The Challenge: Obsolescence Risk Mitigation
A major global oil and gas operator required an obsolescence risk mitigation solution for their operational technology (OT). The IEC 62402 standard for obsolescence management sets out the minimum requirements, however the operator couldn’t decide where to start.
With thousands of component types and software, assessing obsolescent risk across different locations and multiple systems was challenging and time-consuming. Also, the profitability of operational assets depends on the plant operator’s ability to maintain high plant availability. These obsolescence issues became apparent when the plant operator began to see an increase in unplanned outages.
The issue is, that during a plant’s life, the obsolescence status of many component types and the software associated with these component types will change, and software can become obsolete very quickly which can also give rise to cyber vulnerability.
The Solution: Asset Guardian Obsolescence Management System
AGSL provided the operator with an obsolescence management system that met the requirements of IEC 62402. The Asset Guardian enhanced module for obsolescence management employs the methodologies described in the first and second editions of the standard.
AGSL maintains a database of obsolescence dates and lifecycle data of the more common components found in Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS). Working with the Operator’s existing Bill of Materials (BoM), AGSL was able to organise and migrate large volumes of data. This was then used to populate a dedicated Obsolescence Management system. The Operator then utilised this data to analyse the probability and impact of obsolescence to determine the risk for components, sub-system and system, production and plant.
IEC 62402 calls for development of mitigation strategies and so Asset Guardian produces these within the Obsolescence Management system. AGSL can also provide support into the future with periodic updates of manufacturers’ obsolescence dates and lifecycle dates.
The client already used Asset Guardian for other functions such as Compliance Management and Software Change Management therefore the Obsolescence Management module was an extension to their existing system.
The Result: Cost Reduction through Risk Mitigation Strategies
The solution has helped the operator analyse and monitor obsolescence issues for its Control System with Asset Guardian producing proactive and reactive mitigation strategies. A significant benefit for the Operator is cost cutting through the reduction of unscheduled outages, which can impact the profitability of the plant.
The operator can also use Asset Guardian to forecast and manage the obsolescence status of component types, sub-systems, systems and plants. Together with these forecasts, Asset Guardian enables the operator to develop strategies, and then cost and compare them. This will provide the operator with more confidence in budget allocation and investment decisions.
AGSL’S solution can leverage inventory data already contained in the standard Asset Guardian system. It can also maintain a large obsolescence database and populates Asset Guardian systems with the extra data. This enables enhanced functionality.
Asset Guardian automates the process with only periodic updates to obsolescence dates required. The operator’s inventory data is kept up to date through AG’s Configuration Change Management function. AGSL’s solution does not rely on regular, expensive audits of a control system’s inventory.
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