01 September 2003
System schemes nourish automation
Headliners in Houston are hopeful.
By Ellen Fussell
Systems-level vendors, expert industry speakers, and panel sessions will pepper the landscape of ISA EXPO 2003 in Houston this October. You'll see new systems products from industry moguls and hear insights on Ethernet, real-time enterprise solutions, information technology, and fieldbus wars. Take a look at some of the highlights.
New fault-tolerant Ethernet uses off-the-shelf Ethernet technology to construct a network that is 100% redundant. "We've introduced that before, but now we're making it the backbone network for the whole system, including to connect the controllers," said Peter Zornio, Honeywell's director of product marketing in Phoenix, Ariz. "Before you could get it as a network to connect PCs together, but you couldn't use it as a network to connect the controllers." Honeywell Industry Solutions will unveil new features added to their distributed control system (DCS)—plus automation system—platform.
Ethernet cannot meet the robustness and critical process control applications by itself, Zornio said. "We've developed software drivers that allow you to use off-the-shelf Ethernet hardware and reconstruct an entirely redundant Ethernet network. It's a critical application used if something dies and everything else keeps running—that's what fault-tolerant Ethernet does for you. It would be used in all automation applications where the ability to continue to operate is critical—refining and petrochemical, chemical, pulp and paper, power, and oil and gas."
"All industries benefit from PID [proportional, integral, derivative] today," Zornio said. "All industries have certain applications where PID doesn't work very well—those same nonlinear processes—or where the valve itself isn't working correctly and needs help. So all industries can get better control for their nonlinear response or dead time problems. And all industries can benefit from reduced valve wear due to reduced jerking of the valve," he said.
Profit Loop is a new algorithm that runs in the controller of the DCS, and it is a PID replacement. "It replaces the traditional PID algorithm people have used for single loop control for the last eighty years. It's a model-based control algorithm that provides much tighter control and less valve movement for the same level of control that PID does, especially for nonlinear processes [pH, boiler shrink, and swell—anything with dead time]. It takes the same amount of CPU horse-power the PID took because of patented math technology," Zornio said.
Manufacturers with batch applications, liquefied natural gas (LNG) offshore, and food and beverage manufacturers could benefit from a built-in controller and I/O subsystem together—one that is scalable for the low- to midrange applications so the control and the I/O can work together in remote applications. Just such a product from Yokogawa "enables us to be more competitive in the smaller applications," said Bruce Jensen, Yokogawa's manager of systems marketing and sales support in Stafford, Texas. It is also more cost effective for smaller applications. It will reduce wiring costs and help those situations where the I/O count is low.
New features to help users comply with 21 CFR 11 are also on hand. You can collect and view data from other control recipe and equipment points of view rather than a time-based point of view, Jensen said. "Unlike in the continuous manufacturing world, where you just collect data and ask what happened between this and that time, in the batch world, the making of the product has a special start and end time," Jensen said.
"In the past, systems that did safety were generally independent systems; they had to be programmed differently with different hardware and sometimes a different operator interface," said John Cusimano, marketing manager for Siemens' process safety products in Springhouse, Penn. Siemens' next-generation safety system is part of the company's overall distributed control system. It integrates fail safe or safety technology into the DCS.
"It can be very difficult for the end user to integrate these independent systems into an overall DCS," he said. So the system is preintegrated into the DCS because it uses common hardware, common engineering or programming tools, and a common operator interface. "End users will lower their overall systems integration costs and maintenance and system operation costs. It will allow them to integrate the level of safety they need for their plant at a lower cost," he said.
This product would be most beneficial to companies operating in oil and gas, any kind of hydrocarbon processing and refining industries, and chemical industries.
"Any time you are taking delivery of raw materials or bottling drugs, you have a process control system and a batch system," said Todd Stauffer, Siemens' PCS 7 product manager. "A lot of times manufacturers transfer that to another facility or a different control system to put in its containers."
