Process and equipment conditions change all the time, but the typical DCS operator interface (OI) display is painstakingly designed and scripted for one, predetermined set of operations. DeltaV Live by Emerson is engineered to break that paradigm by allowing users to easily change configurations with no scripting.
“In the past, DeltaV and other DCSs used graphic packages that are not really designed for the application, and so required extensive use of global variables and scripts,” says Cindy Scott, DeltaV product marketing director. “They took a specialist team to design, and were hard for the user to change. We’re putting the power back into the users’ hands.”
“DeltaV Live is a new kind of operator interface,” says Camilo Fadul, DeltaV product manager, Emerson Automation Solutions. “It’s a modern, built-for-purpose operations experience.”
The intuitive, user friendly interface has scalable graphics, built-in display hierarchy navigation, real-time and historical trending capabilities, alarms prioritized by the user, and system-wide security.
“After extensive analysis, we landed on HTML5 because we could deliver a great user experience, enable mobility, and it will be the leading graphics technology for the foreseeable future,” Fadul says. “Based on research with the Center for Operator Performance, we’ve built in specialized features that provide more and better tools for operators right out of the box.”
Users can choose the DeltaV standard operating desktop, or modify it to fit their specific operational philosophies and work preferences. “Human-centered design principles are built in from the ground up,” Fadul adds. “Users can create different display hierarchies, and easily define different levels of displays by simply dragging and dropping them into the hierarchy.
“You can choose from a series of available layouts and the software will fit the displays to the available real estate. In response, DeltaV Live will also automatically generate navigation bars, eliminating the need for complex scripting.”
A library of reusable graphical elements (“GEMS”) can be selected, created or modified once and reused multiple times, and remain linked to their class to simplify changes. Changes made on a library GEM can be saved and used to automatically update all the GEMS in the class. “There’s no need to re-write logic and re-test for different objects,” says Fadul.
HTML5 supports scalable vector graphics (SVG). “You can mouse and wheel to zero in, then zoom, with no distortion or deterioration of quality, Fadul says.
Using “Live Snippets,” Fadul says, “You can snip any graphic in a display, opening it into a separate window on the same screen, so that you can keep an eye on a critical asset as well as your overall operations.”
A “refresh” button allows users to update the current configuration or remain in previous configuration, “So the operator can decide when it’s convenient to update the interface content,” Fadul adds.
“We’ve paid attention to the details that make the job faster and easier,” Fadul says. “For example, smart line intersections can be configured to show a gap or a jumper, instead of exactly aligning the two lines. It’s a big time-saver.
“You can create an online preview of a graphic, so operators can review it before implementation. You can show it on just an engineering workstation, or publish it to one operator station so, for example, an experienced operator can give feedback.”
The above are just some highlights of the capabilities of DeltaV Live. “Today, newer operators expect a more modern look, with the ability to personalize and have more control over their operator interface,” says Scott. “With DeltaV Live, we’ve created a true ‘operations experience’ - not just another operator interface.”
Making changes easy saves time and money on the engineering side, too. “When engineers and operators can move quicker, operations can make faster and better decisions,” says Fadul. “Companies become more productive.”