New control system platform version rethinks main concepts of field device connectivity and human interface
At its Global Users Exchange in Orlando, FL, Emerson Process Management announced the new DeltaV S-series platform with two major advances: a new concept of I/O on demand through a device communication approach dubbed electronic marshalling, and changes to its interfaces and work practices based on human-centered design.
In the introduction, Emerson presenters characterized typical I/O wiring practices as largely unchanged in the last 35 years. Fieldbus and wireless have brought many improvements, but the standard practices associated with field wiring and I/O for control systems is far too work intensive, costly, and inflexible when changes are necessary. The new concept, termed I/O on demand, uses a new approach that places small modules called CHARMS (CHARacterization ModuleS) into field cabinets near the devices. A CHARM is a single-channel analog-to-digital converter that takes the signal from one instrument and converts it for transmission on an Ethernet backplane. It handles all necessary power requirements for the device, and replaces the traditional I/O card for the DCS or PLC.
CHARMS are designed to communicate using various device protocols: analog in or out, digital in or out, HART, thermocouple, RTD, etc. Fieldbus segments and wireless gateways can also be integrated into the system. Given that very little about the approach is dependent on hard wiring, changes in the field or modifications to process control strategy are much easier.
Moreover, Emerson says this approach eliminates two-thirds of the wiring and connections needed by today’s conventional marshalling cabinets. Whereas traditional project engineering requires major time and cost in changing rack-room I/O wiring and terminations as process design is refined during project execution and construction, the DeltaV S-series hardware with electronic marshalling makes changes easy and eliminates re-wiring. Simply land the field wires, insert the CHARM and electronically marshal it wherever needed. By adapting to change easily, it allows process manufacturers to shorten project schedules, accommodate late project changes, and dramatically simplify the I/O and marshalling design process.
The DeltaV S-series makes a major enhancement for WirelessHART networks as well. In addition to the existing native wireless integration, it has fully redundant communications. The company says that with the mesh wireless networks, adding redundancy will provide the highest uptime possible, allowing users to apply wireless technology to more monitoring and control applications than ever before.
The S-series also includes a new Foundation fieldbus I/O card that incorporates an integrated power supply. This approach eliminates the cost and expense of purchasing, engineering, mounting, and maintaining separate bulk power supplies and fieldbus power conditioning modules.
Emerson says it has launched a new approach to understanding how users apply and interface with its products to create devices and systems that are more intuitive and easy to use rather than simply using technology to add more features. This is partly an accommodation to the growing trend toward less experienced plant personnel. With this in mind, the company characterizes the range of innovative technologies in the v11 release of DeltaV as a new industry standard for usability and flexibility.
The new release includes major enhancements to all of the systems’ I/O processing, operator displays, asset management, batch capability, and system security elements. These new capabilities include an entirely new set of visually-focused operator displays that improve operator performance by clear and quick recognition of alerts, and rapid access to the information needed to understand the alert and act in a timely fashion. AMS Suite predictive maintenance software is now installed on every DeltaV system, which enables smooth integrated asset capabilities. Users can start with the AMS Device Configurator, and easily activate AMS Intelligent Device Manager at any time.
The new capabilities of the v11 software release offers a wide-ranging new solution set for process automation users, and is backward compatible with existing DeltaV installations.
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-Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com
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