"Integrating the manufacturing side of the process with the part of the plant that brings in the raw materials is another feature. Now you have the view of the entire plant, everything that's coming in and going out. Typically, the process control system—the making of the drugs—is isolated from the system that takes the raw materials [ingredients], but now you can tie that all together," he said. "So the ingredients can be visible to the PCS [process control system] as well."
MOBILE INSTRUMENTATION UNIT
"We're trying to give people hands-on opportunity to touch and see what our stuff can do—from valves, fittings, regulators, and stainless steel and fluoropolymer," said Leah Sterlekar, Parker Hannifin's marketing services coordinator for the instrumentation group in Cleveland, Ohio.
The mobile unit, Control Tech tour, is a 45-foot trailer with a cab that expands on each side to make a 15-by-15-foot classroom. "But at the same time, the walls have application panels, so people will recognize some of these panels from their systems, like a rolling billboard/classroom/tradeshow," said Sterlekar.
The mobile unit has working analytical instrumentation panels and process instrumentation manifolds to control and manage fluids and gases.
Keynoters voice concern
The chemical industry wants to protect people and manufacturing assets and maintain safe operations. But it is crucial to distinguish between IT and manufacturing control systems. The blurring lines now make it necessary to build a "collaborative and standardized approach to securing these systems in the future," said David Kepler, corporate vice president and chief information officer with Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Mich. and Monday's keynote speaker.
"IT and process control networks operated independently until about fifteen years ago, when companies identified the benefits of integrating their systems—greater efficiencies, better decision making, improved productivity, easier communication, and lower costs," he said. Although both are valuable, IT and process control systems secure their systems differently. Data confidentiality, integrity, and availability are critical for business networks. Manufacturing systems emphasize safety and operational reliability.
Ethernet went through a convergence in the corporate network twenty years ago. Before that, you would buy a corporate network from one vendor; it was a proprietary system of separate networks. "Since then everything converged on open standards—Ethernet and IT," said Larry O'Connell, Cisco product manager. "That's also happening in the service provider market; we had separate networks for voice and data. Now everything's converging on one technology: IT," he said. The same thing is happening in industrial automation—there are end-to-end protocol vendors who supply end-to-end automation systems, which run on proprietary technology.
Wednesday, Kathy Hill, Cisco's vice president and general manager of the desktop switching business unit in San Jose, Calif., will explain why that is happening now and what benefits it brings to industry.
"Separate networks are inherently inefficient," O'Connell said. "You might have a corporate IT network physically separate from a plant network. By bringing them together you're tying real-time production information in with corporate enterprise resource planning systems. So you drive your resource and enterprise planning from two separate networks bridged to real-time communications."
On Thursday, Charles Johnson, worldwide managing director, Microsoft Corp., in Redmond, Wash., will explain "how we can help manufacturers win." The answer is real-time enterprise, he said.
Designing a new auto part may take up to six weeks. Manufacturers want it to take six days—to send that information electronically, as opposed to faxing communication or setting up conference calls. They need specific information right away to understand if it is feasible and what it looks like. "If they had real-time data and also real-time design—if you can reduce the design time of a particular car by one month, and it will increase sales by $120 million a year, that is a $10 million savings for one month," he said.
On Tuesday, Dick Morley, president of R. Morley, Inc., will host "Dick's Last Retort." Subjects will center around the job threat of outsourcing manufacturing and engineering to Asia. Other subjects may be the purchasing department and the marketing management of technology.
On Wednesday, ARC Advisory Group will present an executive forum on real-time performance management (RPM) and how manufacturers can enhance their existing automation infrastructure to implement and benefit from RPM.
Dick Caro will talk Thursday about how Ethernet is now making a significant appearance on the shop floor, "but in the guise of Foundation fieldbus HSE [high-speed Ethernet], EtherNet/IP, Modbus/TCP, and PROFInet, with maybe iDA soon," he said. IT