ISA Christmas comes with ANSI approval

The following press release was issued by ISA today:

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has announced the approval of ISA-100.11a-2011, “Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation: Process Control and Related Applications” as an American National Standard. This approval confirms that the open consensus standards development procedures required by ANSI, which call for participation not only of suppliers but of all key interest categories, were followed in developing the standard.

Most notably, ISA’s ANSI-accredited standards procedures require direct participation and voting by experts from end-user companies, ensuring that their views and requirements are considered in the development process. ANSI/ISA-100.11a-2011 received 92% approval from voting members on the ISA100 Committee who represent end-user companies, where wireless systems might be deployed. The ISA100 Co-Chairs, Wayne Manges of Oak Ridge National Laboratory/US Department of Energy, and Herman Storey, a consultant with 42 years as an end user in the refining and petrochemical industry, have both stated that this approval by end-users sends a strong and clear message to industry.

Approval as an American National Standard follows the unanimous approval of the standard in September as a Publically Available Specification (PAS) by IEC SC65C, Industrial Networks. The PAS approval marked the first step in the progression of ANSI/ISA-100.11a-2011 through the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission, process. A two-day meeting earlier this month of IEC SC65B Working Group 16, Wireless Industrial Networks, resulted in an initial working schedule.

This collaboration with the IEC is the latest in a long line of ISA standards that have served as the originating sources of widely used IEC standards, including:

  • IEC 61511 series: Process Safety (ISA84)
  • IEC 61512 series: Batch Control (ISA88)
  • IEC 62264 series: Enterprise Control-System Integration (ISA95)
  • IEC 62443 series: Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security (ISA99)

ANSI/ISA-100.11a-2011 was developed to provide reliable and secure wireless operation for non-critical monitoring, alerting, supervisory control, open loop control and closed loop control applications. The standard defines the protocol suite, system management, and gateway and security specifications for low-data-rate wireless connectivity with fixed, portable and moving devices that support very limited power consumption requirements. The application focus is to address the performance needs of applications, such as monitoring and process control, where latencies on the order of 100 ms can be tolerated, with optional behavior for shorter latency.

Editors note:

The IEC schedule is not defined here, in the ISA press release.

The message to industry from the two ISA100 co-chairmen was not defined.

The validity of ISA’s ANSI-accredited standards procedures has been the subject of some discussions in the past.

Other ANSI and IEC wireless standards already exist.

Metso automation and safety for Neste Rotterdam plant

Neste Oil has successfully started up Europe’s largest renewable diesel plant in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands: the official opening was celebrated on December 19th. Metso delivered comprehensive automation and safety solutions for this greenfield plant, which was originally commissioned in September 2011.

”The Rotterdam plant is a significant milestone in Neste Oil’s cleaner traffic strategy and consolidates the company’s position as the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel. We are proud to have been chosen as a partner for this demanding project, where high automation reliability and safety as well as demanding operational features cannot be excessively emphasized,”‘ said Kari Karppinen, Sales Director for the automation business line in Metso.

Metso’s delivery scope included two Metso DNA automation systems: one for the NExtBTL process and another for the utilities processes. The delivery also included several DCS integrated safety systems, field equipment maintenance tools and process history data storage, trending and reporting applications with remote access possibilities.

Metso has a long and extensive experience in automation solutions for oil refineries and petro-chemical plants. Earlier Metso delivered similar automation solutions for Neste Oil’s NExBTL renewable diesel plant in Singapore and several DCS/SIS installations in both their refineries in Finland, at Porvoo and Naantali. Neste Oil and Metso collaboration is continuing further, as laid out in a frame agreement signed in autumn 2011.

The Rotterdam plant has a capacity of 800,000 t/a and will increase Neste Oil’s total renewable diesel capacity to 2 million t/a. Utilizing Neste Oil’s proprietary NExBTL technology, the plant can make flexible use of almost any vegetable oil or waste fat in the production of premium-quality renewable diesel. Neste Oil’s NExBTL renewable diesel is a premium fuel that is compatible with all diesel engines and existing fuel distribution systems. NExBTL helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40-80% compared to fossil diesel.

