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Chemicals Giant Uses OPC to Improve Plant Information

A Russian chemicals company uses OPC DataHub from Cogent Real-Time Systems to link its Yokogawa distributed control system to a proprietary plant information system that runs on the QNX real-time operating system.

Aw 4616 Cogent
Deep in the heart of Russia, on the banks of the Volga River, stands one of the country's most successful chemical plants, the KuibyshevAzot. Founded in 1966, the company produced over 1.7 million tons of chemicals last year, with sales volumes close to one-half billion dollars.

Through constant technology upgrades, the plant maintains the highest capacity utilization rate for ammonia production in Russia, and a higher than average utilization rate for nitrogen fertilizer production.

One of the goals at KuibyshevAzot is to update and re-equip the plant to optimize the consumption of raw materials and energy. To meet this goal, plant personnel recently installed a Yokogawa CENTUM CS3000 Distributed Control System to control the ammonia production process. While satisfied with the performance of this state-of-the-art system, there was one question: how to interface with the Plant Information System Server.

The Plant Information System Server is KuibyshevAzot’s proprietary system that collects live process data, calculates technical and economic performance indicators, and generates reports by processing more than 900 variables simultaneously in real time. Due to its mission-critical status, the system runs on the QNX real-time operating system. Getting the data from the Yokogawa control system into the Plant Information System was vital to the overall success of the project.

To create the data link, KuibyshevAzot chose the OPC and Cascade DataHubs from Cogent Real-Time Systems, based in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada.

Each of these DataHubs is an off-the-shelf middleware program that collects and distributes real-time data. The OPC DataHub runs in Microsoft Windows, and can connect to any OPC server, such as the Yokogawa ExaOPC Server used in the project. On the QNX side, the Cascade DataHub was connected to the Plant Information System server. Once connected to their respective systems, the two DataHubs establish a TCP mirroring connection across the network to create a Windows-to-QNX real-time data link.

“This connection has saved us a lot of money in development time,” said a company spokesperson. “The major requirement was to save our existing information system. The deployment of DataHubs saved us time and money because there was no need to purchase, develop, or configure a new information system. The update process was seamless. We kept our existing information display consoles and report forms. All we had to do was add more report forms and update the information displays.”

“KuibyshevAzot needed something robust, something they could trust with their vital data,” said Leonid Agafanov, Managing Director of SWD Software, Cogent’s local distributor who was involved in the project. “Linking the Cascade DataHub in QNX to the OPC DataHub in Windows combined the strengths of both systems.”

For more information on OPC solutions from Cogent Real-Time Systems, visit

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