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Enhanced DCS improves automation efficiency and performance

04 November 2014

Emerson Process Management has released version 13 (v13) of its DeltaV distributed control system (DCS) to deliver greater efficiency and performance for process control applications.

New features focus on integration, advanced alarm management and security, with an overarching design that improves ease of use and minimises the need for specialised expertise.

The DCS is the system that brings all the disparate subsystems in a plant together for the operations team; however, integrating multiple data sources in process automation projects is traditionally costly and time consuming. DeltaV v13 delivers all new technologies to bring those sources together for easy operator access and use. 

These technologies include an Ethernet I/O card (EIOC) for added flexibility and capacity for integrating Ethernet-based subsystems and devices, including a direct interface with smart motor control centres and substations. Also, new technologies improve the factory acceptance testing (FAT) experience by providing enhanced safety instrumented system simulation capabilities and easy-to-use virtualisation environment.

With v13, the new native support for discrete outputs over wireless provides opportunities to reduce project wiring and associated costs through wireless devices. Additionally, template-based FOUNDATION fieldbus device configuration improves commissioning by eliminating steps and decreasing errors. New function blocks and redundant, high-density I/O provide opportunities for even greater footprint savings and project efficiencies.

Once a facility is up and running, operators have to be able to work effectively. One of their biggest challenges is to respond effectively to process upsets. The new DeltaV Alarm Mosaic has an intuitive alarm display that enables operators to more quickly identify, analyse and respond correctly to the root cause of an abnormal process condition. Improvements in alarm-related information and alarm audit tools offer a better understanding of the plant’s current state. The new DeltaV release also provides trend display optimisations for better visibility of process changes which also improves operator efficiency.

Security is an ever-increasing concern across process facilities, and the DeltaV system was built with this in mind. It complies with national and international standards. DeltaV v13 improves on security, with features including workstation hardening, extension of DeltaV smart switch technology above the area control network to ensure up-to-date and effective response to today’s evolving cyber security threats.

“In our effort to keep the DeltaV system the easiest DCS on the market, we also worked directly with existing users to discover how we can improve their effectiveness,” explained Emerson’s chief strategic officer, Peter Zornio. “Their input was invaluable in helping us improve the user experience and resulted in a number of specific user-defined features”


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