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Whitepaper

A New Distributed Architecture for Remote Communications

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A New Distributed Architecture for Remote Communications

By Tony Paine and Russel Treat

Control systems are used broadly by many industries and implemented in a variety of ways. In Manufacturing and Process Plants, control systems consist of the integration of Human Machine Interface (HMI) software, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Distributed Control Systems (DCSs), computers, and a wide range of automation software through the use of high-speed Ethernet- based communications. In geographically distributed systems, such as Oil and Gas production and pipelines, control systems are much different. They consist of the integration of SCADA and a more loosely integrated combination of control devices in the field, local HMI software, and wide-area communications that use a mixture of wireless, fiber optic, and telephone services. In either case, a solution must exist that manages the connection between applications and devices across the various communication mediums.

In operations involving production and pipeline monitoring and control, SCADA and Electronic Flow Measurement (EFM) applications require access to data from a wide variety of automation devices. These devices include PLCs, Remote Terminal Units (RTUs), Flow Computers, and other data sources that are not directly connected to the computers on which the applications reside. The communication bridge between the applications ...

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