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Invensys Unveils Innovative CIF Solution

September 23, 2009

New features of the I/A Series DCS enable easier and faster control in the field.

PLANO, TX - Invensys Operations Management, a global provider of technology systems, software solutions and consulting services to the process and manufacturing industries, unveiled new features of its I/A Series distributed control system (DCS) that enable easier and faster control in the field (CIF). Invensys passed the requirements of the Fieldbus Foundation's Host Interoperability Support Test in August, and has implemented many engineering and performance innovations that go well beyond those requirements to help clients receive maximum benefit from CIF deployment.

The Invensys fieldbus implementation is a high-availability platform solution offering exceptional fault tolerance, easy configuration and superior device management. It supports the use of standard, enhanced and custom fieldbus block types to make full use of the algorithm capabilities provided by device vendors. Configuring control algorithms directly into field devices improves loop performance by eliminating transport time in data exchange between field devices and the host control system.

"We started with the system changes that were necessary to meet the basic Fieldbus Foundation standard, added tools and templates to automate and otherwise improve configurability, and then made numerous other innovations based on needs expressed by our clients, but not covered in the standard," said Charlie Piper, senior development program manager, Invensys Operations Management. "Downloads and device commissioning, loop building and function block scheduling, and setting up devices for backup link active scheduling for example, are easier and faster in our implementation. This eliminates the complexity which, for many, has been a barrier to making the most of control in the field, and for that matter, FOUNDATION Fieldbus."

The customer can choose whether they use function blocks in the field devices, the DCS or both, providing greater flexibility and efficiency in many control strategies. The Fieldbus Foundation's host registration program tests the host's ability to support standard function blocks and features in Device Descriptions and Capabilities Files. This ensures basic interoperability with all field devices, but Invensys went further to make fieldbus simple to use and to bring users additional tools, templates and other innovations, resulting in the following benefits:

  • Reduced engineering time, through custom and generic engineering templates, which can be nested many levels deep. Function block flexibility may be contained in the device template, device specific applications or in a function block toolset for more generic mixing and matching.

  • Faster response to operator changes, by caching all standard parameters in the I/A Series control processor. This gives instantaneous read access to DCS applications, such as HMIs or historians. Dynamic values are read into the processor every 10 seconds, with operator change commands written upon change. This minimizes the inherent delay caused by remoting PID function blocks to the field devices.

  • Flexible mixing of control in the field or the host. Users interact with a consistent set of standard or custom blocks, connecting output and inputs simply by dragging one to the other.

  • Easy FOUNDATION Fieldbus scheduling, including ability to set the segment macrocycle, optimize timing variables and minimize dead time within the loop.

  • Rapid device commissioning, via a device preparation wizard that sets devices to the correct tag and address; fast, parallel database download into the blocks in the device; and a group mechanism that saves time in placing the blocks and loops on active control.

  • Improved asset reliability. When implemented with Invensys' InFusion Field Device Manager technology, the first device management solution to integrate both of the Device Type Managers that comply with the FDT standard for advanced maintenance diagnostics and enhanced device descriptions that additionally comply with the EDDL standard for device configuration, Invensys CIF becomes part of a common device configuration, commissioning and maintenance environment that provides tools to better diagnose device problems that threaten plant uptime, for any device from any vendor.

Representatives from Invensys Operations Management will display and demonstrate the company's new CIF capabilities during its North America Client Conference taking place in Houston, Texas, September 21–24, 2009. For more information, please visit the Demo Showcase or contact charlie.piper@ips.invensys.com.

About Invensys Operations Management
Invensys Operations Management, a division of Invensys, is a leading provider of automation and information technology, systems, software solutions, services and consulting to the global manufacturing and infrastructure industries. Headquartered in Plano, TX, its solutions are used by more than 40,000 clients around the world in more than 200,000 plants and facilities.

Invensys Operations Management's offerings are delivered under several prominent industry brands, including Action Instruments, ArchestrA, Avantis, Barber-Colman, Chessell, Continental, Eurotherm, Foxboro, IMServ, InFusion, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware. The company's approximately 9,000 employees and its global partner ecosystem integrate these products and services to help clients collaborate across systems and enterprises in real time, extracting critical data to make faster, better decisions and synchronize their operations from the plant floor to the executive offices, aligning production goals with business objectives.

Invensys plc is headquartered in London and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISYS.L), with approximately 20,000 employees working in 50 countries.

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