• Webinar Recap: Front-End Loading for Control System Migration

    We're glad so many of you could join us for the Front-End Loading (FEL) webinar on Thursday! Speakers Nick Sands, Matt Sigmon and Charles Skeen addressed a number of common migration concerns and shared how a three-step FEL process can help minimize risk and identify potential process improvements.

    If you couldn't make it to the webinar, here's a brief recap of what you missed:

    The Project Dilemma 

    Do you want your project done fast, cheap or well? Without FEL, you'll be facing challenges with all three. And the further along you get, the more expensive it becomes to make changes to your initial project plan. The most common mistake that occurs in the absence of front-end loading is the failure to establish complete requirements for systems and control functions. "Going ahead" anyway almost always takes longer and costs more.

    What is FEL? 

    Front-end loading, or FEL, is a process for providing engineering evaluation and assessment prior to the actual implementation/execution project. A fully optimized FEL project for a DCS migration should make up 6-10% of the total installed cost (TIC) to achieve the greatest long-term return. FEL is typically broken into three steps:

    • FEL 1 - Recognize need and perform conceptual analysis
    • FEL 2 - Refine plan and determine preferred options
    • FEL 3 - Complete Front-End Engineering & Design (FEED), finalize execution plan (scope, cost, schedule, etc.) and capital funding approval


    Goals of FEL 

    FEL should be used as the framework for DCS migration investigation, conceptual planning, feasibility analysis, and authorization/funding support. Implementing an FEL process will help:

    • Provide justification and successfully navigate corporate CapEx funding tollgates
    • Provide reliable, preliminary engineering and project execution planning
    • Reduce implementation risk for cost, schedule and system performance

    Benefits of FEL 

    FEL performance is highly indicative of project success, specifically capital cost performance and long-term return on investment. But it should do more than just minimize CapEx spend and project execution risk; it should also identify opportunities for process improvement and long-term value.

    Proven FEL approaches will:

    • Reduce the impact of common mistakes
    • Drive reductions in total installed cost (TIC) and total cost of ownership (TCO)
    • Maximize ROI through innovation and effective implementation
    • Minimize the total CapEx spend (spend a little now to save a lot later)

    The webinar concluded with a question-and-answer session whereby attendees could receive insights and advice from our esteemed speakers. We hope you'll join us for future webinars so you too can take advantage of this unique opportunity to interact with industry experts.

    If you were unable to attend Front-End Loading for Control System Migration, please click here to download the webinar recording - which includes the extended question-and-answer session.