Process Controllers Provide DCS Functionality

June 16, 2009
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms has announced the availability of its PAC8000 controllers.

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms has announced the availability of its PAC8000 controllers. Proficy Process Systems with PAC8000 controllers presents customers with a powerful and flexible Distributed Control System (DCS). With a broad process control function block library, peer-to-peer communications between controllers, the ability to handle program and I/O changes on the fly, HART pass through, and redundancy, the controllers provide the ideal platform for a contemporary DCS solution.

Process industries such as power demand systems that offer high availability control, asset management solutions and intrinsically safe I/O for hazardous area needs and provide an integrated solution for both process automation and functional safety needs. The PAC8000 controllers provide all of this capability, and when combined with GE Fanuc's process solution, Proficy Process Systems, will provide customers with a rugged DCS system with flexibility and an ability to tailor a control solution to their specific application requirements.

The PAC8000 controllers provide for tight control loop response and have a broad process control function block library available. They are open controllers allowing customers the flexibility to create process solutions.

In addition to the new PAC8000 controllers, GE Fanuc also introduced Proficy Process Systems - Premier Edition and Proficy Process Systems - Standard Edition. The Standard Edition provides a robust process control system that is both cost-effective and leverages GE Fanuc's contemporary technology. The Premier Edition provides full DCS control and optimization capability such as Change Management and advanced historization and analytics.

PAC8000 Controllers can go where other controllers often cannot. They can be field-mounted and subjected to extremes, including the following:

  • -40°C to +70°C operating range
  • ISA Level G3 corrosion
  • 30G shock and 5G vibration
  • Operation in Class I, Division 2 and Zone 2 hazardous areas with field wiring extending into Division 1 and Zone 1/0 areas

PAC8000 controllers can pass HART information from smart field devices to a computer running device asset management software, allowing for remote maintenance and calibration. HART data and diagnostics can also be used directly in control applications, reducing commissioning time, process downtime and loop maintenance costs.

Application availability is improved with controller redundancy and redundant controllers are housed in the same carrier for a smaller footprint. Redundant controllers operate in parallel, checking status multiple times throughout the processing loop, enabling the backup controller to continuously monitor the health of the master controller, thereby assuring a rapid and bumpless change over, when required. A redundant controller is also capable of receiving a firmware upgrade in the field.

Network redundancy helps assure stable and consistent communications. The controller has two high-speed Ethernet ports that use Fault Tolerant Ethernet for redundant communications. Each port can be connected to an independent LAN and is continuously monitored for its integrity. If the primary port detects a network failure, traffic is switched to the other LAN to maintain communications.

The PAC8000 Workbench contains engineering tools that provide an integrated project development environment coupled with development modules, tools, and a comprehensive set of diagnostic utilities. This development environment centralizes project engineering including I/O (Instrument Index) and control strategy configuration. A comprehensive function block diagram library for addressing advanced process control requirements is provided. And, all five IEC 61131-3 programming languages (Ladder Logic Diagram, Structured Text, Instruction List, Sequential Function Chart and Function Block Diagram) plus Flow Chart are supported.

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