State-of-the-art features in operator interfaces, diagnostics and system interfaces

“We have been working in close cooperation with Neste Oil and Technip Italy, the EPCM contractor for the site. The automation systems include many state-of-the-art features in operator interfaces, diagnostics and system interfaces jointly developed by Neste Oil and Metso”, Kari Karppinen explains.

One of these features is the comprehensive use of HART data. The HART Protocol is a bi-directional communication protocol that provides data access between intelligent field instruments and the automation system.

At the NExBTL plant, each available HART measurement has been made accessible to the operators. These digital measurements give valuable and accurate information for the demanding process control. In addition, the HART protocol enables field device configuration, versatile diagnostics and troubleshooting.

As for user interfaces and reporting tools, much emphasis has been put on their design and usability. Each process display has been carefully designed in collaboration with the plant operators to provide vital process information clearly and effectively. The user interface also seamlessly combines the tools needed for process disturbance analysis, trending and other process history analyzing tasks.

Furthermore these information tools can be accessed remotely e.g. production efficiency and performance reports can be viewed at Neste Oil headquarters in Espoo, Finland.

Another Metso product delivered to the site is the Metso DNA Field Device Manager, which makes field device management easier and more efficient by providing easy remote field device configuration, calibration and tuning. Online device condition monitoring ensures continuous information on device diagnostics and supports proactive field asset management. It also helps control device performance monitoring and the planning as well as optimization of maintenance work.

Wireless battery-powered valve controller

Schneider Electric has announced the launch of an innovative battery-powered valve controller from its Telemetry & Remote SCADA Solutions division.

The VC10 Valve Controller is an addition to its Accutech wireless sensor network product line. A battery-powered wireless field device, the VC10 is used to control pneumatic valves in hazardous locations: it has unique functionality that offers optimized natural gas wellhead automation solutions to operators.

Using a patent pending technology called Progressive Pulse Control (PPC), the VC10 is ideal for operation of pneumatic valves in a wide range of upstream oil and gas applications.  Coupled with Accutech’s state-of-the-art power management technology, the VC10 is capable of operating in the field autonomously for over 50,000 cycles, which equates to years of maintenance free operation.

“The VC10 is the last link in what we call the wireless wellhead,” says Stephen Goodman, Senior Product Manager Accutech. “Together with other Accutech field devices the VC10 enables our customers to deploy entirely wireless battery-powered wellhead automation systems without the costs of wiring, trenching, maintenance and more, all with Class 1, Div 1 certification.”

Included with the VC10 are two digital inputs, the first configured as a counter for use in plunger arrival systems and the second for use with any discreet signal.  An integrated pressure sensor is incorporated as a feedback mechanism in the PPC circuit and as a useful diagnostic for wellhead operators.  Magnetic switches and an LCD display allow for configuration settings in the field without compromising zone restrictions.

The VC10 is protected by an industry leading 3-year warranty and is available for order now.

Whilst the “VC10” might seem to be a good code for a valve controller, it means something totally different to aviation enthusiasts like me – Ed

For more information please consult

New (old) President returns to IOM

Invensys has announced the appointment of Mike Caliel as President and CEO of Invensys Operations Management with effect from 1 January 2012.

Mike was previously with Invensys from 1993 to 2006, latterly as Chief Executive of Invensys Process Systems, the largest of the predecessor companies that were brought together to form Invensys Operations Management (IOM) in early 2009. He has over 25 years experience in the industry and was until recently (June 2011) CEO of Integrated Electrical Services, Inc.

He is taking over from Sudipta Bhattacharya who joined the Group in 2007 as President of the Wonderware Software division and has been the leader of Invensys Operations Management since February 2009. Sudipta has decided to leave next year to take up a new role outside Invensys. In the meantime, he will be working with Mike to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities within the division and will also be assisting on group business development in the Middle East and Asia.

