In the last blog, we described how the second transformation pillar – Augmented Operator – enhances knowledge automation by deploying mobile HMI operator panels to empower operator autonomy with the right information, at the right time, to the right user for better interaction with the industrial environment.
Now we look at the third pillar – Smart Control. This entails communications based on the Ethernet protocol and also involves making devices not only self-aware of its status by raising an alarm when a condition occurs that may cause performance to deteriorate, but also system-aware as an autonomous automation asset capable of interacting with others within a network spanning from sensor to boardroom.
Smart Control is the glue that holds together controlled elements from wired sensors and actuators through to Enterprise resource planning (ERP) business-management software. A concrete example is given by variable speed drive motors controlling pumps and actuators.
Operational Technology and IT
The drive is able to learn a pump operating profile to find an optimized operational point for the pump depending on flow or pressure. The aim is to connect Operational Technology (OT) equipment to the business IT environment, thereby providing transparency about what is happening on the plant floor, integrating data to software such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Product lifecycle management (PLM).
Smart connected industrial automation assets comprise IIoT-ready solutions for easier connectivity and onboard diagnostics. This includes an Ethernet Programmable Automation Controller (ePAC) for process and high availability solutions, which features redundant processors, native Ethernet, and cyber-security embedded at its core.
Another IIoT-ready solution is Altivar Process Drives featuring embedded optimization algorithms and dynamic QR codes for future-proof smart control. This is a comprehensive solution for tackling harmonics, motor life, space saving, operations, customization and adaptability.
A low-harmonics concept based on a three-level technology reduces total harmonic distortion (THD) to a value less than five per cent in accordance with IEEE 519. In order to extend the motor’s life span, a common-mode rejection algorithm reduces voltage stresses and peaks for a smoother waveform.
Smart machines are aware of each other and react accordingly. Being able to communicate allows machines to build a common knowledge base to react faster and better to situations. Altivar Process Drive Systems are built as Services Oriented Drives.
Embedded IIoT technology enables improvements to automation, real-time data management and connectivity for process performance, energy, and asset management.