What’s in store for next Experion PKS release

By Mike Bacidore

Jun 18, 2018

2018 HUG lead image

The upcoming release of Experion PKS brings more flexibility and expanded options that make it easier to integrate more devices and take advantage of increased functionalities.

The Experion PKS R510 September release builds on the R501 release this past February. It includes integration of the ControlEdge Unit Operations Controller (UOC), as well as ControlEdge PLC, which supports IEC 61131-3 languages.

“The ControlEdge UOC is a new family of process controllers in a variety of form factors,” explained Joe Bastone, director of product management for Experion at Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS). Bastone guided participants in a packed session through the roadmap for Experion at the Honeywell Users Group Americas 2018 conference this week in San Antonio. “There’s a rack-mount version and a rail-mount version. The UOC includes the control environment from the C300 controller.”

Other features include controller redundancy, as well as rack redundancy (in rack format); built-in firewall; built-in Ethernet interface that will connect to industrial Ethernet networks such as EtherNet IP; multiple I/O options; and a virtual controller option. “We can package it up as a virtual image and connect to an EtherNet IP network and do standard control,” said Bastone.

“We support a traditional ring network for customers with I/O in a confined network and a traditional star network for customers that have distributed I/O throughout the facility,” explained Bastone. “The drawback of the ring network is, if you want to add something, you have to revise the ring. We’ll also support a universal analog input. We support smart motor control centers, Rockwell PLCs and a couple versions of Turck I/O; and in the future we’ll support other versions of Rockwell I/O, too.”

The UOC isn’t really new. It’s based on technology that’s proven out by the C300, but how do you decide between using a UOC and a C300 controller? “If you need redundant I/O, critical process control or advanced functionality support, use the C300,” advised Bastone. “For simple process control, skid or on-equipment form factors, typical PLC control and common engineering environments, use the UOC.”

ControlEdge PLC supports the best of both worlds. It’s a stand-alone PLC and has the ability to integrate with the Experion system. It features redundant control, communications and power. It also supports Universal I/O, uses shared builder tools and supports standard IEC 61131-3 languages.

“The ControlEdge PLC integrates with C300,” explained Bastone, “and can share a common HMI. It’s also the first PLC with a level 2 certification from ISASecure, which means it has passed rigorous cybersecurity testing. And we have that same certification for the UOC now, too.”

Next-generation batch control

The September Experion release also will include Unit Timeline and Procedure Explorer enhancements to the Experion Batch offering. “We get rid of the dedicated batch server,” explained Bastone. “We support centralized or distributed batch architectures and have bumpless redundancy, visualization that really leaps over competitive offerings and a lower operator learning curve that helps them to come up to speed quickly. We’re building standard libraries that we can deploy and execute in the controllers. We’ve deployed ‘swim wings’ in the Unit Timeline, giving easy indication of when something needs more attention. And then Procedure Explorer gives a hierarchy of the process, so you can zoom in where you see issues.”

The operator can zero in on detail and go from a high-level view to focus on where the issues lie. “Instead of an operator just seeing a light that says something needs attention, it will give the information on who to call to get the right support,” said Bastone. “Operators will move from the Unit Timeline to Procedure Explorer and then to Point Detail or a faceplate or the parameters to see who can provide the help.”

The Universal Process Cabinets (UPCs) have been available for several years. “They’re designed to be put in the field and use the Universal I/O (UIO) modules,” said Bastone. “They support extended temperature ranges from -40 °C to +70 °C.” Accelerated life testing on the cabinets also included 90% humidity testing and calculated an expected useful life of greater than 30 years.

New UPC configurations can include as many as 96 redundant UIO-2 modules in the cabinet, up from 64 previously. “We can support up to 128 low-level signals for temperature I/O,” explained Bastone. “And we also have a combination option of up to 64 UIO-2 and 16 low-level analog input (LLAI).”

There’s also support for powering a OneWireless field device access point (FDAP) using the same infrastructure. “OneWireless supports all wireless standards, including ISA 100 Wireless, WirelessHART and Wi-Fi,” explained Bastone. “We get a low cost of ownership with native integration into Experion PKS. The next-generation wireless device manager, OneWireless R310, supports up to 500 devices. And we’ve now introduced the ability to expand an FDAP into a field-expandable wireless I/O module, collecting Modbus data from legacy equipment.”

Field Device Manager (FDM) can be used for configuration and diagnostics of smart devices over HART, Foundation fieldbus and Profibus, for example. This release of FDM R501 also includes integration with Asset Sentinel. “FDM templates build the Asset Sentinel database, enabling easy integration and synchronization and reduced configuration effort,” said Bastone. “You can take configuration and feed it into Asset Sentinel, which gives an easy way to get started.”

The September 2018 release of Experion 510 will include OPC-UA support on the Experion server as a client. “Next year, we’re looking at Experion 511, and we’ll introduce OPC-UA support as a server.”