SCADA solutions offer greater mobility

18 November 2014

Control Engineering Europe looks at some recent enhancements and additions to offer additional versatility to SCADA and visualisation solutions.

An enhanced SCADA system has been developed by Emerson to streamline oil and gas operations. The new OpenEnterprise release is said to offer ease-of-use and expanded device connectivity for communication protocols. User-friendly tools in OpenEnterprise v3 alleviate the pain of operating and managing large installations of RTUs and flow computers.

The latest OpenEnterprise v3 release also introduces ‘Action Engine’ technology. An intelligent automation engine that does not require programming or scripting to manage complex sequential control which enables users to gain competitive advantage and increases operator productivity.

The Action Engine’s rapid application development and change management tools are said to enable users to get new systems commissioned quickly and empowers them to make necessary automation changes. 

The template-based design of the software simplifies the process of building the SCADA database, enabling faster well replication and easier management of field installations with a mixture of RTU types.

“The latest OpenEnterprise v3 offers the SCADA market a step change in value when it comes to ease-of-use by offering an open SCADA platform designed to be protocol and RTU agnostic,” explained Craig Llewellyn, president, Emerson Process Management, Remote Automation Solutions. “OpenEnterprise v3 users realise increased operator productivity as new employees save on training time and are able to operate the SCADA system faster.”

OpenEnterprise v3 also offers lifecycle cost savings by an leveraging integrated wireless SCADA architecture. By integrating the WirelessHART instrumentation network along with the Distributed RTU Network, remote oil and gas operations are easier, safer, and more secure.

Unlike traditional SCADA software, OpenEnterprise v3 is not licensed by tag count and consists of scalable software tiers that are fit for applications from local metering to mega intelligent oilfield automation projects that require automation of thousands of wells.

Mobile applications 
The Siemens Industry Automation Division has extended the range of functions of its Simatic WinCC SCADA software with the addition of the Simatic WinCC/WebUX V7.3 option package for mobile applications in Version 7.3 of the software. 

The Configuration Studio in Simatic WinCC V7.3 supports the central configuration of process data, messages, archiving and user management, and of texts in any languages. Communication options to current Simatic S7-1500 controllers have also been extended, making it possible to directly transfer tags with symbolic addressing and the system messages of the controllers can also be handled.

This latest offering aims to meet the growing demand for access at any time to plant information using Internet-based and mobile devices with the addition of Internet-based and mobile, flexible access to plant data. Mobile access to information can be adapted precisely to meet individual needs. Configuration of the HTML5 Web pages is carried out with WinCC Designer allowing maintenance concepts, tasks for operations control or plant performance metrics to be made available in this way at any location, regardless of the platform. 

App for water industry
Aimed at applications in the water and wastewater sector, ICONICS  MobileHMI for Water offers a mobile solution with role-based dashboards.
 MobileHMI for Water offers one-touch access to KPIs, charts and other critical information for a unified overview of the enterprise from anywhere at any time.  With the ability to swipe through high-level information or drill down to more details on demand, users are said to be able to easily navigate information to better assess overall cost and efficiency, to monitor assets and keep up to date about enterprise activity. 
The solution also offers benefits for field service technicians in this industry sector, who spend a great deal of their moving around. While onsite, they work with operators to fix issues that arise for utility customers. Also responsible for maintenance, they need to be able to pull up details about where they are and any equipment nearby. With role-based dashboards that work with ICONICS’ GEO SCADA maps, MobileHMI for Water enables operators and field service to collaboratively utilise information to efficiently respond to utility customer complaints and critical events. The secure app is said to offer a fully customisable, mobile HMI display. 

Visualisation app 
The new Visu+ mobile visualisation app from Phoenix Contact has been designed to bring system visualisation to smart phones or tablets, enabling flexible operation and monitoring concepts, with the option of universal access to the system at any time and from any location.
The app brings greater flexibility to control and monitoring tasks by allowing users to use popular consumer devices such as smart phones and tablets. This makes traditional SCADA functions, including charting of trends and alarm handling, possible via mobile devices. 

The app is an add-on to the company’s Visu+ visualisation software. The Visu+ Web server required for the app is pre-installed on many devices such as the touch panels from Phoenix Contact. To use the app in conjunction with Visu+, the only step necessary is to add the WEB Visu+ license option to industrial PCs.

Fully expanded, up to two clients can be operated using a touch panel or up to 100 clients using an industrial PC at the same time. The HTML visualisation screens for the app are generated in the development environment of the Visu+ visualisation software, making the app even easier to use. In addition, the software can be easily installed via the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. 

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