- June 09, 2010
- Emerson Automation Solutions
June 9, 2010 Emerson Process Management announced the Ovation Ethernet Link Controller I/O Module. This flexible, redundant module offers I/O-level Ethernet interface capability that is tightly coupled with the Ovation expert control system. This translates into a number of integration, decision-support, and security benefits for power and water utilities that utilize Ovation technology in their plants. The module's dedicated processor significantly expands the number and types of third-party devices and systems that can be supported by an Ovation controller, as well as the increasingly sophisticated data they provide. The module, which offloads all communications protocol processing previously handled by the controller, also offers faster access to the data from these devices and more efficiently integrates the information into the Ovation system. Once the Ethernet Link Controller is installed, organizations are able to add new communications protocols at any time without having to upgrade their Ovation system, according to Schilling. When adding protocols, users receive communications software as well as protocol-specific configuration tools that reside within Ovations standard suite of engineering tools. With the tools resident in this plug-in environment, its significantly easier and faster for customers to configure links, said Schilling.A protocol can be easily deployed on diverse Ovation platforms in either the Ethernet Link Controller I/O Module itself or, for example, the Ovation Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) server, which supports a wide range of protocols and physical communications layers, including dial-up, leased lines and wireless.With the module, data exchanged with other devices can be easily applied to Ovation control schemes and displayed in graphics. The local processing power and memory of the module make it ideal for protocol handling applications, such as interfaces with turbine vibration systems, burner management and safety systems, SCADA systems, PLCs, electrical relays, process analyzers and many others that support Ethernet communications.Applications protocol packages can be loaded onto the Ethernet Link Controller I/O Module, enabling Emerson to extend its PlantWeb digital architecture and Ovation system beyond traditional plant boundaries. One such protocol package is IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 61850, which has emerged as a global standard for Substation Automation (SA). Integrating data from electrical devices used in generators, switchgear, transmission lines, transformers and substations drives more-informed decision making throughout the organization.The Ethernet Link I/O Controller Module also has important cyber-security implications for users. The North American Electric Reliability Corporations (NERC) Standards CIP-002 through CIP-009 provide a cyber-security framework for the identification and protection of Critical Cyber Assets to support reliable operation of the Bulk Electric System. As part of complying with these standards, power generators need to define their security perimeter. The Ovation controller communicates with the Ethernet Link Controller I/O Module over the Ovation I/O bus, which is not a routable protocol. Therefore, the security perimeter stops at the controller and does not extend to workstations or beyond, thereby providing an extra measure of information isolation and security for power generators. The expanded capabilities of the Ovation Ethernet Link Controller I/O Module give plant operators additional insight into their facilities insight they can use to make informed decisions that will optimize the availability, efficiency and reliability of their plants, said Steve Schilling, vice president, product development for the Power & Water Solutions division of Emerson. For power and water organizations doing business in todays challenging environment, the expanded capabilities of the Ethernet Link Controller Module can translate into a real competitive advantage, Schilling concluded.About Emerson Process ManagementEmerson Process Management, an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the power, water and wastewater treatment, chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, mining and metals, food and beverage, life sciences and other industries. Its Pittsburgh-based Power & Water Solutions division is a global supplier of advanced distributed process control and information systems, and a recognized leader in developing plant-wide process control solutions for the power generation, water treatment and wastewater treatment industries. These systems and solutions play a key role in the Emerson mission of combining superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Emerson brands include PlantWeb, Ovation, Scenario, SmartProcess, SureService, Syncade, DeltaV, Fisher, Micro Motion, Rosemount, Daniel, and AMS Suite.