Wayne Edmunds, Chief Executive of Invensys plc, commented:

“I am delighted to welcome Mike back to Invensys into a role which is very familiar to him. He has first class experience in the industries the division operates in, our customers as well as our products and technologies. His enthusiasm and drive will now be directed to building on the division’s strong market positions.

“I would like to thank Sudipta for his tremendous efforts over the past four years where we have continually shown double digit growth at Wonderware and then at Invensys Operations Management and wish him every success in the future. Invensys Operations Management has shown strong growth since its formation and Sudipta has built an excellent management team to take the business forward under Mike’s leadership.”

Mike Caliel stated that he is excited to return to Invensys and take the helm at the Operations Management division.

“I have many friends at Invensys and have first-hand knowledge of the talented people who are in place around the world making a positive impact on Invensys customers,” said Caliel. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with customers, partners, and others in the industry as we continue building on the success of Invensys Operations Management and executing against the strong strategy we have in place.”

The Eaton road ahead for panel wiring

Recent reports highlight the convergence of programmable controllers (PLC’s) and distributed control systems (DCS’s) as an important market trend, but also notes that this is a technical strategy that has yet to demonstrate it can yield the expected results. Stuart Greenwood of Eaton’s Electrical Sector argues that this trend is, in fact, well advanced and is already delivering excellent results.

It could be claimed, with considerable validity, that as soon as remote I/O modules became available, the process of convergence between PLC’s and DCS’s was underway. With this in mind, it’s hard to see the convergence of PLC’s and DCS’s as a new trend since it’s already been with us for at least a couple of decades!

But, of course, convergence continues to spread and most modern automation systems of any size now incorporate intelligent devices – such as variable-speed drives with built-in intelligence, and electronic operator interface panels – in the field. With all of these devices linked to the central controller via network or fieldbus connections, it does indeed become difficult and even, perhaps, almost meaningless to distinguish between the PLC and the remainder of the automation system.

Except, that is, within the control panel itself. It is astonishing to realise that, although conventional hard wiring of field devices has virtually disappeared in all but the smallest of installations, traditional hard wiring is still very much the norm inside most control panels.

The wiring runs are, of course, much shorter inside the panel than outside, but that’s no longer a valid reason to ignore the benefits that bus-based panel wiring – which is perhaps better described as lean panel wiring – can provide. This surprising omission in automation technologies has, however, finally been addressed, and at least one bus-based lean panel wiring system – SmartWire-DT from Eaton’s Electrical Sector – is now available.

This allows all of the devices within a control panel, such as motor starters, HMI panels and even conventional pushbuttons and indicator lights, to be connected to the central controller, whether it’s a PLC or a smart relay, via a simple daisy-chain connection. Conventional control wiring is eliminated.

It’s important to note that with the best lean panel wiring systems, special components are not needed. Instead, inexpensive interface units are added to standard components in exactly the same way that an auxiliary contact block is added to a contactor.

Some of the benefits of this technology are instantly apparent. It cuts panel wiring time dramatically, for instance and, since it virtually eliminates the possibility of wiring errors, the time needed to test panels is also greatly reduced, as is the risk of problems during commissioning. It is also clear that modifications to the panel can be made much more easily – instead of having to carry out extensive wiring changes for even the simplest modification, all that’s needed is to daisy chain the new components to those already there.

Possibly the biggest benefit, however, is that the use of lean panel wiring facilitates the flow of information between components mounted in the panel. A suitably equipped motor starter could, for example, report the running current of the motor and the status of the protection device to the central controller, where this information could be processed and used to initiate further actions, such as sending a message to the HMI panel alerting the operator to an impending overload condition before a trip actually occurs.

Put simply, adopting lean panel wiring greatly improves the transparency of the automation system. Since fieldbus- and network-based field wiring already supports information exchange, the addition of lean panel wiring means, in essence, that any information about any aspect of the automation system’s operation and status can be made available wherever it’s needed.

