Integrated production control solution handles more data more effectively

10 October 2011

Many industries now employ digital technology in the field, with the aim of increasing maintenance efficiency. This has resulted in an increase in the deployment of intelligent field devices, helping to improve the management and maintenance of field devices.

Yokogawa has been developing field digital technology since 1998, which marked the launch of its first FOUNDATION fieldbus compliant products. Advances in field digital technology since this time have led to drastic increases in the volume and variety of field data, and Yokogawa’s customers are now seeking to make better use of this resource.

To enable this, the company has recently introduced a new version of its CENTUM VP integrated production control system. CENTUM VP Release 5, we are told, will help users to improve their use of plant information and will help to reduce lifecycle costs with simplified engineering. It will also enable unified plant operation by integrating with many other systems. This is achieved via a new unified gateway station (UGS) which has been specifically designed to improve integration with other systems, allowing the system to control and monitor all the systems at plants, including PLC systems. All operation windows will have the same “look and feel” which means that operators only need to learn how to use the CENTUM VP HMI.

In oil and gas fields and other applications where facilities may be scattered over a wide area, the UGS is able to establish a link with the small-scale systems at each site as well as with Yokogawa’s STARDOM network-based control system. This will facilitate the integrated control and monitoring of an entire system comprised of both central large-scale facilities and remote facilities via the HMI.

Other features of Release 5 include the development of a new field control station (FCS) that boasts four times the processing performance of previous versions in addition to twice the application storage capacity and five times the control network throughput. This will allow it to handlee the ever increasing quantities of field data coming from today’s intelligent field devices.

Yokogawa’s Consolidated Alarm Management Software for Human Interface Station (CAMS for HIS) includes new functions that have been optimised for the management of change process specified in the ISA18.2 standard’s alarm management lifecycle model and support for the latest 64-bit Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems will be included to help customers reduce the cost of maintaining PCs connected to the plant networks.

Commenting further on Release 5, Elbert van der Bikl, IA marketing manager Systems Yokogawa Europe Africa, said: “With Centum VP V.5 users are able to upgrade the visualisation layer without upgrading hardware.” This type of upgradeability and backwards compatibility is vital in industrial control solutions, as hardware could be installed for up to 20 years. software functionality is also available without the need for a hardware upgrade.” Because the new controller has much higher performance than the previous system less controllers are required, helping to reduce initial investment costs as well as installation costs.

The latest version of CENTUM VP also moves forward the company’s VigilantPlant concept which has the noble aim of making plants safe, agile and profitable by arming the right people with the right information delivered at the right time, to allow them to anticipate problems and minimise the need for reactive problem solving while maximising proactive business optimisation. Based around this overarching concept, the company has introduced a number of solutions through its Safety Excellence, Asset Excellence, Production Excellence, and Lifecycle Excellence initiatives.

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