Today in the power industry there is increasing pressure to drive a business perspective down to the operations level while simultaneously providing business executives with a clear view of the operations (Figure 1).

Automation suppliers who can effectively respond to this demand will be at a competitive advantage. One such supplier, Invensys, has identified asset performance management (Figure 2) as the unifying and overriding theme of its activities.

To achieve this, the company has launched the InFusion enterprise control system that combines its own technologies with advanced enterprise information and integration technologies from many other suppliers. The result is a common system that dramatically reduces integration costs.

Unlike other solutions, this approach allows users to really keep their options open in terms of whose automation and control technologies are used throughout the plant.

Additional requirements identified for such an open system, and provided by InFusion, are:

• Next generation engineering tools, fully SAMA/DIN compliant, useable in any application or environment (DCS, safety, field busses, FDT).

• The ability to simply create, duplicate and deploy applications/objects anywhere in the power market applications..

• Value based asset performance management applications aimed at specific user needs.

• Component based solution assemblies where specific needs can be matched to the technologies required to deliver them.

• Solution sets that enable quick deployment, facilitate rapid change and project extension capability.

• The ability to deliver the right information in the right context at the right time to the right person, which will become increasingly important as businesses strive to meet future compliance and performance needs.

In fact InFusion goes further than simply converging Invensys automation technologies and third-party technologies into a single, all-encompassing automation and information system. Because it makes use of ArchestrA software architecture and is tightly integrated with the ISA S95 Enterprise Control System Integration standard into Microsoft’s BizTalk, it is able to interoperate with leading software systems such as SAP.

This is important because automation and IT have been separate computing domains ever since the first use of computer technology around the plant. InFusion breaks down this traditional separation, essentially providing a single system across the plant floor and up through the enterprise computing environment – see Figure 3.

The new plant-wide engineering environment significantly reduces project costs and supports the entire automation installed base, reducing replacement costs while driving more life out of existing assets Some studies indicate that the use of document standards based on XML can reduce the cost of maintaining plant documentation and keeping the information content as built to 7% of the yearly maintenance total.

As a result of the system scope and built-in interoperability, it effectively eliminates integration costs. While engineering costs comprise the largest component of initial automation expenditure today, integration costs are often the second largest component depending on the scope of the project. So InFusion provides a very effective way of reducing the two largest automation and information costs faced by users.

It is very important to understand that InFusion is viewed as a convergence of existing systems and technologies leading to a superset, rather than a subset, of capabilities.

The ultimate unified system will emerge over a three-year period, but many of the most critical aspects of the convergence from a customer perspective will be available with the initial release. It will essentially define a new class of system, the true enterprise control system.

This is realistic and feasible because the scope of functionality covered by the system goes well beyond that of any traditional automation system. It pulls together all of the plant floor automation systems, including older installed systems, into a unified automation domain across a plant, which has never before been achieved by a single system.

It further reduces costs by enabling and supporting wireless communications where appropriate throughout the system architecture. It unifies the engineering environment as well as the HMI environment across an entire operation, even in a multiple system plant.

This by itself provides huge advantages and reduced costs. But it also ties the entire IT and automation domains into a single computing environment through infrastructural components such as Microsoft’s BizTalk.

ArchestrA components have been embedded into BizTalk and a standard mapping layer has been provided between the IT and automation environments based on the emerging S95 standard. It will shortly incorporate the Mimosa open information standards for operations and maintenance in manufacturing, too. This opens up the plant floor to business management domains and business management domains to the plant floor as never before. It allows every person in a manufacturing organisation to work in their native software environment, such as SAP, MS Office and plant workstations, while also being able to access key information throughout the enterprise.

This technology domain expansion is exactly what the market at both the executive and the technology level within the plant has been asking for.

InFusion will be certainly viewed by plant personnel as a significant expansion over DCSs at the plant level. But it also seems to play well even at the business management level. In recent discussions with SAP personnel, they revealed that one of the current trends at the business management level is to talk about business control as compared with the traditional business management. InFusion sits well with this trend.

Continuing development of InFusion will include embedding the best characteristics of today’s systems and software designs. It will also be designed and commercialised to have a very competitive price, while offering the lowest implementation costs as a result of reduced engineering and integration costs. It might also produce the lowest overall cost system because customers are able to preserve more of their existing technologies. Additionally, the system will offer the greatest ease-of-use through simplified and common software toolsets across the enterprise and common human interfacing throughout the enterprise. No hard data is available at this time but it is estimated that these savings reduce the interface cost to the ERP applications by 35%.

Power toolkit

The InFusion power toolkit promises significant reductions in design and maintenance costs.

InFusion power toolkit combines the object structure of commercial CAE product Comos PT with its own Engineering Environment (IEE) tool that offers a highly intuitive graphical design and engineering package to facilitate the creation of reusable libraries. Together, they give an end-to-end, object-oriented engineering system for use in power process plant design.

Covering all engineering tasks, the system features consistent planning throughout all lifecycle phases of the entire process chain, from process engineering and intelligent P&ID flow chart creation to electrical engineering and I&C technology with integrated functional design.

IEE and Comos PT meet all the demands of basic and detailed engineering, allowing the integration of sub areas of the system concept into existing IT or engineering environments due to the open system structure. The online interface between InFusion-based automation and CAE supports the automatic creation of the software structures in the real time automation part of InFusion. The required information is transferred online from Comos PT to the InFusion real time controller based on the InFusion-I/A series control processors. When the design data for the plant processes has been prepared, and the required functions for the implementation of the automation in the I/A series system are to be loaded, it is essential to ensure that no discrepancies and inconsistencies can occur between the engineering database and the database that is to be created in the automation system.

