Saturday 2 June 2012

Network-based control system enhanced

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has released an enhanced version of the STARDOM™network-based control system.

This enhanced version includes new modules that enable the FCN autonomous controller to communicate directly with facilities and devices that use the PROFIBUS-DP and CANopen industrial communication protocols. An IT security setting tool is also provided to assist in the configuration of the same security models employed by Yokogawa's CENTUM® VP integrated production control system.

Development background
The STARDOM network-based control system consists of the FCN/FCJ autonomous controllers. The system is used as a main controller for equipment in small- to medium-sized manufacturing plants, facilities that are distributed over a wide area such as oil/gas wells, and wind power generation systems, which is a booming segment of the renewable energy market.

As applications grow more varied, users need to connect with devices such as programmable controllers (PLCs) and motor control centres (MCCs) from other vendors that use different communication protocols. There is thus a rising need for controllers that support a variety of communication protocols.

Also, as STARDOM is often operated and monitored as a DCS subsystem, its security measures must be equivalent to those used by the DCS to protect against cyber-attacks. And, as for the web-based SCADA software, there is the need for a more general-purpose application development environment.

Product features
1. Support of PROFIBUS-DP and CANopen protocols
PROFIBUS-DP and CANopen communication modules have been developed for the FCN autonomous controller. These modules make it possible for the FCN controller to communicate directly with devices that support these protocols, eliminating the need for a gateway. An engineering tool is also provided that helps users to configure communications with these devices.

2. Engineering tool for multiple security models
An IT security setting tool is provided to assist in the configuration of the same multiple security models used with CENTUM VP. When STARDOM is used together with a CENTUM VP system, these models provide the total system with robust protection against cyber-attacks.

Takashi Nishijima, Director, Senior Vice President of the Industrial Automation Platform at Yokogawa's Business Headquarters, says: "With field digital technologies that make effective use of plant information through the digitisation of communications between field devices and control systems, Yokogawa is helping its customers to realise the VigilantPlant concept. This new version allows customers to implement digital communication with both PA and FA devices. Digital information can be used to integrate on-site device management and maintenance, whiledevice diagnostics help to improve availability at our customers' plants. This will truly realise asset maximisation."

Major target markets for the enhanced STARDOM include widely distributed facilities such as those used in oil and gas well and water and wastewater applications, small- to medium-sized process plants in oil, chemicals, iron and steel, nonferrous metals, pulp and paper, food, pharmaceuticals, and other industries, and small- to medium-sized power generation facilities such as wind turbines, steam turbines, and hydropower generation facilities.

Applications include monitoring, operation, control, data collection, and data storage in small- to medium-sized manufacturing facilities.

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