DeltaV: Delivering on Promises, Looking to the Future

Sept. 29, 2008
Emerson’s Dave Dietz Discusses the Driving Value Proposition Underlying Future DeltaV Development Work

The best maps aren’t just descriptions, but instead offer complete pictures that help viewers orient themselves and guide them to where they want to go.

It was exactly this kind of useful picture that was drawn up for the DeltaV process automation system on the opening day of Emerson Process Management’s Global Users Exchange this week in Washington D.C.

Dave Dietz, product marketing director for Emerson process systems and solutions, provided an update on DeltaV developments over the past year, demonstrated the capabilities of its soon-to-be-released Version 10.3 and explained the underlying philosophy that will drive future developments.

“A step change in value may be achieved if it’s readily recognizable, is easily shared and requires no extra work.” Emerson’s Dave Dietz discussed the driving value proposition underlying future DeltaV development work.
DeltaV v10.3 is now set to launch in late October 2008, due partially to Emerson’s developers having to wait for Microsoft’s release of Service Pack 3 for its Windows XP operating system. There won’t be enough time to include SQL Server 2008 in DeltaV v10.3, so it will continue to have SQL Server 2005, Dietz said.

“Since last year, we’ve hit most of our targets, and we’ve exceeded others,” said Dietz. “For example, v10.3 is being released on both Microsoft’s XP and Vista operating systems, so users can choose whichever system they want to use.”

To give users the larger, more powerful controller they requested, Emerson also is introducing its MX Controller for DeltaV. MX’s CPU has two and a half times as much computing power as the firm’s current MPX Controller and double the memory. MX is designed for large continuous batch and Provox migration projects.

In addition, Emerson will launch its Profibus DP redundant master. To improve robustness of its users’ systems, this redundant master features increased segment availability; installation simplicity as a drop-in replacement for existing components; auto-sensing of redundant pairs; no added configuration; and DP v1 pass-through capability.

To provide greater security, Dietz added that Emerson is increasing DeltaV’s safety instrumented system (SIS) communications bandwidth. Even more security will be provided by DeltaV’s new network Smart Switches, which require no configuration and have patent-pending “auto lockdown” port security. This full line of industrial switches includes:

  • DIN-rail, eight-port switches with wire or fiber uplink ports,
  • Modular DIN-rail switches with up to 24 wire or fiber ports and 2-gigabit uplink ports,
  • Rack switches with up to 24 ports of mixed fiber and wire communications and 2-gigabit uplink ports

"Auto lockdown finds and lists the status of available DeltaV switches and can then issue a command to all of them to go electrically dead if needed,” said Dietz. “Also, single lock and unlock buttons provide easy securing of the switch ports."

Another advance contained in DeltaV v10.3 is that it will be able to handle 120 base nodes, including 20 application stations, 120 remote I/O nodes and 120 wireless nodes. Likewise, v10.3’s wireless capabilities will be enabled by seamless integration with WirelessHART, auto-sensing of the 1420 Smart Wireless gateway as a DeltaV node and auto-sensing of WirelessHART devices. It also will accommodate HART alerts from WirelessHART devices and pass-through for AMS Device Manager to eliminate the need for an added Ethernet network.

In addition, v10.3’s automated functions will lessen the need for human-software interaction and make it easier for users to commission and/or replace Foundation fieldbus (FF) devices—often with no more than a wrench. V10.3 also will let users download multiple segments at the same time, which will further reduce time required for FF segment startup and commissioning.

Similarly, v10.3 will enable faster commissioning of OEM skids with FF devices with optional retention of the commissioning state of FF devices upon import of configuration. Dietz reported that this will eliminate the need to commission FF devices at both the skid vendor’s location and the final installation. Also, easier-to-configure software function blocks will filter data and display only valid options, while multiplexed blocks will put all inputs and outputs on one block.

Meanwhile, v10.3 also will aid entire plant life cycles by including DeltaV bi-directional data synchronization with Intergraph design tools. Users will also be able to use v10.3’s Control Studio software to engineer control modules quicker and its Recipe Studio software to build recipes faster. 

Looking beyond v10.3 toward its future release of an eventual DeltaV v11 and beyond, Emerson uses several definitions to achieve gains in the value of its solutions, Dietz said. “A step change in value may be achieved if it’s readily recognizable, is easily shared, requires no extra work to get the value, has only trivial behavioral changes to get the value, demands little risk and has the right price point,” explained Dietz. “We balance this with our customers’ desire for sustainability, availability, safety and ease of use to help them achieve overall optimization.”