Process Control System Partnership

In close cooperation Yokogawa and Turck developed Profibus DP lines with hot configuration in run (HCIR) functionality

When the replacement of a process control system was due in a chemical plant, the owners wanted a fail-safe and redundant solution with HCIR functionality. To meet this requirement, Yokogawa and Turck worked closely with the customer‘s specialists and developed a custom solution from which not only the customer benefits. The original special implementation has now been developed into a standard product by both manufacturers.
  • Two excom remote I/O stations with Profibus and segment couplers

A collaboration-project between Yokogawa and Turck gives proof; together with their customer the companies developed a redundant connection of Turcks Remote-I/O-Systems, excom, and Yokogawa’s process control system Centum VP.

Continuous process optimization

The former process control system was already showing its age and could no longer meet the latest technical requirements, such as in relation to interfaces like Profibus or OPC. When the regular overhaul of the plant was due, Sasol decided to make use of the downtime and replace the existing process control system. Turck‘s excom remote I/O system, which was already installed in other plant areas, was to be used to connect the field devices in zone 1. At that time, the customer had chosen excom because it was the only remote I/O solution on the market that could be operated in zone 1 at 230 volts. Due to the long cable runs involved, alternative solutions based on 24 volts required large cable cross sections in order to compensate for the voltage drop.

The team responsible for connecting the new control system drew up a clearly defined specification profile: A redundant Profibus connection to the remote I/Os which must offer the ability to be expanded by card and also by station during ongoing operation. This online expansion function is known in specialist circles by the term ‘hot configuration in run’ or HCIR.

Developing HCIR

“At the time of the configuration, this standard had not yet been described in the Profibus user organization. This meant that solutions between the control system and I/O system supplier had to be developed individually,” says Holger Schneider, sales specialist at Yokogawa. After a total of 15 months of testing and implementation, the work had paid off for all involved: The customer is benefiting today from a solution that was not previously available on the market. Yokogawa and Turck have expanded their range of devices for these functions and have created additional value from the application. As Yokogawa sales specialist Schneider sums up, it was not just due to the specialist and product knowledge of employees: “The smooth and constructive cooperation between the specialists on site and the application engineers at Turck and Yokogawa enabled optimum solutions to be developed quickly. The chemistry here was just right.”

Today, a so-called tokushu – the name given by Yokogawa to special software solutions that mature into standard products – now provides the Centum VP with an official software version for the control system, enabling Yokogawa customers to run their process control system together with excom in a redundant and HCIR-capable system. At Turck, the adapted firmware has now become part of the standard for the excom remote I/O system. Redundant communication and HCIR via Profibus-DP are now possible between Centum VP and excom without any problems.

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