The honest answer is that it depends.
- On what condition the existing Metasys system and N2 bus is in
- On how much expertise about Metasys and N2 devices your installation team has
- On how much custom programming you will need to deal with in the legacy supervisory controller
I can give you some general guidelines. You’ll need to extrapolate from there
- Assume that everything you need to do for your own brand field device you will need to do for Metasys devices. If you don't have Metasys expertise on your team bring an expert consultant in to assist with the process.
- Plan on using either the ComBus Quick Tester or the S2 device to validate the N2 bus on each network before you start the integration. Allocate contingency time to repair any N2 bus problems or N2 devices that are not performing properly.
- Occasionally, you will run into extra-long N2 buses where the installer ignored the RS-485 standards and you will need to add repeaters. You also will occasionally run into cases where a N2 bus has repeaters that are not working properly and you will need to replace them.
- Assume that you may need to develop custom graphics for the Metasys devices instead of using pre-defined templates provided by your OWS
- You need to decide if our standard device type templates (point mappings) are OK for the N2 Open and VMA devices. If you want to generate custom templates using our conversion utility with .prn files as input it will take you a bit longer.
- If you have DX-9100 systems in the configuration these will each require you to utilize the associated .DMO file and our conversion utility to generate a custom template. The custom templates will then need to be manually assigned to the N2 devices. It only takes a few seconds to do the assignment but it is an additional step you need to take.
- If you have Vendor (VND) devices or Metasys Integrator (MIG) devices these may require the development of custom templates and then manual assignment of the templates similar to what I described above. We’ll help you through this process as part of our support of the installation so there are no associated charges. However, we will need to rely on you to provide documentation and to do the final validation of the point mapping in the field since it is unlikely that we have similar devices in our test lab.
- If you have any N2 Open devices running the Point Multiplexer application or XT / XTM devices directly on the N2 bus you will need to determine how these generic points were being used by the Metasys head end and replicate any required supervisory logic.
- If they still have any of the original Network Control Unit (NCU) or Network Expansion Unit (NEU) chassis in service you will need to deal with the associated NCM, DCM, and generic I/O cards. This is a significant effort but can be handled successfully with appropriate planning. There are multiple articles on our web site about how to handle them. If you do have any of these devices contact S4 to discuss the appropriate strategy.
The mechanics of installing the N2 Router and running our Configure Wizard can be completed in a couple of hours. Most integrations go very smoothly. But, the devil is in the details. Learn all that you can about the configuration and then add time as appropriate. Be conservative if this is your first time through the process. There is a learning curve. If you are not sure err on the side of allocating a bit more time. It wouldn’t be unusual to plan on working on each Metasys network for a couple of days and then throw in some contingency time just in case you run into a network that doesn’t want to cooperate.