Case Studies

OPC-UA makes subsea control more secure

by Darek Kominek, Matrikon

A new interface standard for subsea control systems, called MDIS, based on OPC-UA, is being developed to make communications between subsea and top side control systems more robust and less expensive to implement in terms of the time and effort needed to setup and maintain them…

University of Texas at Austin Physical Plant Realizes “Astronomical” Cost Savings Using InduSoft Web Studio and OPC UA

By Richard Clark, InduSoft

The University of Texas at Austin campus is large — something on the order of a small city. The campus has every type of physical environment imaginable. From Opera Halls to Football Stadiums. From Foreign Language Classrooms to Research Laboratories. From Restaurants to Hospitals and Medical Training Facilities. Now imagine having to provide for all that, steam for electricity and heating, chilled water for cooling, emergency power, deionized water and pressurized air for an area of buildings, offices and classrooms covering an area of 17 million square feet.

In an interview with Juan Ontiveros, Executive Director, “We had a manual process for taking meter readings. The infrastructure was built using PLCs and smart electric meters and networking them around Campus. Data gathering from these devices began in 2006 originally using OPC DA technology and a process historian that the Department already owned. MS Excel was used to run energy reports off the historian. It was a very expensive time-consuming and labor intensive process, taking sometimes weeks to produce a bill for just one of the buildings.”

Energy Smart Buildings at Microsoft Powered by ICONICS and OPC Connectivity

By Melissa Topp, ICONICS

A small, covert team of engineers at Microsoft cast aside suggestions that the company spend US$60 million to turn its 500-acre headquarters into a smart campus to achieve energy savings and other efficiency gains. Instead, applying an “Internet of Things meets Big Data” approach, the team invented a data-driven software solution based upon ICONICS HMI/SCADA software that is slashing the cost of operating the campus’ 125 buildings, saving Microsoft millions of dollars. ICONICS’ certified OPC UA and BACnet connectivity played a key role in making these savings possible.

Microsoft’s Energy-Smart Buildings application includes over two million data points generating half a billion data transactions every day. Over five hundred OPC-enabled Modbus devices, including electric meters, power distribution units, generators, UPS switches and other critical building equipment, generate large amounts of Big Data that are being provided to…

Energy Savings in Heavy Industry Facilities

By David Hill, Opto 22

A large heavy-industries corporation in Asia supports economic development worldwide by providing basic industrial materials and by building the facilities needed for industrial growth. The company’s portfolio of products includes castings and forgings, nuclear and thermal power plants, water desalination plants, material handling systems, and more. Products and components are manufactured in multiple sub-factories, and a large quantity of electricity, gas, and water is consumed by each facility in the process. The amount of energy used varies in each sub-factory based on the manufacturing requirements of the products produced.

It was clear that real-time electricity, gas, and water consumption data for each sub-factory had to be captured in an electronic form that was available to the ERP system for analysis. To implement this, the company…

Shanghai Petrochemical Simplifies Data Acquisition

By MatrikonOPC

Shanghai Petrochemical’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES) needed to acquire data from the PLC systems of all of its main devices. Data had to be shared between a total of 51 PLC and DCS systems that came from different vendors and included various models. A proprietary data access solution was not feasible due to the complexity of the system; instead, the company needed…

Wellhead Operators in Texas Trim Operating Expenses with Automation Technology

By Jim Wiles, Software Toolbox

The Texas reputation for size comes with some mighty metrics to back it up. As the largest oil producer in the Union, the state’s wellheads are spread over 268,000 square miles. If you are in the oil and gas industry, on-site management and monitoring of land-based wells can be a logistical challenge as well as a considerable expense. The state boasts nearly one working oil or gas well for every square mile, each requiring stringent monitoring and reporting by the Railroad Commission of Texas, the governmental regulatory agency that oversees the state’s oil and gas industry.

Not surprisingly, automation technology continues to make a significant impact on the upstream and midstream oil and gas business, especially in the areas of remote…

OPC UA Defined and How It Impacts Oil & Gas

By Melissa Topp, ICONICS

Over the past decade, software vendors have used Object-Oriented and Service-Oriented Architectures to design products that are both scalable and reliable. However, these successful architectural models only recently started to be used for the exchange of information in offshore oil and gas production.

More recently, the ability to collect and analyze exponentially growing sets of data is at an unprecedented level, due to the wide adoption of Big Data. At the same time, mobile devices are transforming the way…

Protecting Industrial Control Systems from Cyberattack

By Owl Computing Technologies

As operations and critical infrastructure components become increasingly digitized, the threat to these structures moves from physical threats and attacks to cyber assaults. This means that your electronic perimeter is now as – if not more – important as the physical fence you have around your facility. But there’s a critical problem.

When you have a physical gate, fence, or barrier, your facility is isolated from the outside world. There are actual gatekeepers controlling the flow into and out of your plant, which impedes movement speed but nevertheless moves everything where it needs to be.

With a cyber system, this is…

Fractionation Plant Boosts Efficiency with Ignition & OPC UA

By Inductive Automation

Enerchem International Inc. is a leader in the production and distribution of hydrocarbon drilling and fracturing fluids. Staying ahead of the curve with new technologies, Enerchem has been utilizing the SCADA software platform Ignition by Inductive Automation® at their Slave Lake facility in Alberta Canada for over 5 years.

Taking full advantage of Ignition and its built-in, cross-platform OPC-UA server, system integrator Kyle Chase – CEO of Kymera Systems – helped Enerchem build a cost-effective system that has increased the…