Case Study: Control Systems and Field Equipment End Of Life Strategies at a Major Hazard Facility

Craig Baade, Queensland Nitrates Pty Ltd (QNP)


Queensland Nitrates Pty Ltd (QNP) is an ammonium nitrate plant in Central Queensland. QNP’s current Distributed Control System (DCS) and Safety Instrumented System (SIS) have been in operation since the plant was commissioned in early 2000. The system was developed in the early 1990’s and the vendor ceased development in 2010 and product support in 2020. Obsolescence and end-of-life reliability issues posed a serious production loss risk to the business.

Learning Takeaways:

  1. Strategy to justify a major technology upgrade/replacement (eg DCS/SIS)
  2. Aging instrumentation and final control elements – when to replace
  3. EOL field equipment effect on Functional Safety


Craig Baade is the Lead EI Engineer at Queensland Nitrates Pty Ltd (QNP). Craig has over 30 years’ experience in projects and operations/reliability of electrical equipment, control systems, process control and instrumentation. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) , Masters of Engineering Science (Computer Engineering) and a Diploma in Project Management. He has had a number of senior technical roles in various different industries within Australia and undertaken consulting activities globally. Craig is a TUV certified Functional Safety Engineer with over 10 years relevant safety systems experience. One of Craig’s passions is the use of technology in industrial plants.