OPC Facilitates Interoperability at Pemex Gas

March 1, 2006
By employing OPC in its process control systems, ABB provides customers, such as Pemex, with efficient connectivity to third-party solutions and a single source of information.

In the process industries, OPC brings open connectivity through a series of specifications based on open standards. OPC’s open communication architecture, which is focused on data access, provides information in a consistent manner to a variety of plant floor and business applications. Modern control systems utilize the OPC standard when integrating "smart" field devices (for diagnostic, status and configuration parameters), data from other control systems (supervisory control and data acquisition—SCADA—and programmable logic controllers—PLCs) and in business system integration. The results provide flexible and cost effective solutions for the customer.

End-users, such as Pemex Gas, have been able to achieve significant benefits from the OPC capabilities of their System 800xA process control systems from ABB, a global supplier of automation and power technologies based in Zurich. These benefits include efficient connectivity with existing third-party solutions, single point source of information and reduced hardware costs.

Pemex Gas y Petroquimica Basica (Pemex Gas), one of four Pemex operating subsidiaries, has the responsibility to process, transport, sell and store natural gas and liquids. In the new Burgos Complex, Pemex Gas built two Modular Cryogenics Units. Each Unit processes 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. As a second phase, Cryogenics Units Three and Four will come online in the coming months with a similar capacity, giving the Burgos Complex a total processing capacity of 800 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. Each unit will also process 6,000 barrels of condensate per day.

Pemex Gas requires an automation and safety system that is robust, flexible and powerful—one that enables visibility of information, integration of third-party solutions, quick response time, process optimization and the ability to evolve in a logical, cost-effective manner. Pemex selected ABB’s 800xA Extended Automation Technology to automate process control in the Burgos Complex. System 800xA uses OPC to connect to and communicate with third-party solutions already on site.

Alfonso López Zamudio, Consultant for Installations Engineering, Pemex, Gas and Basic Petrochemist (Villahermosa, Mexico), commented, "This open solution allows us to integrate systems from different areas. The system used for the gas processor at Burgos utilizes OPC—which provides communication through one access point. This gives us a way to obtain information from these other systems and improve our decision-making."

OPC facilitates easy integration with Pemex's existing systems and helps to make the connections less labor- and time-intensive to set up than other interfaces. "From a technology point of view, I think that OPC has some advantages since it requires less hardware to allow communication throughout distributed control systems, and provides the versatility and functionality needed to allow other manufacturers' control systems to communicate and talk one language," said Zamudio. "The other technical advantage that I see is that OPC is user-friendly—you can do much more with your system development because OPC helps make a system very open. The other interfaces have to be configured and are defined for a specific application."

ABB's System 800xA delivers advanced functionality and a high level of integration to dramatically increase productivity and yield while reducing lifecycle costs. To find out more, visit www.abb.com/controlsystems.

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