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The OPC Foundation’s first Independent Certification Test Lab has opened at Ascolab’s facilities in Erlangen, Germany. Products validated and certified by the lab will carry a new OPC Foundation-Certified logo to provide end users with an assurance of excellence. As a result of the certification program, users can expect reduced system installation costs and products that will perform reliably in multi-vendor installations.
“To successfully integrate complex systems using products from multiple vendors requires that products be completely interoperable and simple to maintain, while providing plug-and-play configuration and high reliability,” explained ABB consultant engineer Paul Hunkar, who is the OPC Foundation’s director of Compliance & Certification. “The Independent Certification Test Lab system provides the infrastructure to ensure that vendors are designing and shipping high-quality, high-performance and high-functionality products.”
The backbone of the test lab’s operations is the reference hardware/software that forms the basis for testing all other products. Companies which have provided hardware or software as part of the program include ABB, Beckhoff, Cyberlogic, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, Iconics, Kepware, Matrikon, OSI, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Softing, Software Toolbox and Wonderware. All successfully-tested products and their certification details will be posted on the OPC Foundation website.
ABB has won approval from TÜV Rheinland for its functional safety management system for developing safety-related system integration in accordance with the IEC 61508 and 61511 standards. Certification by TÜV recognizes ABB’s functional safety management system as complying with international standards and having all the relevant documentation, functional safety assessments and company specific safety life cycle phases. It thus demonstrates to customers that ABB is working to a functional safety management system and a range of methods and procedures used to manage the day-to-day engineering for system integration.
“ABB is one of the largest suppliers of safety systems for the oil and gas, petrochemical and power industries worldwide,” explained Stuart Nunns, principal safety consultant and TÜV functional safety expert at ABB’s St. Neots, U.K. facility. “It is vital to demonstrate that we can follow applicable international standards and are able to deliver consistently performing, compliant safety systems from our factories around the world.”
ABB’s St .Neots Safety Execution Centre was the first organization in the U.K. to be certified by TÜV Rheinland and the first of ABB’s 14 Safety Execution Centres worldwide to implement the functional safety management system and achieve certification. It specializes in building safety systems based on ABB System 800xA HI, PlantGuard and SafeGuard safety systems, all of which are certified by TÜV to the relevant SIL levels.
ABB Norway and Metso Automation have entered into an agreement covering closer integration of Metso’s valve technology with ABB’s System 800xA automation system. With a specific emphasis on oil and gas, the agreement focuses primarily on Metso’s Neles ValvGuard product, which provides a robust valve testing, monitoring and maintenance tool to complement the capabilities of ABB’s asset management solutions. The two companies believe that integration will provide ABB System 800xA users with a proven, best-in-class solution for their valve applications. “We have already worked with Metso Automation for several years, and ABB is pleased that the co-operation now is formalized and taken to the next level,” said Bjarte Pedersen, vice president of ABB’s Oil and Gas business unit in Norway. “Combining proven automation technology from ABB with Metso Automation’s expertise within valve technology will lead to better process control and greater cost efficiency for the oil and gas producers.”
Solutions integrating Metso’s Neles ND9000 intelligent valve controllers with ABB’s 800xA system and asset management solutions are already in operation on the Shell Ormen Lange gas plant on the west coast of Norway.
Congratulations to Patrick Raleigh of Process Engineering magazine for extracting a statement from Dow Chemical about the implications for ABB of its decision to adopt Siemens’ PCS7 as its new standard for laboratory process control applications worldwide. Brief and to the point, it reads, “Dow is not replacing ABB with Siemens equipment for their general process control needs. The Siemens PCS7 system is being implemented solely to address some specific needs within R&D lab automation.”
Invensys Process Systems (IPS) has entered into the first of what it anticipates will be a number of joint ventures as it rolls out a new business development model into emerging markets worldwide. Under the new agreement it is joining with ENPPI (Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries) and GASCO to create Invensys Process System Egypt. Described as the first “Industrial Automation Engineering Centre of Excellence” in the country, the new company is destined to play a significant role in the modernization of the Egyptian petroleum industry, helping to increase refinery utilization, maximize productivity and minimize maintenance costs. Chairman of the new company will be the assistant chairman of ENPPI, Eng. Mohamed Saad Yahia, while IPS will appoint a general manager.
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