#Opsmanage New evolution of the Foxboro I/A Series System

Innovative Intelligent Marshalling and revamped Foxboro Control, HMI and engineering software make modernisation faster, easier and more economically feasible

Invensys Operations Management introduced the next major evolution of its Foxboro® I/A Series® distributed control system. As the core DCS  component of the company’s InFusion® Enterprise Control System, the latest I/A Series system includes an innovative Intelligent Marshalling solution and high-performance Foxboro Control Software and Simulation software, which reduce total cost of ownership and expand traditional DCS functionality for superior collaboration, execution and visibility across the enterprise.

“The new I/A Series system allows users to begin their journey towards real-time business optimization by taking full advantage of their existing automation systems, while preserving their existing investments and lowering their total cost of ownership,” said Rick Morse, vice president, control and safety, Invensys Operations Management. “These latest offerings– Intelligent Marshalling, which significantly improves the approach to system implementation and design, and Foxboro Control Software 3.0, which allows users to integrate their plant systems, databases and software applications– address major phases of system modernisation and allow our customers to upgrade at their own pace with minimal disruption. Together they link business processes with production processes, enabling real-time business optimisation and creating a fully empowered workforce.”

With traditional control systems, field wiring must be sorted out in a marshalling cabinet before it is connected to the main I/O module terminal strips of the DCS panel. It’s an inflexible approach that often leads to expensive indirect costs. But because the I/A Series Intelligent Marshalling solution features the Universal Fieldbus Module, a per-channel, configurable I/O module that supports a variety of analog and digital signal types, it eliminates the need for marshalling entirely.

“Additional marshalling equipment, field and control side wiring, engineering, documentation and inventory can account for as much as 20 percent of the total project cost,” said Thad Frost, director of fieldbus product management, Invensys Operations Management. “Unlike other control offerings on the market today, with Intelligent Marshalling, each channel is software configurable on a per-point basis, with no extra hardware required. All configurations can be done at the workstation, meaning you can securely configure a point from anywhere in the world. It is a simple, elegant solution that eliminates traditional marshalling panels as we know it.”

Designed to simplify engineering efforts and improve the user experience, Foxboro Control Software 3.0 embeds the company’s ArchestrA® System Platform and Wonderware® InTouch HMI within the Foxboro I/A Series system, applying common object technology from process control up to the business system level and out to any third-party system. This allows users to integrate all of their plant devices, systems, databases and software applications. Additionally, enhanced integration with the latest advanced software applications from Invensys, including its mobile workforce management and workflow offerings, provide more systems flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness, helping to drive lower total cost of ownership. By enabling real-time access to critical plant and business data, users are better able to balance competing strategic objectives related to controls, assets, environment & safety and people to optimise their overall business and achieve operational excellence.

The new Foxboro Control Software Simulation 3.0 offering simulates Foxboro Control Software 3.0 applications for rapid, high-quality systems checkout without the need for control hardware. Simulation capabilities include dynamic control of time, alarms and trends using the same configuration files that are used in a live I/A Series DCS. The software also provides an instant interface to the company’s SimSci-Esscor® DYNSIM®, Foxboro FSIM® and Triconex® TRISIM® dynamic simulation engines, which are used to simulate plant operations, behavior and responses in conjunction with the DCS or simulated DCS.

“Process manufacturing is facing what could be characterised as a perfect storm. The loss of experience as a result of the shifting demographics, the need to operate proactively rather than reactively, the ability to empower knowledge workers with actionable context and more are all new challenges that require changes in our processes and tools,” said Dave Woll, vice president, consulting services, ARC Advisory Group. “With the Foxboro Control Software 3.0 release, Invensys provides component-object technology throughout the Foxboro I/A Series system up to the operations management level. Its open-technology platform transcends disparate systems, providing the unique ability to collaboratively apply best-of-breed solutions, from Invensys or third parties. This level of enterprise-wide integration makes it significantly easier to access, manage and contextualise information for a wide variety of operations users, allowing them to drive and deliver greater production value in real time. We are also observing a strong resurgence with customers refocusing on cost of ownership and the preservation of their investments over the lifecycle of their plants and systems. Maintaining focus on product lifecycle management pays dividends for them in the long term.”

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About Eoin Ó Riain

Sé Read-out iris uaithoibríoch, ionstraim agus stiúradh na hÉireann agus an "Signpost" a áit ar an idirlín! Read-out is Ireland's journal of automation, instrumentation and control and the Instrumentation Signpost is it's web presence.
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