Petrobras Hosts FOUNDATION for ROM Demonstration in Brazil

Single Data Management Environment Unifies Key Remote I/O, Wireless and Digital Protocols

By Fieldbus Foundation

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The Fieldbus Foundation conducted the first live demonstration of its FOUNDATION for Remote Operations Management (ROM) technology at the Petrobras research and development facility (Cenpes) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Held on April 30, 2013, this important event was attended by Petrobras company executives and automation industry media from around the world.

The first development of its kind integrating remote input/output (I/O), ISA 100.11a, WirelessHART, wired HART, and H1 fieldbus protocols into a single standard data management environment, FOUNDATION for ROM extends the capabilities of FOUNDATION fieldbus to countless wired and wireless devices installed in some of the world's harshest and most remote locations. This open, non-proprietary solution provides a unified digital infrastructure for asset management in applications ranging from tank farms and terminals to pipelines, offshore platforms, and even original equipment manufacturer (OEM) skids.

Whether operating on a wired or wireless High Speed Ethernet (HSE) backhaul network, the FOUNDATION for ROM solution enables end users to pull device data into the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure, which provides a single source of data management, diagnostics, alarms and alerts, data quality control, control-in-the-field capability, and object-oriented block structure.

Industry leader evaluates the technology

Petrobras is interested in specifying FOUNDATION for ROM technology for the ambitious projects it is undertaking in the upstream and downstream hydrocarbon industry. The company has a record-setting $224 billion capital spending plan through 2015, with most of the investments targeted at the upstream sector on the highly publicized Pre-Salt area of the Santos Basin.

The Petrobras Centro de Pesquisas Leopoldo Américo Miguez de Mello, also known as Cenpes, is the largest oil and gas research center in the Southern Hemisphere. During the press day event, a series of tests were performed with a FOUNDATION for ROM system installed on a distillation process pilot plant to evaluate the use of fieldbus-based ROM devices with wireless protocols for remote applications.

Senior Equipment Engineer Miguel Borges, who is employed at the Cenpes facility, believes FOUNDATION for ROM can be an enabling technology for remote applications on Petrobras' offshore platforms. "The Fieldbus Foundation's ROM solution is attractive to us, since we want to gain access to diagnostic information from devices installed at our remote sites," said Borges. "Petrobras is committed to investing in this type of technology, and is seeking the most effective solutions available in the marketplace."

Reliance Industries (India) has also agreed to host FOUNDATION for ROM field demonstrations, and additional end user demonstrations in Japan, the Middle East and Europe are being planned.

Purpose of the field demonstration

Running on one of many of the Cenpes pilot plants, the Petrobras field demonstration offered a look at the full functionality of FOUNDATION for ROM, including wireless device integration, remote I/O integration, and wireless backhaul capabilities. This demonstration is the first step to show the capabilities of FOUNDATION for ROM before it is specified for commercial projects. The ROM solution enables end users to diagnose, either locally or remotely, the condition of their automation assets and then optimize predictive and preventive maintenance strategies.

FOUNDATION for ROM equipment is installed on an existing distillation column unit in the Cenpes pilot plant area. The project was completed through a cooperative effort between Petrobras and local Brazilian automation suppliers sponsoring the ROM initiative. The Cenpes installation is an excellent example of the value of installing FOUNDATION for ROM and FOUNDATION fieldbus in an existing plant. The existing distillation column already has many analog and HART field devices installed. Petrobras was able to install a number of additional measuring points with a very small hardware footprint through a combination FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 and wireless devices. The installation includes three types of FOUNDATION for ROM devices—wireless gateways, process controllers connected to FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 devices and conventional remote I/O.

Borges said, "For Petrobras, the primary objective of this live demonstration at the pilot plant PC3 was to verify that we could access and use remotely, with ROM, all the operational functionalities available locally. Another objective was to check the interoperability of ROM devices of different manufacturers over the backhaul."

He added, "ROM provides very easy and quick integration, and is transparent to the user."

The demonstration took place inside the Center for Collaborative Visualization (NVC), also known as "The Egg," a spherically shaped building that houses a center for high-fidelity 3-D training simulation. Because of the remote capabilities of FOUNDATION for ROM, participants were able to use the meeting room as a virtual control room, showing live video feed from multiple locations in the pilot plant and wireless device diagnostic information all within the FOUNDATION fieldbus infrastructure. Information from the pilot plant in another part of the Cenpes compound was communicated across the High Speed Ethernet (HSE) wireless backhaul network to the virtual control room in the meeting room over standard Ethernet hardware and wireless equipment, as well as standard cyber security appliances.

The press day event started off with some introductory words from Petrobras Cenpes Executive Manager Marcos Isaac Assayag and introduction of participating vendors and press from Fieldbus Foundation Marketing Manager Larry O'Brien. Fieldbus Foundation President and CEO Rich Timoney and Chairman Dr. Gunther Kegel also provided some key opening remarks.

According to Dr. Kegel, the world of automation is entering the age of Cyber Physical Systems, or the "Internet of Things" for automation, if you will. FOUNDATION for ROM is an enabler for cyber physical systems in process automation because it has the ability to consolidate diagnostic information from a number of disparate networks and can manage that information effectively in a single infrastructure that can be shared wirelessly through standard Ethernet and IP technology.

