Online Upgrades: Six Years in Six Hours

PUBLISHED ON Nov 27, 2006

A major U.S. Food/Agricultural Processing firm has successfully performed an online upgrade of its NovaTech Automation D/3® Process Automation System in an operating biotech production facility while the plant was making product. What makes this accomplishment unique is that the plant upgraded software that was released in 2000 to the current version without transitional upgrades of the more than four intermediate versions released over the past six years.

Five pairs of D/3 redundant controllers communicating with over 8700 I/O points, including DCS and PLC I/O, were updated within six hours without affecting the control of the process. Server and operator workstations were also upgraded from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003 Server and Windows XP.

This was the largest operating production facility to perform an online upgrade of its complete D/3 Process Automation System since the capability was introduced to the D/3 earlier this year.

The client was pleased with the ease, safety, and reliability of the upgrade. They are planning additional upgrades at other D/3 System facilities.

“The Online Upgrade capability of the D/3 means NovaTech Automation customers can take advantage of the latest software releases without scheduling downtime,” notes NovaTech Automation President Buz Zey. “Our development efforts are aimed at helping users extract the maximum value from their investment in D/3, and this is a significant step forward in helping them keep their competitive edge.”