Efficient Plant April 2020 - 10

feature | digital transformation

Digital transformation is a journey of many important steps. All should
be based on a robust infrastructure. Figures courtesy of Emerson

Many applications need edge-sourced data but have traditionally
required it in their own specialized formats, complicating digitaltransformation efforts.

The Module
Type Package
standard supports IIoT plant
connectivity
by enabling
equipment skid
functionality to
be synchronized
and orchestrated from a
central control
system.

heterogenous plant environment, provided all the players support the
standard. For connectivity to IT and cloud systems, the MQTT protocol
offers similar benefits.

STANDARDIZING EQUIPMENT DEFINITIONS
Another development that promotes IIoT plant connectivity among
devices of all types is the Module Type Package (MTP) standard. MTP
can leverage protocols such as OPC UA but goes further to provide a
standard language for defining production-equipment characteristics,
capabilities, and graphical displays. It is especially useful in applications
such as batch-recipe management where equipment from multiple vendors must be integrated into and orchestrated from a central controller.

10

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EP2004femerson.indd 10

By supporting the MTP standard in an equipment skid, an OEM provides a way to export the equipment software interfaces and to re-import
those automatically into a centralized batch or distributed-control system
(DCS). The centralized controller can then invoke the capabilities of
the equipment skid in the context of the production batch it's currently
executing.
For example, a DCS system may be controlling the main process, while
an equipment skid is being controlled by a programmable logic controller
(PLC) or edge controller supporting MTP. Once the configurations are
synchronized, the DCS system can then natively sequence the equipment
through its capabilities as needed for the batch, performing operations
such as mix, heat, and agitate according to the specific batch-production
rules. This is an example of the tight integration possible though digital
transformation.
In addition, MTP can also define the skid local-operator interface,
which can be exported and then duplicated in the central control room
with the system of record. MTP thus enables plug-and-play connectivity
to the main process-control system and the entire equipment capabilities,
control strategies, and visualization screens to be synchronized with the
main plant process-control system. The MTP standard and capabilities
primarily address data integration, so an OEM's valuable equipment
intellectual property remains with the OEM and is not reproduced in the
main process-control system.

MORE CONNECTED BENEFITS
OPC UA, MQTT, and MTP are examples of IIoT-enabling communication protocols and standards that support a connected plant among
platforms such as a DCS, PLCs, and edge controllers. These technologies
make it possible for users to create a reliable connectivity, data normalization, and persistent storage strategy, fundamental for helping plants reach
stable operations while avoiding downtime surprises.
With these pieces in place, users can shift their focus to the goal of
improving production efficiency. This is accomplished by implementing
manufacturing intelligence, a level of analytics sitting above the equipment, where the process can be analyzed in production context.
The correct digital transformation technologies are crucial to provide a
complete picture to end users. They will be informed of details for a
machine, a site, and an enterprise to enable deeper understanding. End
users can also consider non-machine information, such as operator
actions, raw-material characteristics, and environmental conditions, to
realize the full benefit of a connected plant. EP
Rich Carpenter is General Manager for Product Management for
Emerson's, St. Louis (emerson.com), machine automation solutions business
and has responsibility for its portfolio of control system, operator interface,
industrial PC, and industrial IOT software and hardware products for
industrial automation.

APRIL 2020

3/26/20 3:33 PM


http://www.emerson.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant April 2020

Efficient Plant April 2020 - Cover1
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Efficient Plant April 2020 - 1
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