Novel Design of Collaborative Automation Platform Using Real-Time Data Distribution Service Middleware for An Optimum Process Control Environment

Refining and petrochemical processing facilities utilize various process control applications to raise productivity and enhance plant operation. Client–server communication model is used for integrating these highly interacting applications across multiple network layers utilized in distributed control systems.

This paper presents an optimum process control environment by merging sequential and regulatory control, advanced regulatory control, multivariable control, unit-based process control, and plant-wide advanced process control into a single collaborative automation platform to ensure optimum operation of processing equipment for achieving maximum yield of all manufacturing facilities.

The main control module is replaced by a standard real-time server. The input/output racks are physically and logically decoupled from the controller by converting them into distributed autonomous process interface systems. Real-time data distribution service middleware is used for providing seamless cross-vendor interoperable communication among all process control applications and distributed autonomous process interface systems.

Detailed performance analysis was conducted to evaluate the average communication latency and aggregate messaging capacity among process control applications and distributed autonomous process interface systems.

The overall performance results confirm the viability of the new proposal as the basis for designing an optimal collaborative automation platform to handle all process control applications. It also does not impose any inherent limit on the aggregate data messaging capacity, making it suitable for scalable automation platforms. 

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