Yokogawa's Stardom process automation system debuts in North America

Oak Brook, IL—Yokogawa Electric Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) recently rolled out its Stardom process automation system in North America, company representatives told Control Engineering editors here recently.


Oak Brook, IL - Yokogawa Electric Corp. Control Engineering editors here recently.

In related news, Shell in Oman selected the system in the first major Stardom project in Middle East, estimated to be worth 6 million euros.

Stardom is Yokogawa's "first network-based control system, a powerful and rugged autonomous control system that combines FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 network, secure Internet, and communication technologies, as well as SCADA software," the company says.

Ben Chambers, Stardom business development manager for Yokogawa Corp. of America

Stardom also communicates with Modbus and RS-232; DeviceNet and Profibus communications are coming later in 2003. It uses OPC standards to communicate easily with other software and devices, and uses Sun Microsystems Java to connect more easily to higher-level business sys-tems, if needed, and deliver key business parameters in a secure Web browser. Also, Stardom system completed all areas of the Fieldbus Foundation (Austin, TX) Host Interoperability Support Test (HIST) testing on Oct. 29, 2002.

"This is for customers who don't care to integrate PLC elements, but don't need a full DCS. We've been learning the market," Mr. Chambers told Control Engineering on April 23. Target areas include tank monitoring, SCADA/RTU applications, offshore, pipelines, wide-area water and wastewater applications, as well as emissions and power monitoring. Stardom is modular and scalable, he adds. Accompanying Mr. Chambers was Naoki Ura, of the open control systems department of Yokogawa Electric's Industrial Automation Systems business division. Three parts of the system (photo) include the Versatile Data Server Software, Field Control Node (a compact controller), and Field Control Junction (a modular controller), Mr. Ura said.

The system is said to match the most extreme, remote field-application requirements, such as lo-cal control of geographically spread-out wellheads with data acquisition and data storage in a central location. The company field-tested the system at one of the world's hottest places, with peak ambient temperatures well over 50 °C. Stardom is said to allow operators to adjust and monitor field devices, process settings and monitor device alarms from a central remote position, where engineers track device alarms and performance, and plan and predict required device maintenance. Stardom embeds a Web server and an IEC-61131 control environment, where a program can incorporate each of the five languages, if desired. It connects to various Ethernet and secure Internet-based networks and devices. Control and communications can be made redundant, and I/O modules are hot swappable.

In its recent contract, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), a Shell operating company, awarded its order to Yokogawa System Center Europe (SCE). Yokogawa is a main automation contractor with single-system responsibility. Stardom will serve as a wellhead control system, providing transparent information technology from field devices to SCADA and management tools. PDO requested Yokogawa to prove Stardom's control and communication capabilities, in combination with FOUNDATION fieldbus (FF) H1 network technology and Yokogawa's Fast/Tools as the re-mote HMI and SCADA system.

According to Shihab Al-Barwani, engineering manager for the Harweel Cluster Project, "Star-dom is a rugged control solution that can be used without cooling, provides a suite of remote capabilities like predictive maintenance and is simple to maintain. By using Stardom, we are able to save costs in maintenance and operation by minimizing the visits to wellheads, thus reducing HSE exposure for our operations staff."

In this application, PDO was said to appreciate:

  • Flexible configuration supporting redundancy and hot swapping of I/O modules; -Seamless connections to secure Intranet/Internet and FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 networks;

  • Reporting and securing valuable data under extreme ambient conditions; and

  • Remote programming, diagnostics, maintenance and management functions.

Controllers will be implemented to act as an oil well (or well-head) control system. A wellhead control system must be able to secure data collected from the well, and perform control under extreme ambient conditions. It also has to provide a communication platform to Yokogawa's safety systems. The collected data must be transmitted to a remote SCADA application providing the operators with information in graph form from various wellheads. Whenever long-distance communications are disrupted, the wellhead controller will remain autonomously in control over the well and store data until communications have been reestablished. The information can travel, rather than engineers, PDO noted.

Petroleum Development Oman is the major exploration and production company in the Sultanate of Oman. It accounts for more than 90% of the country's crude-oil production and nearly all of its natural-gas supply. The company is owned by the Government of Oman (which has a 60% inter-est), the Royal Dutch/Shell Group (which has a 34% interest), TotalFinaElf (which has a 4% in-terest), and Partex (which has a 2% interest). The first economic find of oil was made in 1962, and the first consignment of oil was exported in 1967.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief

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