Fast Track DCS Configuration


Thread Starter

Mark Oldfield

Has anyone used UML or similar tools to speed up configuration of process automation systems. I am currently managing two large installations, one PCS7 and the other Delta-V and am looking to cut down on the config time. Tried using batch-import tools provided with these distros but they are very limited. Any help appreciated
I've used both of these systems and in my view the key to productivity is to a good library of control modules with corresponding symbols, faceplates and tag details.

I do not think either PCS 7 or DeltaV have outstanding libraries and that makes it important to build a good library and reuse and extend it over several projects.

I have much more experience with PCS 7 and have found that I can have very good productivity using the toolkit (with a custom libary) and the Import/Export manager.

In the project documented in the following link I was able to achieve productivity numbers on the order of 2.0 Hours/IO for a 800 I/O point system. This including programming the solution, building the simulation and configuring the HMI.

I also used (but am not a great fan of the Import/Export manager) and was able to replicate units with around 25 phases (including HMI screens) in about 4 hours. The first unit took about 15 hours but by the time I did the 3rd of 7 it was taking around 3-4 hours.

I think users really need to look hard at the breath of the libraries in systems such as DeltaV and PCS 7 because at the end of the day the ability to maintain and support a solutions is directly related to how comprehensive the toolkit is and how readily it is extended.


Francis Lovering

I do not know enough much about UML but I have experienced yourdon type methodologies applied to PLC/SCADA, an experience I did not want to repeat. It seemed to come from a computer science world, with no process control engineering understanding at all.

I have a UML poster on my wall, I can see it's value with pure software design, but DCS's do not need that IMHO.

Things that I ask of a design tool that UML does not (so far as I have yet seen) offer include:
Some standard process control objects
IEC1131/3 friendly
Friendly diagrams that operators and process engineers can understand
Process graphic design
Control Loop and Control Module design
Procedural logic design for Phases, operations etc
Handling of IO Lists, Control Module Lists, the thousands of parameters a DCS requires etc

Francis Lovering
Most of the DCS Operatios will involve On/off valves, Modulating Valves, On/off Motors and Variable Speed Drives.
Make macro ( Librrary Function) for on/off one , and modulating one.

Where ever you want drag the macro and cross reference it.
And also Edit the Logic conditons like high open or low close . These are purely on the cross referencing only.

8 hours span , i configured 200 I/O's both analog and digital on the ABB Bailey DCS System

try , this may give some rough idea.