Utthunga Technologies. Modern technologies are enabling cutting-edge services and solutions in a typical plant floor. As the adoption of Industrial Internet of Things is going north, the importance of standardized and pervasive interconnectivity in the OT space is getting essential. The various field devices you may see in a plant floor don’t exist and function in a silo any more. All these devices (sensor, flowmeter, valve, PLC, DCS, etc.) are part of a complicated web/network.
Control systems and other systems that communicate with the field devices encounter plenty of the scenarios during operations that can be quite critical for the entire network. Having these scenarios overlooked can pose sudden and serious challenges on the efficiency, health and reliability of the network. Truly speaking, there isn’t a reliable way to train control systems and also humans for the varied operational scenarios beforehand. This means plants will often be found un-prepared to handle uncommon operational situations. This is where simulators have an important role to play. Simulators, in fact, can be the game changers as they allow the OEMs and end-users to design, implement, test, and simulate a physical network in a controlled and virtual environment. Simulators can simulate these field devices to prepare for any complex field conditions. By replicating field scenarios, simulators also help to reduce the cost to procure, deploy, store, and maintain the physical devices in the luxury of the lab with limited resources.
Utthunga, as one of the leading product engineering company in the industrial automation domain, enables OEMs, System Integrators and Industries to develop a highly efficient plant network that is prepared for any situations through a ground-breaking product called “uSimulate HART”.
uSimulate HART: An Outline
Some of the most challenging aspects of developing a plant-wide intelligent network is network evaluation, identifying common/potential errors, and optimizing the network topology. The OEMs from across the world are struggling to a great extent to build an infrastructure that is required to create situations that are identical to the real-world scenarios. Testing these real-world scenarios incurs a huge cost. There is also the limitation to reproduce and test extreme conditions.
Utthunga Technologies’ uSimulate HART, as the name suggests, is a HART Simulator. It is designed to simulate HART devices in a OT network. The simulator facilitates HART message transmission to control systems like DCS, etc.
uSimulate HART Highlights
Utthunga’s HART Simulator is equipped with a lot more than a basic simulator:
• Device Management: As the modern industrial network architecture demands flexibility, the need for adding new field devices and changing configuration settings are imminent. uSimulate HART can be of great help in these dynamic scenarios by becoming the prime enabler for device management.
• Performance Information: uSimulate HART can provide a great deal of information regarding the performance of individual control systems and the networks they serve. This information keeps you alert about the system issues, loop current faults, and maintenance.
• Multiple-Device Simulation: The uSimulate HART is a highly efficient and versatile solution that simulates single or multiple HART slave devices simultaneously (depends on the number of channels) and retrieves relevant diagnostic or configuration data from the memory.
• Accessible and Configurable: Supports a user-friendly and intuitive user access controlled web application that provides access to all of the simulator’s features. Each HART slave device data can be configured for its variables and commands, using this web application.
• Creates and Displays Logs: The uSimulate HART Web Application creates and displays logs to monitor data flow and to identify any error conditions during simulation.
• Patterned Simulation: uSimulate HART facilitates simulating variables in various patterns like Linear, sinusoidal, constant, unit step, etc., with applicable lower and upper limits.
• Loop-Powered Channels: All channels are loop-powered and each channel can be configured as either analog input or analog output device. It also provides channel-to-channel isolation.
• Supports HART Specification: All universal commands are supported as per HART specification and the common practice commands that are supported by the slave devices can also be configured. The device allows four variables (PV, SV, QV, and TV) to be configured for each device.
• Programmatic Execution of Simulations: The HART slave devices can be simulated for HART protocol versions 5, 6, and 7. This solution saves a lot of manual effort by running the preconfigured simulations programmatically. This is especially useful for automated testing and CI/CD.
How Does uSimulate HART Work?
The architecture of uSimulate HART uses both the analog and digital sections and is made up of a combination of complex mixed signal. All channels are isolated from the others. uSimulate HART is equipped with a unique dynamic impedance control that facilitates the user with the ability to configure a channel as a transmitter or an actuator.
Application Areas of uSimulate HART
Quite a significant percentage of field devices installed in plants are HART-enabled. uSimulate HART can be used for Verification of Control Systems, AMS Systems, Configurators, Calibrators, Diagnostic/Test and Measurement Equipment.
uSimulate HART can be used for regression testing of hosts during product engineering. It is one of the most efficient solutions for verifying interoperability across different HART versions, make, models and device types. The safety functions, alarms and events notifications, fault responses, etc., make uSimulate HART a preferred piece of technology for host validation during system engineering to verify the normal operation and control loops. It can also be used to verify performance, scalability, response time, etc., of the host systems during product engineering and system engineering.
Utthunga’s HART Simulator can be used for virtual commissioning of systems in the lab with the actual addresses of the field devices. This helps minimize the time spent in the plant for commissioning. This simulator can also be used for pre-FAT for customers to gain confidence during the commissioning phase.
With thousands of field devices deployed on a plant floor, challenges, obstructions, and errors are bound to occur. However, a timely identification of these challenges can allow the network to work in a seamless fashion. For this purpose, the HART Simulator can be used to reproduce the conditions causing a field problem. This helps provide a quick turn-around with solution to customers during support and service.
Training & Education
Utthunga’s uSimulate HART can be used as a use case for the industries to counter the networking challenges in a proactive manner. In this case, uSimulate HART can be used for Operational Training and Situational preparedness activities to establish an industry practice. These use cases and applications can be given to industrial engineers during the creation of training and demonstration material/videos.
Field devices are prone to faults as they receive signals from multiple sensors and actuators. Utthunga’s HART Simulator can be used for live demonstration of the product capabilities of host systems and diagnostics equipment in webinars, experience centers, and exhibitions. This can help OEMs to build confidence in their products and systems.
An industrial process usually requires continuous monitoring of status and timely response to any deviation from the parameters. A large number of sensors, measurement/control devices, and other control systems are employed by the process controller for production purposes. In this scenario, Utthunga’s HART Simulator can be of great assistance for creating the production network that is resilient and capable of handling various unexpected scenarios. The human resources that monitor such systems will also be better prepared for various operations situations.