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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Foundation Fieldbus Knowledge Center

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.

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