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CONTROL Exclusive: Flow computing joins control | February 2020 Issue

February 4, 2020 |  In The News

It’s doubly efficient to kill two birds with one stone, but it’s still rare to get the chance. One way to make it a sure thing when measuring oil and gas is to finally combine flow computing with process control. The opportunity to merge these long-separate functions is provided by OSA +Flow integrated controller and OSA Remote +Flow standalone module. They embed computing, flow calculations and measurement algorithms from Flow-Cal into the runtime firmware of the Open Secure Automation (OSA) process control platform from Bedrock Automation and its open communications and more than 30 built-in, intrinsic cybersecurity technologies. They report this unique combination gives custody transfer stations, separators, and oil and gas facilities the powerful, cyber-secure, flexible and scalable flow control they need to achieve digital transformation and maximize profitability.

“Flow computers and their users are at a critical juncture. The measurement and control technologies they’ve been using are mostly at end of life, and many of the new, incumbent offerings are built on already out-of-date technologies and ideas. We approach this problem differently by integrating the de facto standard measurement software into Bedrock OSA,” says Albert Rooyakkers, Bedrock’s founder and CEO. “With one automation platform and toolset, OSA +Flow and OSA Remote +Flow let users manage measurement and custody transfer, program all field I/O and control strategies, and deploy edge connectivity protocols such as HART, EtherNet/IP and Modbus along with OPC UA and MQTT. This launch is really the convergence of PLC, DCS, RTU and now flow computing technology. Bringing Flow-Cal into our platform also means reduced lifecycle costs for users, which is our prime directive.”

OSA +Flow is integrated into Bedrock OSA’s pin-less backplane, which has unlimited scalability for PLC, RTU or DCS flow control. It’s single- or dual-redundant, and supports up to 50 meter runs of measurement of gases, liquids or a combination. OSA Remote +Flow is designed for applications requiring only 10- 20 hard I/O, and supports up to 32 meter runs of measurement, including 16 gas runs and 16 liquid runs. Both configurations support multi-drop serial, Ethernet and HART for Coriolis, ultrasonic and smart transmitters. OSA +Flow also has 64 GB of secure Flash memory, 512 MB program memory, multi-core ARM Cortex processors, and features a calculation library that complies with the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Chapter 21.1 for natural gas and Chapter 21.2 for liquids.

“OSA +Flow and OSA Remote +Flow offer a truly open, secure platform that can now perform flow calculations in hardware that’s secure, fast, powerful and scalable from the smallest allocation custody transfers up to multiple well pads with one or two dozen wells that need to measure liquid hydrocarbons, water and natural gas from the field,” says Tim Manning, product manager for OSA+ Flow and OSA Remote+ Flow at Bedrock Automation. “These measures are traditionally done by old flow computers with limited memory, proprietary software and no cybersecurity, while well automation tasks are done on a separate PLC. We can do all these jobs in one box with one configuration environment and one price for licensing that lets users add more devices at no additional cost.”

Likewise, Shawn Bellamy, president of flow control panel builder G&C Optimization, reports he’s already incorporating OSA Remote +Flow into his lease automatic custody transfer (LACT) equipment. “The LACT unit is the cash register for oil and gas exchange. It must accurately flag any change that could influence measurement. Even a half-degree difference in temperature could impact transfers by hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Bedrock solution improves accuracy by bringing industry-leading measurement functionality into a high-performance control system, eliminating the need for a separate device, and does it with end-to-end cyber security protection.”

Download the article PDF here.

 

 

 
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