I used to be an avid player of Falcon 3.0, a fighter pilot video game, and have often imagine having the same integrated heads-up augmented reality as a fighter pilot and how that would help people like me do a better job at work.

The HoloLens and products like it are the future of augmented reality, offering high-performance graphics that allow a user to see tank levels and a number of other parameters in a single view.

High-performance graphics offer data aggregation in a very simple form. However, this graphic, without a vessel to represent, lacks context. The HoloLens allows us to geo-spatially tag vessels in augmented reality.

The HoloLens is not fully implemented yet but this style of augmented reality will be the wave of the future and when we combine it with operational or summary data, it provides us with powerful tools that truly allow us to operate by exception; only seeing the data that is important to us at a specific time and place.

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By now, almost everyone you know has downloaded an application for their Apple or Android phone that helps them manage or complement their daily life, but what if we could do more?

What if we could download a flow computer or custom code a radio from a different, but equally convenient app store, as easy as we download the latest version of Angry Bird?

What if we could change the personality of our hardware just by downloading a new app? Maybe then we could use hardware for the lifetime of the asset, instead of getting stuck with orphaned equipment due to proprietary software.

Xetawave is a ‘software defined’ radio; allowing the radio to be continuously current with the latest and greatest Xetawave enhancement. The interim step, The XetaEDGE is part of this new generation of edge devices that will allow open source code to be programmed right into the radio.

How is this possible?

Edge devices are built on Linux, which opens up a whole new world of custom configuration with Python and other software platforms. There are risks to this though as we know that bugs are only generated when programmers write code; no new bugs occur if nobody writes code.

Right now:

  • We have devices that you cannot write code into at all
  • We have devices you can write custom code into, and
  • We have devices that you can download non-custom, tested code.

That last option isn’t quite the same application as the one on my cell phone that was alluded too earlier, but it is a cool step in the right direction.

The next step in the evolution would be a cloud-based industrial app store that can download a flow computer or other app to any Linux device. One of the bigger benefits would be that software for low power class 1 div 2 devices will eventually be able to be used on commercial devices.

Today a flow computer is tied to a manufacturer.  Tomorrow, that code could be portable. A server in the cloud for a centralized hosted flow computer, or a multi-well pad gas lift application with a flow computer that can handle upwards of 45 runs or just a simple standalone RTU or Pi-like device. Measurement Canada will be available for everyone on the device that is priced right for the environment:

  • The rugged or non-rugged(-40, vibration etc)
  • CSA/UL general purpose or classified hardware. 
  • Low power versus line power and AC versus DC

Why buy a $3000 piece of hardware when you can buy a $500 piece of hardware?

BettsM is working with CalSim who has Measurement Canada approved flow calculations and ETC who have setup an app store and framework for downloading a flow computer onto their Linux device called the Morpheus RTU.

Once we have successfully developed our flow computer app, we will start to support multiple Linux devices such as a Raspberry Pi a Kingfisher CP-35 and potentially even a Xetawave radio. We will still limit the devices we test on and there will be minimum memory, power and CPU specifications, but we will be far closer than we have ever been to the great divorce of hardware from software for industrial applications.

“So I awoke, and behold: It was not a Dream” 

This quote from C.S. Lewis “The Great Divorce”Infused Products International – CH EDITS AND NOTES has been shamelessly adapted misquoted to suit the message of this article. 

 

Save time, increase confidence in your HAZOP and eliminate mundane, error-prone manual work.

What are the chances that you could have a catastrophic failure on one of your assets?

If that number is anything more than zero per cent, what’s the reason?

Is it your PLC? Did someone force or disable something?

What if you could go through the HAZOP and know with absolute certainty that the shutdown key the committee agrees to is the same as the shutdown that the PLC 5 or SLC program represents?

What if you could also conduct a PLC 5 to Control Logix migration, eliminating the miscellaneous junk  imbedded into it, without the need to manually review every… single… line?

With ProAutomation Tools (PAT), you can.

PAT offers an automated comparison tool that not only supports your HAZOP, it can also be used to identify every time someone cracks the PLC code, adds a rung of logic or adds a device — notifying everyone affected with a quick and easy-to-access email.

PAT’s automated shutdown key generation with comparison option does exactly that.  

If you can provide the existing key and existing PLC program, PAT will create a comprehensive index, in the format that matches your format, with the i/o in the same order and with the same descriptors (assuming you have descriptors) for your document trail.

PATSHUTDOWN

PAT does a lot more.

PAT can provide the full cause and effect matrix; breaking the program down to its individual components: timers, math calcs, logic forward and back.

The golden opportunity here is the chance to identify the shorts, duplicate rungs and circular references; allowing the programmer to check their work after they’ve completed their modifications.

A subscription to ProAutomation Tools allows you to check your program against the Shutdown Key as often as Safety requires; instead of simply assuming that the tech has delivered what the Shutdown Key dictates. When you consider that some programs include thousands of permutations that need to get reverse engineered when a Shutdown Key is generated, our solution greatly increases safety and reliability, as well as providing you with an accurate audit trail.

PAT’s ROI model is instantaneous:

  1. Save Time: Generate the Shutdown Key and comparison faster than any human ever will, reducing your schedule from days (or weeks), to mere minutes.
  1. Eliminate mundane, error-prone manual tasks: This is not good work for humans; it’s tough to stay focused through 1000, 8000, 30,000 permutations of logic tracing all of the coils through and contacts through with all of the calculations, moves, timers, signal conditioning and PID blocks. PAT does that for you.
  1. There’s no risk: Try before you buy. Send us your program and key( in Excel) to sales@35.230.4.181. We will give you a quote and setup a Webex for you to see the output.

What if there are no descriptors in the PLC program and no existing key?

We will still line the I/O up for you, providing a starting point for when you run around the facility and start tracing all of the wires to figure out what devices they are connected to….

…or you can call us to find out about our wiring module in ProAutomation Tools, and reduce the pain of this exercise significantly.

For more information, answers or a quote to get started, visit www.bettsm.com.

The industrial technology revolution is here, and it has the ability to propel existing and emerging industries beyond the status quo into a world of automation and quality control that was previously unattainable.

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The Problem

You have limited bandwidth and limited tower space, yet your needs to deliver massive amounts of data aren’t going away. Working with what some businesses have is equivalent to reading War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy’s book with 361 chapters) by covering a chapter a day, for a year. This may be fine for someone casually reading a novel, but when it comes to business-critical data, you need a better solution.
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“If you can’t measure it you can’t improve it” – Peter Drucker.

There’s a big difference between the price of a tool, and the full-scope picture of what it costs.  As a result, we typically answer questions about cost  with “It depends”.

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