Case Study

Case Study

Cement Manufacturer Upgrades OT Server Platform to Increase Uptime

Objective

A client was experiencing unacceptable downtime due to critical computer servers crashing during their 24×7 operation. Existing servers were not located in a computer-friendly environment. Technical support and service of the legacy server hardware was not typically available on a timely basis. Client desperately needed a robust and stable OT platform to maintain client commitments. Malisko was tasked with the OT platform replacement while keeping production interruption at an absolute minimum.

CHALLENGES

  • Very aggressive delivery schedule.
  • Documentation and naming conventions on the legacy system followed no standard or method.
  • Minimize the amount of time for transitioning to new the system.
  • Modify the system while running production.
  • Plant did not have all necessary documentation for their existing software licensing as well as some licenses were not “current”.
  • Scheduling, minimizing interruptions.
  • Multiple dell-mount server hardware including a failed RAID Array.
  • Existing server rack was inadequate to protect the investment (server hardware) to support their plant’s automation system.
  • Tightly coordinate delivery of new server and licenses in a very short timeframe – in our office, set it up, configure and test, ship it, install, site test, GO LIVE.
  • This project was executed by Resources from across Malisko’s three (3) offices to leverage the depth of experience, knowledge and skills to meet the demanding needs of this conversion. Coordination was key. The cross-skilled team made executing and delivering this solution very efficient and effective for the client.
  • Specify, configure, test, install and deploy a Dell VRTX Server system.
  • Services ported to new system: SCADA (Wonderware), Software Configuration, Virtualization (hyperV), Controls, Production Support, Process, Veeam
  • Remote tech support.
  • Full replacement and transfer of control systems were required.
  • Server was a cluster server configuration.
  • Developed naming standards for server and server images.
  • Identify Network changes required for new system (Domain/Security, etc..).
  • Worked with Dell Tech Support to configure cluster server.
  • Install Hyper-V software.
  • Create Hyper-V images for required servers being replaced.
  • Migrate existing system from physical to the new Hyper-V images.
  • Modify Wonderware system to work with the new images
  • Installed/applied latest patches to legacy WonderWare software
  • WonderWare software update – Brought old software up to date to “newest” version
  • Modify Wonderware for improvement
  • Provided Veeam backup solution.
  • Provided a new NEMA12 air-conditioned enclosed server rack to enhance the server’s integrity and longevity of operation.
  • Tight coordination with Plant operations.
  • Migrated current plant system in parallel to running live system for testing.
  • Worked closely with plant engineer and their operators.
  • Systematically swapped over one (1) system at a time with a little run time between different systems to allow run time.

RESULTS

  • Swap-over from “old” to “new” went very well with little to no issues.
  • System has been running without the old issues of communication problems and servers shutting down.
  • System now has backups and images that can be easily transferred if a hardware issue does occur.
  • Previously if there would have been a failure, the recovery time would have been multiple days if not more because lack of resources.
  • The new server rack improves the life expectancy of the new hardware that “lives” in the environmentally-controlled server rack.
  • It’ll live out its life in an appropriate environment to provide resiliency and reliability until it’s replaced at the next service interval.
LEARN MORE

Want to learn more about this project or how we can help you with your manufacturing challenges? Simply fill out the form below and someone from the Malisko team will reach out to you shortly.

  • By submitting your information via this form, you give Malisko Engineering, Inc. permission to contact you via email about updates, news, and/or offers which may be of interest to you. It is Malisko Engineering, Inc.'s policy not to share any personally-identifying material obtained through Malisko Engineering, Inc. web sites with any third party.
  • Hidden
Corporate Office

500 N Broadway
Suite 1600
St. Louis, MO 63102
314.621.2921

Western Regional Office

4600 S Ulster Street
Suite 1020
Denver, CO 80237

Northern Regional Office

3610 Oakwood Hills Parkway
Suite 2
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Malisko Engineering, Inc. © Copyright 2021. All rights reserved