DCS Migration / Replacement

A DCS migration is a project where some or all of a plant’s automation control equipment is replaced while introducing new technologies, functions, and features that will improve plant operations.

Why Migrate Your Distributed Control System?

Operating an old DCS increases the risk of system failures, part availability, and reduced support, among other operating inefficiencies. All of these issues can lead to plant downtime, and as a result, lost revenue and safety incidents.

DCS migration not only minimizes the risks associated with having to maintain older systems but also presents the opportunity to take advantage of new technologies. With DCS migration comes more flexible operator interfaces, more open platforms, stronger cybersecurity, and better self-diagnostic capabilities, improving production throughput and reducing production and maintenance costs.

Yokogawa’s DCS Migration Services

From stepwise migrations driven by functional improvements to complete system replacements for plants facing serious system failures, Yokogawa offers expert services to help you identify and meet your DCS migration needs.

Yokogawa also works with you in the following ways to ensure a safe, cost-effective, and value-added migration process:

Our Solutions: Since introducing the world's first DCS in 1975, Yokogawa has helped myriads of migration projects, offering expert consulting and flexible services to meet unique customer requirements.

  • Assessing risks and advising on how best to address them
  • Optimizing existing assets
  • Maintaining quality
  • Minimizing production loss
  • Providing long-term support

DCS Migration Services

Since introducing the world's first DCS in 1975, Yokogawa has helped myriads of migration projects, offering expert consulting and flexible services to meet unique customer requirements.

Risk Assessment and Consulting Services

Risk assessment at feasibility study and/or FEED phase
Yokogawa’s highly experienced migration experts assess your migration risks by first analyzing your existing system to identify and prioritize potential issues, then consulting Yokogawa’s lessons learned database to devise an appropriate risk mitigation solution.

Consulting services for improving plant performance
Develop an optimal migration strategy with the help of our consulting services, which optimize the migration process and show you how to manage production operations more effectively. Specific services include:

  1. Devising a comprehensive migration plan and schedule
  2. Identifying the benefits that will be achieved and calculating your return on investment
  3. Pointing out ways to improve safety and operational flexibility

DCS worker

Value-added Migration

For a phased migration, we develop an optimal migration blueprint that addresses your specific needs. Phased migrations typically take place over a long period of time, and we ensure that the system is reliably operable during the entire migration process.

Yokogawa’s experienced specialists are involved in each phase of the value-added migration process, which includes:

  • Feasibility study that analyzes the gap between targeted and actual results, identifies bottlenecks, proposes practical countermeasures, and estimates the resulting improvement in profits
  • Implementation of system migration countermeasures
Study area / item Analysis Benefit
Innovative production system MP
  • Production management center
  • Integrated advanced control system
  • High efficiency operation
  • Yield improvement
  • Loss recovery
  • Energy saving
  • Manpower reduction
Refinery modernization MP
  • DCS
  • Field instruments
  • APC
  • Consolidation of control rooms
  • Refinery information system
  • Yield improvement
  • Loss recovery
  • Energy saving
  • Manpower reduction
Offsite modernization FS
  • DCS
  • Oil movement system
  • Optimum blending control
  • Automatic path selection and valve status monitoring system
  • Demurrage reduction
  • Contamination reduction
  • Reloading loss reduction
  • Manpower reduction
Operation improvement FS
  • Alarm / manipulation
  • Operator workload
  • Automation level
  • Manpower reduction
  • Further safety operation
Advanced process control (APC) FS
  • Multi-variable control
  • Quality estimation
  • Benefit / investment analysis
  • Yield improvement
  • Energy saving
  • Throughput up

Feasibility study (FS) / master plan (MP) for refining industry


Technical Capability


Connections to higher-level systems and subsystems are an important consideration in the distributed control system (DCS) migration process. The CENTUM VP supports a variety of interfaces (e.g. OPC, PROFIBUS-DP, FOUNDATION™ fieldbus, HART) in its standard configuration. With proprietary interfaces and interfaces that are no longer standard (e.g. GP-IB and BSC), junction/conversion equipment is required. Yokogawa works with you to provide an optimal system configuration and integration service, taking your system migration requirements and interface standardization trends into full consideration.



Connections to higher-level systems and subsystems

Operator Training

It is desirable for operators to get used to operating the new system before the system migration. CENTUM VP provides an advanced virtual test function for that purpose. This not only makes it possible to virtually operate the system via an HMI, it also tests the control logic before the new system begins to operate. The quality of user-defined applications/logic can also be improved with this function. For instance, the logic for an abnormal situation can be tested easily using the virtual test function.


