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Triconex Safety Turns 30, Looks to the Future

After a Monday Night Anniversary Celebration, Steve Elliott Shares Invensys' Vision and Roadmap for Triconex Safety Systems

By Nancy Bartels

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Cake and champagne are good ways to begin any celebration. They were both present at the opening reception for the Foxboro and Triconex '13 Global Client Conference held at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, being held Sept. 9-13.  Mike Caliel, President of Software and Industrial Automation for Invensys, offered the toast and Al Fung, Triconex product marketing manager, and Scott Mourier, SIS subject matter expert at The Dow Chemical Company and chairman of the conference steering committee, cut the cake. The reason for the celebration: The 30th anniversary of Invensys' Triconex business.

Steve Elliott, Triconex product director gave some background on the company. "A team of bright young engineers designed a system 30 years ago that's still functioning and fulfilling its primary mission, which is to keep assets safe. We have retained our core identity and stayed true to our core principles. The world has changed a lot in the last 30 year, but we have stayed the same—not the technology, but the fact that there are millions of people who go to work in hostile environments every day and come home safely. They owe this to Triconex products, whether they know it or not."

This morning, Elliott expanded on this theme of providing a stable, safe environment while looking to the future and leveraging some of those technological changes that are coming with ever-increasing rapidity.  He provided a roadmap for the Triconex line, moving forward into the next few years.

Elliott sees Invensys expanding the Triconex footprint. "The core business will still be functional safety, but we will be extending our reach into operations and maintenance to better help operators make safe decisions while ensuring safe operations," he says.

Key to this is the new Safety View alarm and bypass management system. Version 1 is available now and version 1.1 is already in the works. Safety View software is compliant with the ISA18.1-2004 Annunciator Sequence and Specifications standard. Elliott says it is also the world's first TŰV-certified alarm and bypass HMI system for use in applications up to SIL-3. The system shows priority Level 1 alarms and operates independently of the DCS. With Safety View software, users can acknowledge individual or group alarms. The system also can re-activate alarms acknowledged by operators during previous shifts. It works in conjunction with Tricon Trident systems.

The Safety View system operates independently from the DCS. It supports redundancy for maximum availability, records all operator actions and provides an audit trail.

Bypass management safety is critical devices for maintenance, calibration and during start-up, shutdown, etc., says Elliott. The Safety View system had clear indictors of devices in Bypass Mode. It records all operator actions and provides and audit trail. This functionality will be available next year.

Another new product in the Triconex product stable is the Trident Tri-GP v3.0 communications integration module. It now is capable of OPC-UA communications. "It also offers enhanced peer-to-peer performance, stronger defense in depth with digital signatures and authentication, and can support 10 concurrent clients," says Elliott. It is also TŰV-certified to IEC11508-2010 SIL-3.

Coming soon is the enhanced MP 3009 main process module for Tricon, Trident and Tri-CP systems. It is scheduled for delivery in June 2014.  It is a form/fit/functional replacement for the MP 3008. Phase 1 of the roll-out offers faster scan time execution. Phase 2 will have increased tag capacity and upgraded online firmware. It will offer 64 Mbytes of Flash, and 254Mbytes of DRAM and will be hot-swappable from MP 3008.

The roadmap has not overlooked security. TS1131 Secure is a line of security-hardened engineering and SIS workstations that feature OS patch and anti-virus validation and continuous security updates to mitigate external security threats to the SIS.

Triconex TS1131 Secure Security Patch Management covers Tristation 1131 and Enhanced Diagnostic Monitor. It has been tested on the current version, plus the two prior versions. It offers Window 7 security patch updates and McAfee anti-virus.dat virus signature file updates.

The roadmap reflects Invensys' vision for the Triconex line of unified control and safety systems, while acknowledging that safety systems are "not a one-size-fits-all" proposition," says Elliott. "It rides on top of the DCS. Users have a choice. It can be completely separated or integrated."