This transparency is one of the key elements needed for lean automation, which is one of the reasons that the description “lean panel wiring” for the new bus-based panel wiring systems is preferred. The growing uptake of lean automation is arguably a much more significant trend than PLC/DCS convergence. Lean manufacturing is a well-known concept that is based on identifying all sources of waste and inefficiency in a process and eliminating them. Lean automation extends this concept to automation systems, slimming down control panels, simplifying wiring, increasing data transparency and enhancing performance while reducing overall costs.

With the introduction of lean panel wiring, lean automation can now cover every facet of manufacturing processes, from the ERP system right down to an emergency stop button, and from the SAP package down to individual sensors.

In summary, there certainly is a trend for PLC’s and DCS’s to converge and this trend is continuing because convergence has already been shown time and again to deliver excellent results. This much is hardly news.

What is news, however, is the emergence of lean control panel wiring systems that mark the final stage in the transition from traditional control system technologies to modern network- and bus-based technologies. This greatly facilitates the implementation of transparent automation, and that most definitely is a trend worth watching!

Records all round for Rockwell Automation in 2011

This review of Rockwell results and comments was one of the articles featured in the INSIDER December 2011 issue, recently circulated to subscribers. For more info about the INSIDER Newsletter please go to

The Rockwell Automation financial results for the year to end September 2011 set record highs for sales, earnings per share and return on invested capital. Sales were $6Bn, up 24%, with earnings at $1027m, 17% of sales, up 43%, all giving a return on capital of 31.6%. USA and Canada regional sales at $3314m represented 55% of sales, and EMEA at $1268m was 21%, with year on year growth of 28%. Highest growth, 38%, came from the Latin American region, with sales of $508m. Earnings per share grew 57% to $4.79.

Firing on all cylinders
Keith Nosbusch, chairman and ceo, commented “Key growth accelerators hit on all cylinders. Logix sales increased 29%, reflecting the success of our plant-wide optimization strategy and continued growth both in process applications and with OEM customers. Emerging markets grew over 30% and now represent 22% of total sales. We invested in our best growth opportunities while improving operating margin by over 2 points”. Commenting on the outlook, Nosbusch added, “Despite an uncertain global economic picture and moderating growth rates, we are cautiously optimistic that market growth will continue in 2012. We enter the year with a sound strategy, a track record of success in our growth initiatives and a robust new product pipeline.”

Replacing ageing DCS systems
The Rockwell Automation Fair in Chicago, from November 16-17, again broke all records with nearly 10,000 attendees. In parallel, Rockwell provided news of some good applications: in particular from Nyrstar Hobart, a major zinc smelter in Tasmania.
According to ARC Advisory Group research, the global process industry loses approximately $20Bn annually (about 5% of production) from the unscheduled downtime resulting from the use of ageing DCS systems. Jeremy Kouw, general manager at Nyrstar Hobart, confirmed this: “Our current DCS would be cost-prohibitive to upgrade. Hardware is failing and repairs are becoming expensive and requiring longer lead times”. This DCS operates process control for roast-leach purification electrolysis, acid plant and water treatment for the Nyrstar Hobart 280k tpa zinc smelter, one of the largest in the world. Nyrstar has awarded Rockwell a $2.5m order to replace this DCS with a PlantPAx process automation system. “The Rockwell Automation solution will provide us with better integration between different process areas, improved diagnostics, maintaining plant uptime and delivering improved plant performance reporting” anticipates Kouw.

Local track-record in Tasmania
Rockwell won the order by developing a three-year phased integration with a back-up option that uses custom input/output cabling to ensure process continuity, coupled with technical support for the existing installation. NHP Electrical, a Rockwell authorized distributor, has provided long-term committed support to Nyrstar, which was another factor in favour of the Rockwell Automation offer. “This win represents a milestone for us given the size and complexity of the DCS conversion,” said Terry Gebert, vp and gm at Rockwell Automation Global Solutions. “We won the order over two major process automation companies, based on the excellent support we provide for the existing operation and a clear vision of control conversion to a long-term sustainable operation. The order includes project management, application engineering, system cut-over engineering, hardware and software. Our experience, domain expertise and global resources will help Nyrstar Hobart in this critical conversion from a legacy DCS system.”

