Case study

Stories from the field:

operational technology

True North Solutions takes pride in demonstrating our proficiency in operational technology (OT), as evidenced by a recent collaboration with a new client that specializes in manufacturing and marketing advanced asphalt and emulsion products. This project overview showcases the successful support provided by True North to our new client and illustrates how we efficiently addressed an unplanned downtime issue to swiftly restore their operations.

Our client, a leader in the asphalt industry, excels in providing cost-effective paving, preservation, maintenance, and recycling solutions for maintaining high-quality roads. In addition to marketing liquid paving asphalts, the client manufactures and markets a range of advanced asphalt products that increase the service lifespan of roads, ultimately reducing maintenance costs. Ensuring consistent production is their priority, underscoring their commitment to delivering high-quality products to their clients.


In January 2007, right around the time the last Harry Potter book was released, and Apple launched its first iPhone, at an asphalt facility in the Southern United States, our client’s Emerson DeltaV server was backed up for the last time.

Fast forward to 2023 when that same DeltaV server’s hard drive crashed and installation disks for that version of DeltaV were not available.

Leveraging a personal connection, the client sought help from True North’s team, who were enlisted to recover and reinstate the plant’s operations.

  1. Mobilizing Quickly: True North’s team were quickly engaged to learn about the client’s facility and systems.
  2. Rebuilding the Server: Our team, armed with DeltaV expertise, early 2000s knowledge of the system, and assistance from the software original equipment manufacturer (OEM), reconstructed the server using a 2007 CD-RW backup disk.
  3. Unique Licensing Challenge: Due to DeltaV licenses being linked to a hardware lock that required a physical 25-pin parallel port, our team assembled an older Dell laptop with a dock containing the necessary port.
  4. Software Setup and Remote Preparation: After installing Windows 10, VMware, and TeamViewer on the laptop, True North’s team remotely prepared the Windows XP VM. This involved importing database backups and migrating graphics files from version 5 on the backup disk.
  5. Coordination Across Offices: With the system prepared in True North’s office, it was shipped to the plant in the Southern United States. True North’s project team (located in Calgary, Denver, and Atlanta) facilitated the setup, downloads, loop checks, and commissioning with the client.
  6. Swift On-Site Restoration: Within one day of the system being couriered to the plant, the system was successfully restored and operational.

The rapid response and seamless collaboration between True North’s Canadian and US offices to solve our client’s plant shutdown issues exemplifies our dedication to working together as team to respond quickly and efficiently to support our clients when their operations are compromised. True North’s team members were well-equipped to support this client; our team’s decades of DeltaV expertise, combined with their history of supporting clients across multiple industries, equipped True North’s personnel to quickly resolve issues with the system.

Expanding on our track record of delivering state-of-the-art automation solutions to enhance production efficiency and prevent downtime, clients can rest assured that, in the event of downtime, True North is ready to mobilize quickly and collaborate with their teams to swiftly restore their operations.
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