To ensure this, an automated download facility has been developed for The I/A series system, which – due to its open system architecture and the documented APIs for the system configurations – is an ideal starting point.

The engineering database is downloaded from Comos PT into an Instrument Tag (some industries call these data points) List export file containing all information required for the implementation of the design in the automation software based on CP function blocks. This involves the use of user-defined function blocks with their parameterisation and interconnection, as well as connections to external environments via versatile hardware or bus interfacing.

The resulting export is directly imported into the IEE, where the data are used to create the automation functions for the control system. When working with IEE there is no need for any additional function-related definition work. The only prerequisite is the existence of a library (also known as a Toolkit) of IEE typicals that is mapped to the function block library in Comos PT. For project specific applications it can be adapted freely and without restriction to meet the requirements of the process plant when alternative classification systems are used or to meet additional function block requirements. This results in a database based on the FoxCAE computer-aided engineering software package which is then transferred online to the I/A Series System and can be tested directly on the plant. A schematic of the concept is shown in Figure 4.

The advantage of this structure is that the workflow between all data in the CAE tool starts with the instrument data and the control schematics. All data can be transferred between the users of the data without manual processing.

The functional diagrams are based on the IEC 1131 and control processor function blocks and used for documentation or online analysis. This analysis is fully based on the function blocks shown.

An example of a basic function block is shown in Figure 5. In this example all red marked squares are animated fields with links to the CP function blocks.

Two examples of screen captures (Figure 6) show the working relation between I/A series standard operation interactions with an IEC 1131 function block (FUP) in Comos PT.

The FUP for the valve appears on the same operator screen as the process graphic and the conditions of the process parameters are linked to the function blocks in a CP. This technique is the same used in PLC based systems. The content of the function block in Comos is built with CP function blocks, in the case shown here with mainly CALC blocks and the device related interlocking functions with PLB blocks. This enables a high reuse of build functions and in case of the CALC blocks a way of structuring them out of Comos. The mentioned CALC and PLB blocks are part of the Control Processor function block family to build preconfigured standard applications. The methodology of libraries reduces the test time and enables the use of the function blocks in Comos.

An additional important element of the CAE use is the instrument database and the electrical wiring diagrams. Due to the fact that the P&ID in the CAR database has all relevant data, EPCs are keen to reduce their engineering time by using the integrated approach between CAE and IEE.

An example of an electrical drawing out of CAE is show in Figure 7. The structure of this drawing is build as a typical and is linked to the instrument type and the function block used in I/A. The same data structure is also used for the loops in Invensys Tricon or Trident safety/TMC products. The optimisation of the load changes for primary and secondary control are shown in Figure 8.

Williams Power application

An early example of an application of InFusion is a generation management system developed for Williams Power to provide the foundation for wide area real time production monitoring and dispatch control for all the company’s generation assets. These include two company-owned power plants and six contracted facilities located across seven states of the USA.

The new system will integrate data from many different automation systems and applications to help Williams precisely schedule the delivery of generation capacity from each plant according to changing demand from contracted markets. The generation management system will monitor demand trend data by communicating with the three contracted ISO (Independent System Transmission Operator) organisations that serve California (CAISO), the Midwest (MISO) and Mid-Atlantic states (PJM).

The ISOs are responsible for monitoring and directing the flow of wholesale electric power into and throughout the distribution grids that serve their regional markets.

Having all plant data and market demand data in a centralised business decision support environment will allow Williams to provide set point dispatch control for production from the generating plants on an hourly basis.

This real time scheduling will help prevent shortfalls in capacity, as well as the generation of too much electricity, minimising economic risk in the business and optimising the production value of each asset.

Two InFusion tools, Access and Historian, will collect and model the data from more than 3000 tags (data points) representing a variety of device types at the eight plants.

Access offers a library of communication interfaces that allows users to connect to practically all legacy control systems as well as other common process and plant subsystems.

Historian is a high-performance plant data historian that combines a relational database structure with a real-time data collection engine yielding higher performance, while maintaining efficiency.

Production data will be constantly compared in real time with customer demand trend data from the ISOs throughout each day. The InFusion View graphical user interface and SuiteVoyager for InFusion Web portal will provide a local human machine interface (HMI) for operator visualisation.Invensys will implement the connection to the regional ISOs employing a LiveData server using ICCP (Inter-Control Center Protocol), which enables real-time bi-directional flow of remote data across multiple protocols.

The new system, which replaces an existing SCADA, will provide Williams Power with a more flexible, easier-to-deploy, standards-based data acquisition and business decision support platform that will be able to adapt to future changes in asset configuration and energy market characteristics – exemplifying the goals of the InFusion concept.

Figure 1. The new challenge for automation suppliers Figure 2. Asset performance management, the key elements Figure 3. Structure of the InFusion enterprise control system Figure 4. Schematic of the InFusion power toolkit Figure 5. Example of a basic function block Figures 6. Two screen captures showing the working relation between I/A series standard operation interactions with an IEC 1131 function block – FUP – in Comos PT, a commercial CAE product Figure 7. Example of an electrical drawing out of CAE Figure 8. Unit control, secondary and primary – key business differentiators