMs solution had come up in the past but was dismissed because of the price tag. It wasn’t until we began seeing how much time and effort we were putting into our old design that the cost of I.S. CHARMs became justified. We were also convinced that the new I.S. CHARMs solution would benefit the customer in a big way.