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Home > Posts > Services Oriented Drives Support Critical Energy Management and Asset Management Applications through IT/OT Convergence
October 18

Services Oriented Drives Support Critical Energy Management and Asset Management Applications through IT/OT Convergence

Keywords: Information Technology, Services, Control, Convergence, AC Drives, Energy Management, Asset Management, Internet of Things.

All manufacturing and processing industries face issues that frequently require the convergence of plant automation and business systems. These issues include environmental and business sustainability, preserving and extending the life of capital assets, increasing asset availability and utilization, maximizing operational effectiveness, reducing fixed costs, minimizing variable costs, and empowering workers.

To address these issues, end users and OEMs alike must move beyond simply automating and integrating production processes to automating and integrating workflows and businesses processes. This requires a convergence that intertwines plant automation systems with business systems.

This convergence moves toward single systems to accomplish tasks, streamline operations, and connect customers and suppliers, all with the goal of lowering costs and adding agility.

This convergence should extend from the major plant and enterprise systems used for information technology (IT) to major plant systems (DCS, PAC, PLC, etc.), and ideally, right down to the intelligent devices on the plant or factory floor, such as variable speed AC drives. The latter is especially important to enable industrial facilities to fully leverage the potential of the latest applications for energy management and asset management, as well as optimize overall system performance. In this manner, enterprise-level energy and asset management applications can take advantage of real-time, online data from intelligent plant floor equipment (such as Ethernet-connected drives) and embedded IT-enabled services to enhance flexibility, capability, and application performance.

At least one leading automation supplier has begun to use the term, "services oriented drives," to describe this new class of intelligent, Ethernet-connected drives that supports the critical need for convergence between information technology and operational technology. This concept is consistent with ARC Advisory Group's ongoing research into IT/OT convergence, predictive plant asset management (PAM), services oriented architectures (SOA), and the emerging industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

Adding Business-Centric to Applications-Centric
For many years, a key requirement of automation suppliers was to design and offer applications-centric solutions able to perform the specific tasks and meet requirements unique to each vertical industry. However, these solutions must also be business-centric; able to help companies reduce their energy consumption, manage their assets, and enhance overall production performance. All devices being deployed, including variable speed AC drives, must address the primary concerns of end users and OEMs alike. These include increasing overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and decreasing total cost of ownership (TCO). The new generation of services oriented drives can help meet these objectives because it takes into account not only the drives, but also the complete product chain, including motors, drives, and actuators. These requirements are particularly important in energy- and asset-intensive industries, such as water & wastewater, oil & gas, mining & metals, and food & beverages.

Services Oriented Drives and Energy Management
One of the primary market demands for services oriented drives is to help address global energy consumption issues. One place to start is in pumping systems. Across industries, experts estimate that 25 percent of the electricity consumption comes from pumping systems and 40 percent of the overall lifecycle cost of a pumping system relates to energy. Variable speed AC drives are key devices used to save energy in pumping applications in which approximately 80 percent of the time, pumps typically operate at only 60 percent of their full speed capacity. By reducing the flow to 50 percent, pump energy consumption could be reduced by 88 percent. Services oriented drives manage such systems intelligently; hence they can be employed in conjunction with energy management systems to optimize energy management.

Additional energy savings could be realized if the convergence in technologies made possible by modern services oriented drives were combined with excellence in electrical characteristics. For example, if AC drives with a THDi of ≤ 48 percent were replaced with low harmonic AC drives with a reduced THDi of ≤ 5 percent, users would realize a resulting energy savings of approximately 20 percent in the losses at the associated cables and transformers. Additional advantages of harmonic mitigation would include reduced costs by eliminating the need for oversizing AC distribution equipment and/or by lengthening effective product lifecycles.

Energy Monitoring and Embedded Services
To optimize energy management, it's critical to be able to monitor and integrate both energy consumption and power dynamics for the entire system (motors/drives/actuators), and to provide the energy management application with additional contextual information, including real-time events, alarms, drifts, and historical data. Appropriate data granularity is required, plus analytics capabilities to be able to convert all these data into meaningful information so management decision can be made locally at the field or the plant level, or remotely via intranets or the Cloud.

Services oriented drives could provide services to deliver transparent, instantaneous, prepackaged and ready-to-use information upon process startup. Because these services are embedded, it could help eliminate the need to develop or integrate additional drives-related software or applications. Services could include historians for data logging and recording energy usage, and mobility connectivity so real-time information could be accessed locally or remotely via smart phones, tablets, and other wireless devices.

Services Oriented Drives and Asset Management
More effective asset management is another emerging requirement for today's asset-intensive industries.

Services oriented drives can provide embedded maintenance functionality as services to support both schedule-based preventive maintenance and condition-based predictive maintenance. The latter utilizes equipment and process data gathered at the drive level, but typically processed into actionable information remotely at the plant or enterprise system level. Predictive maintenance involves applying condition-based monitoring techniques to collect and analyze asset data to better understand asset performance and perform appropriate maintenance before impending issues can negatively impact plant performance, availability, or safety.

Converging with Plantwide Asset Management Systems
To support traditional schedule-based preventive maintenance and enable condition-based, predictive asset management, ARC is seeing a significant increase in the number of process plants and utilities that are implementing plant- and/or enterprise-level asset management systems. Predictive maintenance, in particular, requires the integration of key data and information from AC drives. Ethernet-connected services oriented drives, with their additional embedded capabilities, simplify this integration.

For asset management applications, these embedded capabilities can include object-oriented services for process devices (such as drives, motors, and pumps); ISA 88- or ISA 95-related services; and dynamic integrated alarming functionality; plus embedded mobility services to enable remote access to asset information, such as pump state, number of starts, running hours, as well as technical documentation and enriched data. Mobility services also enable remote specialists to provide application, diagnostics, analysis, consulting and other services.

Services Oriented Drives and Systems Performance
Services oriented drives could also help overcome many systems performance challenges. Built-in Ethernet connectivity could help simplify integration with other plant and enterprise systems and applications to help improve process and asset performance. In terms of scalability, services oriented drive functionality could range from a standalone product to a solution approach in which the drives are integrated with systems, such as telemetry, PACs, PLCs, DCSs and SCADA, as well as devices via services-oriented architecture (SOA) and open technologies, such as FDT Device Type Managers (FDT DTMs).

Clearly, to ensure data security and integrity, appropriate security standards, processes, and standards must be put in place. Built-in intelligence and application functionality embedded as services could also support equipment and process optimization schemes. For example, services oriented drives can contribute to merge production and asset management systems along with energy management systems. Thanks to object-oriented services, the user can have a full and accurate vision of the process and hence can make more informed decisions.

End users and OEMs need to re-examine their automation and operations management strategies and develop plans to break down the remaining barriers to information visibility, collaboration, and unified plantwide control to enable operational excellence and improve overall business performance.

ARC believes that the concept of services oriented drives with web technology standards; built-in Ethernet connectivity to simplify plant- and enterprise wide integration; built-in intelligence; and key energy management, asset management, and system performance improvement functions embedded as services, plays well with this vision and could represent a key component in the emerging Industrial Internet of Things.

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