ExxonMobil’s goal is to design a new architecture that will control and optimize refining and chemical manufacturing facilities while enabling future equipment and information services such as preventative maintenance and fleet optimization.
The design and implementation is based on architecture standards that will ensure modularity, interoperability, extensibility, reuse, portability, and scalability of the new system.
Andy went on to explain that today’s proprietary systems do not provide a solid foundation for digital transformation. While most plants are highly automated, the level of automation has not changed significantly in three decades. “We believe the process industries are ripe for digital transformation. Most process plants are more than 20 years old. Installed automation and other assets are increasingly expensive to maintain, failure-prone, inefficient, susceptible to cyber attacks, and expensive to upgrade.”
At the same time, many new technologies are maturing. These include mobile devices, cloud applications, analytics, 3D visualization, additive manufacturing, wireless communication, robotics and drones, machine learning, and open platforms. According to Andy, “These technologies can help you transform your business.”
He pointed out that more industries are moving to open platforms and that ARC’s Collaborative Process Automation System (CPAS) model aligns well with ExxonMobil’s vision for the process industry. “However, IT/OT convergence is essential for digital transformation and our industry has to get IT and OT people to work together better.”
“Today’s software systems are becoming so complex, you have to start designing software in small components or libraries that communicate in a standard way through software protocols.”
• Be both customer-centric and demand-driven
• Ensure collaboration
• Have strong IT and OT engineering resources
• Embrace open and secure software platforms
• Seek opportunities for transformation
It Just Happens” initiative, which aims to reduce the complexity and interdependencies involved with automation projects to radically reduce time to project completion and remove customized engineering and overall customization.
ABB’s Intelligent Projects approach is designed to eliminate the interdependencies between the Select I/O hardware from the control system software, which allows the system to be developed in a virtual environment where it can be merged with the physical system after the full system has been developed and any late changes to the system have already been made. Unlike the traditional automation project execution model, which is completely linear from design to commissioning, Intelligent Projects allows project phases to be completed in parallel. Hardware build, for example, can be completed in parallel with software configuration.
A Clear Goal for Open Architecture
The Open Group Forum, referred to as Open Process Automation™, was formed with the goal to define and certify a standards-based components architecture for secure and interoperable process control systems.