For many years now, process manufacturing companies have wrestled with a persistent problem characterized as ‘operations silos’ or ‘islands of automation.’ It is a condition where various parts of a plant are automated enough to do their specific jobs well on a local basis, but there is little communication or shared data between those parts. There are many reasons for this situation. On a large scale, different units and utilities across a site might be built on different control system platforms. On a smaller scale, a given unit may be supported by a variety of skid systems supplementing the basic process equipment.
A typical plant could be associated with anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds of such skids performing processing functions, utility support, and downstream product finishing and packaging. The common denominator is that each skid has its own intelligent device, such as a programmable logic controller (PLC) and a human-machine interface (HMI), to handle the direct functions. Ideally, this device is interfaced with the larger distributed control system (DCS) that runs the plant. Or not. Many plants still have un-integrated islands of operation, which can pose a big problem for the operators and, ultimately, the entire plant.
There are many reasons that certain skids or units may not be integrated. For one, achieving the desired degree of integration between PLC-based systems and the DCS can be complicated, particularly when different original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and process automation platform vendors are involved.
That’s where MTP comes in. MTP is a new solution that makes these integrations far easier and quicker: The Module Type Package (MTP) implementation from NAMUR.
Emerson has a new white paper that explains in some depth the process whereby MTP can affect integrations that would have previously been time-consuming and costly. Request your copy of the white paper today – “Accelerating DCS and PLC Integration with MTP.”
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