"DCS migration can save millions" (InTech July/August 2013) is a great article. It includes some excellent, but often overlooked points about the savings that result from a distributed control system (DCS) migration. Not just avoiding maintenance costs, but the benefits of having a modern system. One benefit that I like is the "moving" benefit. It's like moving from one house to another. At first glance, there are huge expenses with little upside. The unseen advantage is that having to move all of your stuff forces you to do some evaluation. Do I really need all this junk? A good DCS migration can be cathartic as well. Those loops that never run in automatic and those valves that don't work properly can result in hidden savings just from the attention.
Water industry forums
"Trouble justifying automation investments? Talk to operations" (InTech July/August 2013) has excellent insights! Local AWWA [American Water Works Association] and WEA [Water Environment Association] meetings can be a great forum to meet water industry operations professionals.
Analyzers in the field
Regarding "Improving analytics to meet process industry demands" (InTech March/April 2013), you can even install an analyzer like a gas chromatograph in the field, connecting back to the AMADAS and DCS via fieldbus, eliminating the need for an analyzer house and long sampling lines. Read more here: http://gastoday.com.au/news/gc_made_easy_integrating_process_gas_chromatographs/056780/