Article - July 2000
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Failure Notification Systems
by eMation

"...Wizcon can be used as OPC server as well as a client, and contain data from almost all conceivable sources, process them and forward them to any other OPC-enabled program."

Valerie Harding, eMation

Advanced Failure Notification System by eMation Guarantees High Reliability and Safety

Control Solutions, Inc Frankfurt-Hoechst is renowned as a chemical and pharmaceutical industry location known as the Industriepark Hoechst industrial park. Since its establishment in 1870, the site populates more than 30 international companies, employing approximately 20.000 people. These companies produce a variety of well-known pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals. 

Advanced System to Meet High Standards 
Using state-of-the art, yet reliable technology has always played a major role in the Park's successful operations and constituted the backbone for its high productivity and safety. Today, living up to these standards entails meeting economic requirements in addition to the technical and technological implications. To meet these high standards, the site implemented an advanced failure notification system for the premises. 

Wizcon Ensures Immediate and Reliable Operation
There is one thing that every failure notification system must provide at all times: immediate and reliable indication of failures, exactly when they occur. InfraServ Hoechst was looking for a control system that would not only point out failures, but also record their history that could indicate possible reasons for the failure. InfraServ Hoechst has therefore decided to connect two Turbos for air compressing with eMation's Wizcon for Windows and Internet connected to existing AEG A250 PLCs through serial link.

View of the Turbos with the most important status report messages.

Figure 1: View of the Turbos with the most important status report messages

The Hoechst industrial park sprawls over a large area, with system operators located in different buildings. Failure notifications relating to the Turbos must therefore appear on several mutually networked stations. Wizcon's ability to support various network protocols (such as TCP/IP), run on Windows NT and access standard components, enabled InfraServ Hoechst to easily build a Wizcon network by simply adding stations and without additional configuration. Operators could control and monitor the processes from their stations, as well as generate status reports. Furthermore, the integrated Internet/Intranet technology provides a possibility for an unlimited plant-wide expansion of reporting stations through a standard web-enabled browser.

User-friendly Interface Simplifies Operation
Since both Turbos are located in a hall, it was crucial that the operators could tell exactly where the failure occurred. Wizcon's user's friendly interface enables a clear and accurate presentation of the required information.

All views are available to the operator simultaneouly

Figure 2: All views are available to the operator simultaneously, at the push of a button.

This point is especially important, since every operating station contains two views of the Turbos, two views of the oil lines, and a view of the compressor with status reports, temperature values, valve positions etc. Whichever view the operator selects, he will be informed about any occurring failure (figure 2).

Using tool bar through application

Figure 3: The operator is guided via the tool bar through the application

Wizcon provides the operator with simple guidelines throughout the application. Wizcon supports the integration of digital photos and plant outlines in the DXF format, thereby allowing easy integration with familiar representations and operating documents. Like all failure notification systems, creating error logs is very significant to a successful operation in the future. Wizcon offers a "paperless" log, subject only to the storage capacity of your computer (figure 3). Historical reports with time stamp and related comments or explanations can be generated anytime. In addition to the error logs, company logs listing all the actions taken by the operators are also kept. Sorting and evaluating all reports are supported by expansive filtering functions.

 Graph of recorded data

Figure 4: Diagrams allow various cross-sections from the recorded data

In addition to the pure indication and logging functions, failure notification based on process visualization has the advantage of forming a bridge between the applied hardware and various software components. Using Windows NT standard operating system, users could save extra costs by connecting Wizcon with many commercial applications and systems. Support for OPC and SQL standards allows Wizcon applications to communicate with any OPC-based applications and common database systems. Obviously, Wizcon can be used as OPC server as well as a client, and contain data from almost all conceivable sources, process them and forward them to any other OPC-enabled program.

Future Plans
Based on eMation's Internet Technology Hoscht is considering implementing the Internet capabilities in future installations. According to Hoscht, forwarding significant data from the control room up to the management level without using specific hardware or software will save significant time and money since authorized users will be able to access the information they need from any standard web browser. 

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