ROM solution brings it all together

Fieldbus Foundation's Larry O'Brien gave a brief description of how FOUNDATION for ROM does this, as well as the business requirements addressed by ROM. According to O'Brien, FOUNDATION for ROM was designed to enable fieldbus connectivity to remote I/O and the leading industrial wireless protocols, and is the first successful integration of ISA100.11a, WirelessHART, wired HART, and wired H1 protocols into a single standard environment without sacrificing the diagnostic capabilities of existing wireless devices. Instead, these capabilities are mapped into the FOUNDATION block structure to provide a standard environment for data management and quality, eliminating techniques that are highly customized and much more costly to maintain throughout the plant lifecycle.

O'Brien indicated that FOUNDATION for ROM takes full advantage of the FOUNDATION fieldbus HSE-based network, which shares the same architecture as the H1 field network technology. With FOUNDATION for ROM, the HSE backhaul network is the "glue" that brings other networks together into a single managed infrastructure.

John Rezabek, chairman of the Fieldbus Foundation End User Advisory Council (EUAC), then gave a presentation on the value of FOUNDATION fieldbus and FOUNDATION for ROM to the end user. Rezabek used the "Walled Garden" analogy of Apple to describe the proprietary approach that many have taken to process automation, stressing that the value of FOUNDATION fieldbus lies in the fact that it was created with the guidance of end users, and its evolution continues to be heavily influenced by the EUAC, FOUNDATION for ROM included.

How the demo equipment operated

The second half of the day consisted of presentations from Petrobras personnel and the Fieldbus Foundation's demo project leader for Brazil, Libanio De Souza from Smar in Brazil. Renato Ogeda, equipment manager at the Cenpes plant, gave an overview of the Cenpes facility. De Souza then gave a demonstration of the ROM functionality, including more details on how FOUNDATION fieldbus brings diagnostic information from devices on other wireless and wired networks through the FOUNDATION block-based structure.

FOUNDATION for ROM adds a new function block to provide an efficient way to bring large concentrations of discrete and analog field I/O back to the control room using HSE communication. The new Association Block can aggregate 64 discrete inputs/outputs and 16 analog inputs/outputs. There is also a new function block for WirelessHART that includes HART statuses. FOUNDATION for ROM may be embedded into existing devices including RTUs, controllers, PLCs, PACs, and wireless gateways.

Device status is reported using the NAMUR NE 107 framework, based on five states:

  • Normal: valid output signal
  • Maintenance Required: still valid output signal
  • Out of Specification: signal out of the specified range
  • Function Check: temporary, non-valid output signal
  • Failure: non-valid output signal

This creates consistent status reports for operators who can then view remote data for further analysis.

The actual demo equipment included FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 devices, a number of wireless devices, several ROM devices, and the wireless backhaul network. Fieldbus H1 devices were connected to a Smar FOUNDATION for ROM controller. FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 device suppliers include Emerson Process Management, Pepperl+Fuchs, Smar, StoneL, Westlock, and Yokogawa, as well as a fieldbus indicator from Beka. Discrete I/O from R. STAHL is also installed. H1 devices are connected to fieldbus device couplers and integrated power supplies from Pepperl+Fuchs, MTL, and R. STAHL.

In addition, a number of wireless devices on both the WirelessHART and ISA 100.11a networks are installed in the demo, and their diagnostic data is integrated into the host system and plant asset management system. WirelessHART devices from Emerson and Smar are connected to a FOUNDATION for ROM wireless gateway from Smar. Yokogawa and Honeywell have supplied ISA 100.11a devices that are connected to a Yokogawa ISA 100.11a gateway.

FOUNDATION for ROM conventional remote I/O is provided by R. STAHL. The conventional remote I/O, process controller, and wireless gateways are all connected to the HSE wireless backhaul network through managed switches from Belden and Phoenix Contact. The demo setup also shows the integration of cyber security for automation with the installation of automation firewalls from Belden and Phoenix Contact.

The HSE wireless backhaul network uses backhaul WiFi radios from Belden and MTL. All the wireless backhaul network hardware is standard hardware with no modifications. OPC and video data are also transmitted over the wireless backhaul network, which connects to a remote control room location with a Smar FOUNDATION fieldbus host system and plant asset management system.

The functional demonstration included accessing device diagnostics in wireless devices, including device status. Integration of video was demonstrated through observation of a control valve to determine if the valve was open or closed. A temperature sensor for a HART temperature transmitter was also pulled to show how the diagnostic alert would be visible in the same context as a FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 device.

Demonstration sponsors

Fieldbus Foundation supplier members sponsoring the FOUNDATION for ROM demonstrations included: APA Technologies, AUMA, Azbil, Beka Associates Ltd., Belden, Biffi, Buerkert Werke, Emerson Process Management, Endress+Hauser, Festo Brazil, Fuji Electric, Honeywell, Invensys Operations Management, Leoni-Kerpen, Magnetrol, MTL, Pepperl+Fuchs, Phoenix Contact, R. STAHL, Rotork, Smar, StoneL, Turck, Westlock, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation.

For more information, please visit the FOUNDATION for ROM page on the Fieldbus Foundation website.

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