Process Industry India

"There is a Huge Scope for Energy Efficient Components" Farook Merchant on the Indian Process Industry

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PROCESS India: What are the other criteria that need to be checked before inking a final deal?

Farook Merchant: Before inking the final deal, mainly some other factors need to be considered. For example, optimum configuran and tion, with CPU processing speeds, networking or communication protocols and speeds, fault tolerance capability, process safety, overall cost of the solution and RoI and maintenance cost for a long period (typically 10 years).

PROCESS India: How to select a partner to ensure the best customized solution?

Farook Merchant: Proposed partner’s vast domain knowledge and expertise is very important. The firm should have comprehensive range of automation products and solutions, which ensure end-to-end solution from a single source. The partner’s reputation and strong financial base are also crucial. After sales support, services, training and repair proposals need to be scrutinised.


PROCESS India: What are the benefits of choosing an indigenous PLC technology vendor?

Farook Merchant: The main benefit of choosing an indigenous PLC technology vendor’s products is its in-house R&D, which can undertake special developments and provides scope for customization. The other benefit is easy product availability and supply, due to local manufacturing, apart from repair capability up to the component level.

PROCESS India: How to secure fail-safe operation through keeping right clauses in contract?

Farook Merchant: The fail-safe operation can be ensured by selecting the system, which gives redundancy at control level, power supply and network level. For example, Mitsubishi Electric (Japan) offers redundant solution with Process CPUs Q12PRH and Q25PRH, redundant network (MelsecNet/H) FAT (Factory Acceptance Tests) and SAT (Site Acceptance Tests), some more factors must be considered, while signing the contract with a vendor. These are (mainly) performance guarantee, equipment up time guarantee and service guarantee.

PROCESS India: How to ensure the latest technology and guarantee for tamper-proof components?

Farook Merchant: To ensure implementation of the latest technology, one must select a world-class automation product manufacturer. For tamper-proof automation components, one must exercise caution in procurement process. Always buy from authorized and registered channels of manufacturers.

PROCESS India: What are your suggestions to the Indian process manufacturing community?

Farook Merchant: Use energy efficient products or components and solutions. In process industries, there is huge scope of replacing non-energy conscious components with energy efficient ones. Control valves can be replaced with pumps, operated through Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs). Secondly, use Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) as per IEC Standard 61508 or 61511. The Indian process industry must focus on the SIS for safety of – the people inside and outside the plant, plant assets, production and environment. There is a vital role for the providers or integrators of automation systems and solutions in this area. Lastly, select the technology that must be flexible enough to adopt the changes needed in future.

* The interviewer is the Chief Editor of PROCESS India

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