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Introducing Bedrock OSA® Remote
- Intrinsically-secure PLC and RTU control
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It’s a New World, Does Your Oil & Gas Flow Computer Know That?
September 28, 2020 | Robert Bergman
The following is an excerpt from the recent Bedrock/Global Spec webinar It’s a New World, Does Your Oil & Gas Flow Computer Know That? Bedrock product manager Tim Manning was the main presenter, and he invited G&C Optimization founder and president Shawn Bellamy to present a user’s perspective on the potential of integrated control and flow measurement. Here are Shawn’s comments, slightly edited for print styling.
G&C Optimization is applying the Bedrock technology in building custom LACT units for oil & gas custody transfer. A custody transfer application may need to perform between 25 to 75 simultaneous measurement calculations along with the execution of wellhead and facility controls. A typical well pad might have one or more separators, LACT units, a facility PLC, and a central radio for SCADA. On a separator, there will also be separate measurement devices for water, oil and gas, often in a stand-alone RTU package and perhaps another RTU for measurement and reporting, possibly with a PLC that controls the facility. There may also be an additional stand-alone PLC. To establish a SCADA connection, each device typically communicates through a single radio.
The problem is that each device has its own software package and communication protocol. So not only is it a challenge to establish a connection, but it is also very difficult to pass their data through the SCADA network. The most common communication protocol for doing so today is still Modbus. Communication between an RTU and a PLC requires tables at both ends and verifying the data conversion for each data type.
Further complicating things, the measurement team members cannot connect to both the PLC and the RTU. The PLC program requires an additional member of the automation or I&E group, and possibly a contractor. Once the process of configuring the Modbus table on each device and verifying and validating the Modbus data is being passed successfully from the RTU to the PLC, this process must repeat to validate that same data from the PLC to the SCADA system, which can take more than a day.
With the integrated flow computer, using standard IEC languages, we have all the best features of a powerful PLC platform with a modern processor and memory that is up-to-date to meet the current and future requirements. Also in the same package are complete measurement applications that meet American Petroleum Institute (API) requirements for up to 50 total meter runs.
This is much different than a PLC using a third-party module to perform the calculations. It is a unified solution from a single vendor. It completely satisfies PLC and RTU requirements in every category, enabling access to everything on that same facility with a single IEC611-31 IDE software package, that Bedrock provides for free.
The platform supports advanced communication protocols such as OPC UA and MQTT, and to eliminate any security risk that might be associated with open standards, the Bedrock OSA +Flow product embeds military-grade security. Another thing that is important for us is the user-configurable I/O, which will make it less important to have a complete I/O count in advance when specifying requirements for a new installation. We will also be less likely to have to add another module once the unit has been installed.
This will save us and our customers time on startup and commissioning. This year especially, as efficiency and cost savings are paramount in oil & gas companies and expected to stay so, the Bedrock solution could redefine how we look at measurement and control moving forward.
To see the complete webinar go here.