Engineering Capability

Yokogawa has experience in more than 340 third party system migration projects. Yokogawa can serve as the main contractor, providing a turnkey legacy system migration solution.

Yokogawa's approach

Up-front Risk Management
To ensure accuracy, the I/O list generated from the loop drawings is cross-checked with the following:

  • P&ID
  • Marshalling drawings
  • Database downloaded from the existing DCS system
  • Junction box drawings
  • Cable schedule

A strong relationship based on mutual trust and respect is essential for dealing with any critical issues that are identified. The identification activities are carried out before/during/after the shutdown period. Critical cutover tasks are prepared, approved, and carried out together with the customer.

Hot Cutover / Cold Cutover
Yokogawa can effectively handle both hot and cold cutovers. For instance, a legacy system migration project including a central control room (CCR) renovation for a customer in the Middle East was accomplished in just 9 days. Originally 14 days had been scheduled for the shutdown. In addition to the 5 days that were saved through well-managed cutover work, 3 days were saved during the plant start-up phase. The completion of this project 8 days sooner than scheduled saved the customer US $6.7 million.

Conversion Tool for Legacy System Engineering Data
Software engineering information (e.g. tag numbers, units, ranges, comments, control schemes, alarm settings, tuning parameters, etc.) can be downloaded from an existing DCS system. The downloaded information can be then fed to the CENTUM VP using a conversion tool, saving considerable time and ensuring a reliable result.

Conversion Tool for Legacy System Engineering Data image
Conversion Tool


Migration to a new automation system not only maximizes plant availability, it also reduces the likelihood of health, safety, and environmental incidents. And one of the most fundamental and often overlooked factors for maximizing revenue is the reliability and maintainability of an automation system. Maximizing system availability is a key prerequisite for plant uptime.

Yokoigawa DCS CENTUM

Reliability of the Production Control System
All automation suppliers take system reliability - a key factor for plant availability - seriously. However, none matches Yokogawa's extreme commitment. At the heart of all our systems is a unique "Pair and Spare" controller architecture that relies on a redundant set of CPU modules. The actual availability track record of the Yokogawa CENTUM VP DCS is 99.99999% (seven 9s).


Reliability of the Safety Instrumented System
Yokogawa's ProSafe-RS is the world's first truly integrated safety instrumented system. Its integration with the production control system ensures a unified monitoring and operation environment for the operator. TÜV Rheinland (TÜV), a German certification organization, has certified ProSafe-RS to be compliant with both the IEC61508 and IEC61511 international standards. This certification to the latest standards attests to the high level of Yokogawa's technology and the quality of the ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system.

ProSafe-RS image


EJA110E image

Maintainability with Diagnostics Technologies
By taking advantage of FOUNDATION™ fieldbus and HART connections with field devices, Yokogawa's asset management system greatly improves device maintainability and reduces maintenance costs. Maintenance staff can now gain access to field device information anywhere and anytime. The results of field device diagnoses can be accurately reflected in both field maintenance and plant operation.

Quick Parts Delivery

In the event of a sudden control system breakdown, the quick delivery of interchangeable parts is essential to minimizing plant downtime. For such emergencies, Yokogawa provides a system card rental service as well as an expedited replacement service. A system card can be rented until the defective card is either repaired or replaced with a new card. Cards are dispatched from Yokogawa's global/local inventory.

Remote System Maintenance
Remote system maintenance is the fastest method for identifying a problem at a customer's site, minimizing system downtime. A Yokogawa service specialist accesses the system from a remote location to identify the source of the problem. The specialist can spot a defective part and advise the customer of its location.

In addition, when necessary, a specialist can be dispatched to the customer's site and carry out the repair, either bringing a replacement part or using a part provided by the customer.

Cost-effective Migration

Yokogawa has developed the necessary migration solutions so that your legacy Centum controllers and process interface units can be replaced with the newest CENTUM VP I/O and controllers, utilizing upgrade cards and adapter cables that connect to the existing terminal panels of your legacy system.   No cabinets need to be rewired in the field, dramatically reducing process downtime. In fact, because of the compact design and the high density of the CENTUM VP I/O cards and controllers, fewer cabinets are required and space is freed up for other uses.  We recognize that upgrading the controller and field hardware is only part of the risk management story.  User applications and operator graphics constitutes a major part of work that can be very time-consuming.  With most releases, the translation of control strategies and operator graphics happens automatically with 100% translation.  Reports are generated to identify potential problem areas that need manual intervention or review.  This allows for significant risk reduction for your upgrade project.

Yokogawa ensures an efficient and secure migration of your legacy system to the CENTUM VP, leveraging its field-proven engineering capabilities.

