Around 90 percent of process technology applications are brownfield systems that often still need to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for decades to come. The existing system structure is generally a legacy structure that has expanded over time, is heterogeneous, complex, and resembles the classic automation pyramid. However, the steadily growing demands for increased security, availability, reliability, and greater efficiency require more technology that is difficult to integrate into the existing pyramids. That is why Namur, the international association of automation technology users, has introduced Namur Open Architecture (NOA), which, over the past two years, has paved the way for the use of new technologies in addition to control systems. A variety of prototypical use cases were implemented in a short time that demonstrated that NOA makes it easy to create value-added services to enable more efficiency and reliably for the operation of systems.
As a sponsor of the association’s upcoming Annual General Meeting, which will be held on November 7 and 8, 2019, in Bad Neuenahr, Phoenix Contact will be presenting implementations of these use cases suitable for industrial applications under the theme of ‘Enhanced connectivity for smart production’. The speakers will explain how they read existing data into a system simply, securely, and without physical interaction, as well as how this data can be used for additional services such as predictive maintenance, or for sustainable process optimization. Roland Bent, CTO and member of the Phoenix Contact Executive Board, had the following to say: “Phoenix Contact has worked with connectivity since its founding in 1923. Whereas for many years this meant a purely physical connection between devices, today the market demands much more. With our technological approach of an open, secure, and scalable ecosystem, we want to demonstrate how the NOA concept of openness, flexibility and agile solutions can be combined in practice with the core aspects of process technology – durability, security and reliability.” By becoming a solutions provider, we offer clients comprehensive support when it comes to projects for digitization of their systems – in all phases, from concept development and pilot projects, all the way to commissioning with a special focus on brownfield systems.”
The company’s approach demonstrates one possibility for simple implementation of the NOA concept. The additional information from new low-cost sensors or pre-existing field devices is simply and securely read out via the side channel, contextualized independent of the transmission protocol, pre-processed ‘on the edge’ in a gateway, and then made available to the higher levels, for example the cloud, for analysis and process optimization. Prefabricated building blocks and applications, that can be downloaded directly from an online store, help to simplify the engineering of the corresponding asset monitoring applications.
In addition to the main presentation on Thursday morning, the company will also offer workshops and demonstrations on the new connectivity technologies, that are also used in process control applications such as MTP, APL, 5G or OPAF. As part of these workshops and demonstrations, the basis for digital processes and tools will be discussed along with new applications and services.
In the follow-up presentations, Namur will discuss interesting aspects of new topologies, information acquisition and cloud systems as well as demonstrate the user perspective. In the afternoon, the working groups and cooperating partners will present topics such as functional safety, security, NOA, MTP, FDI, management shells, logistics and explosion protection in a variety of workshops.
As is tradition, the second day will begin with the presentation of the awards. After presentations on the results from the Namur.smart database and on IT/OT convergence in digitization, the company will report on its strategy for the future. The final presentation will give a technical outlook to the next Annual General Meeting.
Felix Hanisch, Namur Chairman: “Phoenix Contact as a sponsor, Namur, and the current topic of ‘Enhanced connectivity for smart production’ make the perfect team for an interesting 2019 Annual General Meeting that promises to be quite extraordinary. Once again, the event is a must for everyone interested in automation technology, but also for IT professionals who want to learn more about the latest developments on the path to digitization.”