Thirty-three years after it introduced the distributed control system, Yokogawa Electric Corp. demonstrated the completion of its VigilantPlant Operational Excellence initiative at the Technology Fair, held in conjunction with the company’s 2008 Users Conference this week in Houston. Centum VP, an integrated production control system that will become the flagship platform for the initiative, is designed to offer a unified architecture based on a real-time database, reliability, compatibility and intuitive HMI.
Centum VP (for VigilantPlant) is the latest generation of Yokogawa’s decades-long evolution of distributed control systems. The new system is on display at the company’s Users Conference and Technology Fair this week in Houston.
VigilantPlant, Yokogawa's automation concept for safe, reliable and profitable plant operations, aims to enable an ongoing state of operational excellence where plant personnel are watchful and attentive, well-informed and ready to take actions that optimize plant and business performance. The initiative was created to eliminate unplanned downtime, improve asset utilization and allow businesses to adapt to shifting market conditions quickly and efficiently. Centum VP integrates Yokogawa’s three previously launched solutions—Safety Excellence, launched in 2005; Asset Excellence, launched in 2006; and Production Excellence, launched in 2007—into one Operational Excellence platform.
Centum promises backward compatibility and consistency with previous Centum systems, including Centum CS 1000/Centum CS 3000. Redefining the role of a production control system, or DCS, Centum VP goes beyond the traditional DCS function of controlling and monitoring a plant by integrating plant information management, asset management and operation support functions to achieve a unified operating environment. “Centum VP is designed to empower real-time decision makers at all levels of a plant’s operations,” said Satoru Kurosu, senior vice president of Yokogawa’s Industrial Automation Business Headquarters. “A significant improvement in information efficiency enables our customers to enhance both plant safety and business agility.”
Plant operations require various functional components, such as production control and monitoring, plant information management, asset management and operation support—functions typically handled by a variety of products from different suppliers, creating a patchwork of disparate systems that can leave gaps and barriers constraining smooth and integrated operations. Centum VP is designed to establish one plant database that serves all of the functions in real time, setting the foundation for a unified operating environment. A unified architecture can improve information efficiency and enhance the safety and agility of plant operations.
Centum VP was created to enable single-source, seamless integration of advanced applications that manage plant information, stabilize processes and improve operational efficiency. Quick and flexible deployment of these applications enables the user to improve the safety, availability and profitability of a plant on an ongoing basis.
Equipped with Yokogawa’s Pair & Spare reliability technology that maintains 99.99999% system availability, Centum VP allows customers to maintain existing systems while expanding their plant or systems with a new DCS. It also features an intuitive human machine interface. With enhanced human interface station functions, it offers a unified and intuitive operating environment. The screens are ergonomically designed and arranged to reduce operator fatigue and discomfort. The HMI also is designed to facilitate easy access to the right information. Another key philosophy behind this new HMI is the visualization of operational know-how and consideration of information users’ mental models, enabling everyone to work smarter.