OPC Helps Aggregate Data Across Brazil

May 1, 2006
ABB’s System 800xA and OPC DA turn real-time data into actionable information for energy company Petrobras.

OPC provides a standard method of integrating data with minimal custom integration. OPC-based solutions enable customers to reduce engineering, maintenance and training costs while improving performance and interoperability. ABB’s System 800xA Extended Automation uses OPC Data Access to deliver real-time data from virtually any type of system directly to 800xA operator workplaces. Customers in a number of process industries have reaped the benefits provided by this real-time information access.

Petrobras, Brazil's largest energy company, acknowledges its social responsibilities and is concerned about preserving the environment; the company accomplishes this while remaining productive and profitable. Petrobras is divided into four business areas: Exploration and Production, Downstream, Gas and Energy, and International. It presently has 97 platforms for production (73 fixed and 24 floating), 16 refineries, 30,343 kilometers of pipeline and 6,933 filling stations. Petrobras is present in many countries, including the United States, Mexico, several countries in the Middle East and many in South America. It also maintains back-up support offices in New York, Tokyo, China and Singapore.

Located in the Amazonas region of Brazil on the south bank of the Rio Negro, Petrobras’ Refinaria de Manaus, or REMAN facility, receives crude oil via river ships, and refines up to 46,000 barrels of petroleum product daily, including gasoline, diesel, QAV (an aviation fuel) and lubricants. This site is strategically important for its ability to provide petrochemical products to central Brazil, where production and delivery facilities are much scarcer than in the heavily populated and developed coastal areas. REMAN utilizes an OPC solution to enable its powerful ABB control systems to make real-time and historical data visible to the personnel who need it, in an actionable form. This enables decision-making that is critical to their process and to the environment. “Environmental concerns are particularly critical because we are on the Rio Negro, close to where it joins with the Rio Solimoes, and which together become the Amazon,” says Evangelo Lira, REMAN Maintenance Technician responsible for automation coordination. Lira continues, “OPC is used for transfer of data between our 800xA system and our third-party, corporate-wide data system. Petrobras Corporate aggregates and monitors production data from all of its refineries, all over Brazil—via a link to Rio de Janeiro—to verify efficiency of the boilers and to provide benchmarks to work toward. Corporate uses data about refinery production, storage of raw materials and information on products for market in order to enable good production planning and quality.”

Having OPC standards-based interoperability between systems not only saved time during the engineering phase, but also ensured a quick and trouble-free startup and commissioning process. Prior to installing System 800xA and OPC technology, transfer of control data at REMAN was done primarily via serial connection. Utilizing OPC now leaves Petrobras’ REMAN facility well prepared for the future, when it expects to have much more data to transfer. Eventually, the facility plans to remove serial communication to its corporation-wide information system and rely entirely on OPC connections. This will make it easier not only to locate a corporate computer remotely, since Ethernet connection does not have a distance limitation, but also to deliver large volumes of data effectively.

ABB’s System 800xA delivers advanced functionality and a high level of integration to dramatically increase productivity and yield while reducing lifecycle costs. It extends the scope of traditional control systems to include all automation functions in a single operations and engineering environment, so that plants and mills can run smarter and better at substantial cost savings.

To find out more, visit ABB at www.abb.com/controlsystems.

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