Yokogawa has supplied these solutions to customers around the world. They are delighted with their new CENTUM VP systems and are benefiting from increased reliability, lower Total Cost of Ownership, and lower operating risk.

Yokogawa ensures an efficient and secure migration of your legacy system to the CENTUM VP, leveraging its field-proven engineering capabilities.

DCS Migration Case Studies & References

Case Studies - Honeywell

Yokogawa developed marshaling boards/cards and special cables so that the CENTUM 
CS 3000 could be connected to Honeywell TDC2000/3000 components without having to modify the existing field wiring.

  • Minimization of construction costs
  • Field wiring and I/O terminals (FTAs) of the existing system remained intact, preserving the customer's investment.
  • Reduction of process downtime

With no need for changes to the field wiring and I/O terminals (FTAs), the need for loop checking was eliminated. Furthermore, all control logic could be debugged in advance by using a standard software tool, the CENTUM virtual test function. Therefore, downtime and test runs could be kept to a minimum.

Migrating from an existing control system to the latest CENTUM CS 3000 system presents an opportunity to achieve operational excellence, introduce new information technology, pursue new automation strategies, and go in a new business direction. 

Case Study - ABB (Bailey)

Yokogawa developed special cables to directly connect ABB INFI 90 termination units to the Yokogawa CENTUM CS 3000 input and output modules.

  • Minimization of cutover time & risk

The field wiring to INFI 90 I/O termination units and dip shunt settings could be used as is, eliminating the need to disconnect and reconnect field cabling and minimizing cutover time.

As changes to the field wiring and I/O terminations were not necessary, loop checking was eliminated. Furthermore, all control logic could be debugged in advance using a standard software tool, the CENTUM virtual test function. In so doing, process downtime and test runs could be minimized.

  • Minimization of the construction costs & production losses

The field wiring and I/O terminations of the existing system remained intact, preserving the user's investment and minimizing process downtime during the transition from the ABB INFI 90 system to the Yokogawa CENTUM CS 3000 control system. Migrating from an existing control system to the latest CENTUM CS 3000 system presented an opportunity to upgrade to the latest information technologies, implement new automation strategies, and introduce new business packages.



  • Online hot cut over from the legacy Honeywell TDC3000 to the Yokogawa CENTUM CS 3000.
  • The work was successfully completed 48 days ahead of schedule and without disruption to operations.
  • Yokogawa successfully carried out the upgrade of off-site system in a 48 hour shutdown period with Seibu Oil.
  • Control room design for HSE and smooth communication contributes to the operational efficiency and safety.
  • Highly reliable CENTUM CS 3000 replaces legacy system and automates batch plant operation.
  • Working together, Hanwha Chemical and Yokogawa Korea project personnel completed this work on time and on schedule.
  • PetroChina Dushanzi Petrochemicals Polyethylene Plant system migration.
  • The revamp included the challenging creation of function design specifications (FDS) as well as FAT and SAT.
  • Legacy System Replaced with Yokogawa CENTUM VP and ProSafe-RS at PTA plant in Indonesia.
  • PID parameters imported to CENTUM VP without complex calculations.
  • Nearly 1000 FOUNDATION fieldbus devices were connected to the CENTUM CS 3000.
  • PRM provides a single window interface to all FOUNDATION fieldbus and HART devices and this gives maintenance personnel quick access.
  • The AR1 refinery recently replaced its legacy DCS with Yokogawa's CENTUM CS 3000.
  • Achieving an Intelligent Oil Management System.
  • Smooth and safe switchover to the new system
  • Easy-to-use, easy-to-engineer system, plus various post-installation enhancements
  • Tuned controllers for smooth plant operation and better traceability of process upsets
  • Various other improvements thanks to advanced process control and MVC implementation
  • CENTUM CS 3000 production control system contributes to smooth HDPE production.
  • The challenge for this replacement project was in completing the work and starting up the new CS 3000 system as soon as possible, keeping downtime to a minimum.
  • Yokogawa receives award for hot cutover of BP Sharjah plant DCS.
  • Yokogawa was selected by BP as main automation contractor (MAC) for a project to replace the Sharjah plant's existing legacy DCS with Yokogawa CENTUM VP.

Honeywell and Yokogawa have both been producing Distributed Control System (DCS) platforms for decades, and both are very active in this area. In 1975, Honeywell introduced its TDC2000 platform and Yokogawa brought out CENTUM. These two competing systems emerged from a similar place, oil refining and petrochemical industries, so they started out with similar basic concepts and use cases in mind. 

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