Project:Process Control & Automation


Glencore wanted to improve communication between various systems in their Process Control Network. They also wanted to improve network security by eliminating devices that were spanning both the corporate network and process control network (PCN). By installing new gateway communication devices, this risk could be mitigated. BESTECH has been contracted to continually upgrade the Glencore Sudbury INO (formerly Xstrata Nickel) Smelter PCN in order to ensure hardware, software, licensing and maintenance programs are kept up to date and continue to operate with minimal interruptions. BESTECH also made the recommendation to upgrade their existing serial based DCS network to a mesh configuration. The recommendation was accepted and implemented in a phased approach by the BESTECH team over a span of 2 years to reduce impact on production.

BESTECH was asked to design and implement the changes with the following steps:

  • Project management, construction, commissioning, documentation, and data collection
  • Verify the current network racks and plan the installation of the new components
  • Create and revise the functional descriptions of the PLC devices
  • Create and modify electrical, network topology and rack layout drawings
  • Modify the PCN in order to provide reliable and redundant communication
  • Install fibre optic cabling to provide network connectivity to the new components
  • Create construction and commissioning reports for the project