Rockwell demo centre in Korea
Rockwell has opened a customer briefing and demonstration centre in Seoul, Korea, extending the relationship developed over the years with customers and partners in the country. “This new facility highlights plantwide optimization, machine builder performance and sustainable production solutions using a wide range of our advanced automation products, and information architecture,” said Bob Ruff, president, Rockwell Automation Asia Pacific. It will house working models that demonstrate the PlantPAx system, which is quoted to offer integrated, flexible and scalable automation systems operated by multi-disciplined controls.

ESD and F+G for drill ships
Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), based in Korea, has subsequently awarded Rockwell Automation a $6m contract to supply emergency shutdown, fire and gas safety systems, and engineering services, for four new DSME offshore drill ships, with options for three more. Rockwell will provide leading safety system technology using its PlantPAx process automation system, FactoryTalk View, AADvance process safety, and project management expertise.

Integrated control, power and safety
H G Choi, director of purchasing for DSME, said “Rockwell Automation offers a proven, robust safety system for DSME’s offshore vessels and rigs. They have the experience and expertise to design, develop and deliver these systems, working with their partners here in Korea.” More specifically Choi added “Based on our long, successful relationship, we are confident in the ability Rockwell Automation has to provide the integrated information, control, power and safety systems we need for this important project.” Terry Gebert, vp and gm for Rockwell Automation Global Solutions explained that “Our solution is unique as it provides a single, flexible, scalable platform using the PlantPAx system to meet the specifications of an integrated control and safety system. Our experience, oil and gas domain expertise, and global resources will help DSME run a profitable and sustainable operation.”

Rockwell Alliance partners
With 10,000 automation customers pounding the floor of the Rockwell Automation fair, analysts from Longbow Research report that there was a busy time for their alliance partners exhibiting there, particularly Endress + Hauser and Cisco. Fluke and Flir were also quoted to be experiencing heightened interest in their infra-red systems for industrial equipment monitoring applications. Longbow also identified intelligent motor controllers as a current growth area for Rockwell, where the resulting enhanced efficiency and reliability are major sales features.

Wireless data links
Rockwell and FreeWave Technologies announced a co-operation over SCADA systems for use in the water industry earlier this year (INSIDER May 2011, page 5), and FreeWave demonstrated their industrial wireless data radio systems as a partner at the 2011 Automation Fair. “There is ever-increasing momentum between Rockwell and FreeWave, based on customers’ growing demands for reliable, secure, industrial grade, cost effective wireless products in automation applications,” said Curt Goldman, business development manager at FreeWave Technologies: “Our relationship with Rockwell is a crucial part of the FreeWave go-to-market strategy in the industrial marketplace”. Goldman made a presentation at the conference explaining how the FreeWave wireless I/O solution is able to extend the Rockwell Automation PLC capabilities.

* Endress + Hauser, one of the prime Rockwell Alliance partners, has announced a custody transfer approved Coriolis flowmeter for compressed natural gas (CNG), at pressures up to 350 bar.

Hilscher and Wöhner sign up with Eaton SmartWire-DT

At SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2011, Eaton has signed up two new SmartWire-DT business partners: Hilscher, a system automation company in Hattersheim and a leader in industrial communications systems, and Wöhner of Rödental, a specialist in bus bar system technology.

Eaton has signed cooperation agreements with Hilscher and Wöhner at the Nuremberg exhibition, in which both companies declared their intention to integrate the SmartWire-DT interconnection and communication system from Eaton in their products. This year, Eaton and Phoenix Contact also announced a business cooperation covering their electronic Contracton motor starter and SmartWire-DT at the Hannover Messe 2011.

