JAN-FEB 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 53

12 INTECH JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 WWW.ISA.ORG COVER STORY to that standard, delivering interoper- ability when it is installed." I asked about safety. Harrington re- plied that "safety system standards, at least for this first go around, are off the table; it is not part of what we are standardizing." Bartusiak explained, "Given the requirements of the ISA- 84 and IEC 61151 standards that there shall be separate and independent combinations of sensors, logic solv - ers, and final elements to achieve re- quired safety integrity levels, the Open Process Automation Forum decided that safety instrumented systems were outside of its scope." Sensors and controllers I asked if the standard intended to deal with the controller and sensors. Har - rington explained, "We are dealing with- in the controller. As a matter of fact, this includes the wire to the end devices. One of the big things the Exxon Mobils, the Shells, and other organizations through - out the world are complaining about is when upgrading systems, they end up having to move wires, which is a major cost. There is a subcommittee within the technical working group headed up by Alex Johnson, system architect – Next Generation Systems of Process Auto- mation at Schneider Electric, looking at the physical aspects." Control and sensor network standards? I asked if the group intends to create a new industrial automation protocol, and Harrington clarified, "The OPAF Connectivity Framework will not be a new protocol. It will reference one or more existing standards. The techni- cal working group is currently evaluat- ing OPC UA to determine if it meets or exceeds the OPAF requirements for the Connectivity Framework." Standards groups engagement Because the intent is to leverage exist- ing standards, I asked how OPAF will determine which standards to include in the new specification. Harrington described the process, "Standards to be adopted are being driven by the technical working groups, and then the standards body interface working group will develop the relationship and be responsible for the relationship between the other standards bodies. At this point in time there have been no specific standards that have been posi - tively set in stone." Hietala commented, "There has been a little bit of a chicken and egg in terms of The Open Group staff to put these relationships in place—needing to be driven by the standards liaison working group telling us which organizations make sense." Harrington describe the process of using technical committee members, "we are relying on the expertise of the members of the forum who happen to be participating in the standards efforts." The technical working group committees define for the standards body interface working group the standards they would like to use as part of The Open Process Automa - tion Standard. Harrington described the point of contact with other stan - dards organizations, "Most times we work on a shared liaison basis where we will have an elected member of our forum represent what it is we are trying to do to the standards orga - nization we are trying to deal with." Typically, this is a formal relationship with a memorandum of understand - ing. He noted the standards body in- terface working group leads are from Schneider and Siemens, based on the thought that the vendors are much more knowledgeable on the details of standards than users. OPC Foundation The OPC Foundation is currently the only standards organization outside of The Open Group that is a member of OPAF. Thomas Burke, OPC Foun - dation president, commented on the relationship, "OPC Foundation joined The Open Group in 2017 specifically to get engaged with the very exciting initiative called The Open Process Automation Forum. OPC Foundation recognizes the positive influence of the end-user community and the sup - pliers collaborating together in The Open Process Automation Forum. This initiative will clearly define the future of process automation and tie together all of the legacy systems with the systems of tomorrow. Great ef - forts are being made to make sure that systems are being architected that are truly open and will have timeless durability. It's very important to lever - age the right technology for the right business cases when you are develop - ing truly open hardware and software systems for the future. OPC UA is de - liberately architected for complete protocol independence, platform in - dependence, operating system inde- pendence, and vendor neutrality. We see this as the key infrastructure that the open process automation should be able to leverage easily to tie togeth - er the systems of the past with the sys- tems of the future." System integrators Discussing system integrators, Har- rington said, "We have a liaison with CSIA, and an OPAF member from Lockheed Martin is our liaison with them." Discussing the relation - ship with Jose M. Rivera, CEO, Con- trol System Integrators Association (CSIA), he commented, "The vision for the future of process control sys - tems by OPAF is based on the con- cept of openness. This translates into significant changes in the busi - ness models of the various stake- holders, including independent sys- tem integrators. Through a formal relationship, CSIA and OPAF have been collaborating, specifically on the development of a business guide "Great efforts are being made to make sure that systems are being architected that are truly open and will have timeless durability." —Harrington

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of InTech - JAN-FEB 2018