Project Overview 

The client has an aging system, Siemens FactoryLink, that is at the verge of discontinuation, and they must be upgraded to one that is currently supported while also bringing upon improvements to rationalize the cost of the change. The challenge is to create a system that is able to tie together all the legacy devices with their wide range of configurations and transition to Ignition within a set of defined phases. The current Ignition system has 518,000 tags with 10-12 clients connected to: Kepware (600 FloBoss100 series, 50 FloBoss300 series, five SCADAPacks), Ignition (four ControlLogix, four 4 SLCs) and DeltaV via OPC-DA. All history is being stored in a SQL Server 12.000 installation on the central server.

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In order to meet the client’s requirements, we set up hub-and-spoke architecture. The hub houses all screens and non-transferable artifacts and the spokes house local tags and a set of screens to use for local redundancy. From a hub-based client, users are able to view any site to any level of granularity. If the connection to the hub is disrupted, the spokes still have access to their local screens and data. The GAN (gateway area network) allows Ignition to use remote tag providers which allow for such decentralization of tags, while also allowing all the sites to be centralized to one area. Alarm state is passed through the GAN for dissemination by the central server.

Ignition has allowed the client to upgrade its SCADA system without upgrading the legacy hardware. The flexibility and intelligent scripting driving our data collection for the client’s accounting system has mitigated both connectivity issues and the frequency of collected errors, drastically reducing the requirement for human intervention. Our communications metrics provide actionable information on underperforming devices which in turn allows the administrators to target devices for reconfiguration or replacement. The metrics can also provide valuable comparisons of the effectiveness of configuration changes to the communication network. Kymera standardized the data and display of the assets and together with the GAN architecture the client is now able to visualize the entire system from one client.

 

In the future Ignition will provide an interface for recording notes, calibration and testing of the client’s assets. We plan to integrate a system for organizing, planning and entering the results of these functions. In the future, this instance of Ignition will incorporate three more spokes, hundreds of new devices and thousands of tags. Once fully integrated we will be able to replicate the reports currently in use and Ignition will have replaced all of the functions of the previous system. 

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