With the philosophy of “From Lean Connectivity to Lean Automation”, Eaton is pursuing the objective of both streamlining control cabinets, reducing wiring and interfaces to a minimum, and increasing machine and system transparency. A “lean automation” solution comprising SmartWire-DT and HMI/PLC technology reduces the work involved in project planning and start-up, boosts performance, cuts costs and ultimately means fewer sources of error and greater flexibility on modular machine concepts. Eaton is cooperating with a range of SmartWire-DT partners on its vision of “From Lean Connectivity to Lean Automation”, providing their products with both a SmartWire-DT master and a slave connection.

Craig McDonnell, head of the Eaton Automation Business Unit (IAB) in Eaton’s Electrical Sector, said, “We are very pleased to have gained two new, leading technology partners in Hilscher and Wöhner. It shows that Eaton’s SmartWire-DT technology has established itself in the market and that customers will enjoy even greater benefit from our technology.”
Richard Boulter, Senior Vice President Industrial Control Division, Eaton Industries, commented: “The expansion of the SmartWire-DT product range with our business partners makes our strategy ‘From Lean Connectivity to Lean Automation’ even more attractive for our customers”.

Hans-Jürgen Hilscher, Managing Director of Hilscher GmbH, said, “Our netX technology enables connection of the SmartWire-DT wiring and communication level to traditional field buses and real-time Ethernet systems in a simple manner. This opens the door to the rapid spread of SmartWire-DT in automation technology.”
“Using SmartWire-DT, our bus bar system technology can communicate globally!” says Frank Wöhner, Managing Partner at Wöhner, pinpointing the benefits of this cooperation. “Our intention was always to tread new paths in the development of ‘our’ bus bar system technology. With an ear for the needs of the customer and a view to the requirements of the future, we want to lastingly ensure our edge in bus bar system technology with this new cooperation.”

On the cooperation between Hilscher and Eaton:
For broad application in automation technology, SmartWire-DT requires a connection to the existing control level. This is easiest to implement via gateways to the various industrial networks. Hilscher’s netX technology enables communication to all field buses and real-time Ethernet system via a controller. It is ideally suited as the basis for an integrated family of SmartWire-DT gateways. Hilscher has experience with all leading communications systems and will be able to undertake this development efficiently. Thanks to its in-house manufacturing and worldwide presence, Hilscher will produce these gateways and make them available to customers. The SmartWire-DT products projected for 2012 are Profinet, Powerlink and EtherCat gateways. In addition to developing its own products, Hilscher also offers the development of customized communications solutions. With the experience it has gained in developing gateways, Hilscher can support the integration of SmartWire-DT master connections in customized devices as a technology and development partner. Here, it can build on existing structures and resources from netX Design in Service.

On the cooperation between Wöhner and Eaton:
The objective is the use of SmartWire-DT technology to extend the benefit of lean connectivity to Wöhner busbar systems. Together with intelligent measurement technology, key information on all aspects of the system can be made available and used. “With this development, we are integrating intelligent energy management in bus bar system technology”, says Hubert Lenker, Market Manager and Product Developer at Wöhner. “Simple and reliable recording of the energy flow and preventive monitoring of the fuse and switching states of bus bar components will in future be ensured. The SmartWire-DT module on the EQUES adapter enables direct control of the widest range of motor feeder switchgear.”
However, the advantages of this cooperation are most clear when it comes to Wöhner’s CrossLink® technology: developing a combination of the CrossLink® technology standardized adapter platform with SmartWire-DT technology will result in benefits for a multitude of applications. Mechanical and systems engineers will be presented with new ways to increase system availability and performance as well as simplified control of energy consumption. The monitoring of energy flow also enables more effective utilization of the bus bar system. Constantly increasing energy demands and growing environmental awareness make the efficient and economic use of energy even more important. Reading out extensive data directly at the source and the immediate availability of these data around the world on the internet enables huge flexibility in energy use. This saves valuable resources and costs.