Yokogawa has announced a platform that enables software packages to run on general-purpose computers in a redundant configuration, which has been added to its OpreX Control and Safety System family. This redundancy software will help raise the availability of all the solutions that make up Yokogawa’s OpreX Control category of systems, software, and devices. The first software packages based on this platform are the Exaopc OPC interface package and the Exapilot operation efficiency improvement package. For enhanced availability in plant operations, the company plans at a later date to incorporate this redundancy software in other packages that make up the OpreX Control family.
Industrial infrastructure depends on highly-reliable systems to keep it running even when a fault occurs. Such systems often have redundant features, like a hardware control unit with the same functional capabilities that stands ready to take over in the event of a fault in the primary hardware. Yokogawa’s Centum VP integrated production control system, ProSafe-RS safety instrumented system, and Stardom network-based control system, all achieve high availability and reliability, thanks to the use of such redundant hardware.
Manufacturing execution systems (MES) and other types of applications typically run on a general-purpose PC that is not set up for use with another PC in a redundant configuration. To accomplish that, it is necessary to either install some kind of dedicated hardware or add a function to the PC software.
Many end-users have expressed an interest in a solution that would enable them to achieve a redundant configuration at a reasonable cost. To satisfy this need, Yokogawa has developed its new software platform.
If a fault occurs, the software initiates a transfer of control from the active PC to the standby. This takes no longer than one second to complete, well within the operating parameters of oil, petrochemical, chemical, and other process facilities, where the collection of data and the issuance of control commands based on that information typically takes a few seconds or more. Since the data and status information on the two PCs is always synchronised, processing can continue without interruption, even when the system is performing sequential control of multiple tasks. This feature minimises the probability of any loss of data and ensures there is no interruption in control. The software thus ensures high availability of the systems that make up a vital part of industrial infrastructure.
Long-term operational support with online PC replacement
PCs often remain in use for years in plants and need to be replaced when they grow outmoded or fail. Thanks to this software which enables applications to run in a redundant configuration, an outmoded or defective PC can be replaced while the system remains online. It is even possible to operate different PC models in a redundant configuration providing they have been tested and approved by Yokogawa, which helps users operate their systems stably over long periods of time and improve productivity.
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