DCS accelerates digitalisation through the power of integration

12 July 2021

The latest version of the ABB distributed control system offering – ABB Ability System 800xA 6.1.1 – offers increased I/O capabilities alongside enhanced security as a foundation for digital transformation.

Ability System 800xA 6.1.1 is said to enhance collaboration via  a number of new features including simplified, faster commissioning of greenfield projects and brownfield expansions with an improved Ethernet I/O Field Kit, with the addition of xStream commissioning which allows users to configure and test I/O in the field without the need for the control application software or process controller hardware, all from a single laptop.  This means that field I&C technicians can simultaneously perform automated loop checks of multiple smart devices, documenting all final results. 

System 800xA 6.1.1 is also said to make it easier to implement digital solutions. With the 800xA Publisher system ex-tension, users can choose which data to stream to ABB Ability Genix Industrial Analytics and AI Suite, both on the edge or in the cloud. 

"Besides being a process control system, an electrical control system and a safety system, System 800xA 6.1.1 is a collaboration enabler, allowing further improvement of engineering efficiency, operator performance and asset utilisation," said Bernhard Eschermann, chief technology officer at ABB Process Automation. "For example, the xStream commissioning capabilities take risk and delays out of large projects and enable ABB's Adaptive Execution approach for project execution. In addition, standard interfaces support customers to make better use of operational data in their digitalisation journey, keeping cyber security in check." 

The inclusion of Select I/O enhancements in the new version is said to speed project execution. I/O cabinet standardisation reduces the effects of late changes and keeps the footprint to a minimum. To lessen the amount of ancillary hardware that needs to be added to I/O cabinetry, the Select I/O includes Ethernet adapters with native single-mode fibre-optic connectivity and individual signal conditioning modules with built-in intrinsically safe barriers.

This latest version of ABBs DCS includes many extended capabilities, for example increased OPC UA connectivity options which, in turn, facilitate IT/OT convergence. A wide range of OPC UA communication levels, such as an OPC UA client and server at the system level, are made available. The further addition of OPC UA connectivity into the AC 800M controller, and more OPC UA features in the 800xA History mean that the system can increase secure collaboration between systems and applications.  

The latest release also increases cyber security through the latest patches and security updates that come with MS Windows 2019. Additionally, ISA secure compliance has been achieved for System 800xA's most popular process and safety controllers.

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