Ethernet-APL for Evolving Field Devices and the Future of Industrial Ethernet
Communication technologies used in process automation (PA) plants must satisfy several requirements such as long-distance communication and stable operation in hazardous areas. Although 4–20 mA devices and fieldbus devices satisfy these requirements and thus have been used for many years, general-purpose Ethernet technology in PA plants is expected to achieve DX and IT/OT convergence at the field device level. From the viewpoint of standardization, this paper explains how Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer (Ethernet-APL) can meet the requirements of PA plants, shows what benefits Ethernet-APL will bring to PA plants and what challenges are expected to emerge, and describes the prospects and expectations of Yokogawa’s contribution to this field.
5G Wireless Communication for Driving Digitalization in the Process Industry
The fifth-generation mobile communication system (5G) has been developed not only for consumer use but also as a fundamental communication infrastructure for various industries. The importance of wireless technology is becoming increasingly recognized in the process industry; this technology enables devices in the plant field to be connected wherever they are, which is also essential to accelerate digitalization and improve productivity. To drive digitalization using 5G technology, Yokogawa has been actively involved in the standardization of the technology while working on proof-of-concept tests to clarify use cases in the process industry. From the viewpoint of how the process industry utilizes 5G for digitalization, this paper overviews 5G technology, its potential use cases, and challenges in practical use and describes Yokogawa’s commitments.
⭐ A Framework for Enhancing the Interoperability of Information across a Plant
Since it is becoming increasingly difficult for a single vendor to meet diversifying user requirements by itself, interoperability among multi-vendor components and control systems such as distributed control systems (DCS) and programmable logic controllers (PLC), has been improved by adopting open industrial communication protocols. However, these protocols, and the information generated, stored, and transferred, are not fully compatible with each other. Accordingly, the open platform communications unified architecture (OPC UA) and related international standards are attracting attention from many vendors and users as a key to high interoperability. This paper introduces how OPC UA improves interoperability among plant components and systems and describes Yokogawa’s prospect.
This paper introduced the trend of FITS and OPC UA FX as standard technologies related to OPC UA. Conventionally, a plant operation system is built by stacking various specialized elements. The system is expected to be integrated vertically and horizontally by industrial-level interoperability standards including OPC UA. As a result, the functional hierarchy will become flat and diverse components and systems will cooperate with each other regardless of the kind of vendors and applications. Yokogawa focuses on the interoperability in the cooperative domain, which was discussed in this paper, and is actively participating in standardization of FITS, OPC UA FX, and IEC/IEEE 60802.
Best practices in IIoT-based predictive maintenance
A key component of the FDT 3.0 standard is the FDT Server built around a core server, which provides a center point for a wide range of client and server interactions. It includes an OPC UA server providing access to device type manager (DTM) data with authenticated OPC UA clients and a web server enabling the use of web user interfaces on remotely connected, browser-based clients and other mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and PCs. The solution also supports the use of apps that improve workforce productivity and plant availability.
“The latest industry trends center around advanced data analytics, digital twins and cloud computing. The FDT 3.0 standard supports these solutions by delivering network and device information to enable improved diagnostics and predictive analytics. The technology provides a tool to not only monitor and predict asset health, but also remotely configure and manage assets for the highest level of reliability.”
John Deere foresees private 5G at its factories worldwide
The $546,000 John Deere spent to acquire 5 CBRS spectrum licenses last year has started the manufacturer on a path it says may eventually lead to private 5G networks in all its factories.
5G will be replacing Wi-Fi in the manufacturing facilities, and Ronning said the number of access points needed to cover the factory floors will drop. “It’s an order of magnitude less radios than what we’re accustomed to,” he said, adding that the 5G radios extend coverage to the area outside the factory as well.
Eventually, other devices and machines on the factory floor will also become more autonomous, Ronning said. “We view this as a key initiative to help us adopt machine learning and AI,” he explained. “As we move forward with further adoptions of those types of technologies we are going to be heavily leveraging the 5G work that we’re doing today.”