Foxboro Evo System Aims to 'Future-Proof' Automation

New System Is Latest Iteration of Invensys' Continuously Current Offering

By Jim Montague

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When you know where you come from, it's easier to get where you want to go. This awareness of history as providing the building blocks for future innovation was never more true than it is for Invensys and its new Foxboro Evo process automation system.

"Our customers are under tremendous pressure to meet or exceed their goals of making their operations more profitable while still maintaining safety, but they're also facing information overloads that often don't help operations, can slow decision making, or even cause erroneous decisions that can hurt operations if that data is taken out of context," said Michael Caliel, president of software and industrial automation for Invensys. "What users need now is a new process automation system that can get control engineers and operators out in front of their applications, and give them the insight and integrity they need to make the best possible decisions. That's why were so excited to be releasing the Foxboro Evo system today."

The Foxboro Evo process automation system consists of advanced roles-based tools, an extra dose of processing power and integration with the world-leading Triconex safety system. It is intended to improve operational insight and integrity, assure business continuity and profitability, and future-proof existing automation investments.

"The three most important ways a process automation vendor can help its customers secure their future is to protect the operational integrity of their plants, enhance the operational insight of their people, and enable them to adapt easily and affordably to change," explained Gary Freburger, president of Invensys' systems business. "Our new Foxboro Evo system does that with unrivaled elegance. With more powerful processing capacity and other new, advanced applications, this system allows our customers to uncover new and hidden value from within their operations. This is another automation breakthrough from a company with a 100-year history of delivering innovative technology advancements. We're excited about what this means for the industry and for our customers, and we look forward to continuing to help them safely achieve their short- and long-term business and operations goals.

"Foxboro Evo is more than just a name. It's going to bring about a new age of enlightenment in process control and automation. We especially want to thank our users because they've helped us understand the barriers they face, and to design a new and more powerful process control system to eliminate those barriers to their success. But, we're not going to leave any existing customers, and we're going to continue to support them, and make sure they always have a path to the future."

For instance, Michael McKenzie, DCS specialist at BP's Bulwer oil refinery in Brisbane, Australia, reported that his facility has been beta testing the Foxboro Evo system capabilities. "We needed to upgrade the vast majority of our DCSs, but like most sites, we didn't have the luxury of a site-wide shutdown to make a full change possible," said McKenzie. "We were facing a substantial obsolescence issue, which we'd ranked as a significant risk to ongoing operations, so we needed a solution that would allow us to upgrade components as we needed them—without sacrificing functionality or usability for operators. The new Foxboro Evo system allows a much easier upgrade of all components, and will ensure we can keep our system well away from obsolescence, so we're not required to perform any added, large-scale upgrades."

McKenzie added that BP Bulwer processes about 96,000 bpd of crude oil, which it refines into diesel, jet fuel gasoline and other products. The facility operates two crude units, one fluidized catalytic cracker (FCC), one hydrogen catalytic cracker, one reformer, one sulfur-processing unit and other applications systems, which rely on about 60,000 I/O points and presently run 20 of Invensys' CP270 controllers, 12 CP60 controllers and six CP40 controllers. Many of these will be able to be replaced by just four of Invensys' soon-to-be-released CP280 controllers.

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