Emerson’s industry-leading Ovation™ platform integrates digitally transformative software and technologies into a unified system that helps customers tackle their toughest challenges. Rick Kephart, Emerson’s vice president of technology for the power and water industries, describes how we continue to evolve the Ovation platform
by developing and delivering the automation scalability and flexibility sought by our customers to meet their diverse application requirements.
The latest Ovation release addresses the growing need for secure operation and management of vital distributed assets, such as renewable power generators and large-scale water networks, with new features that:
- Provide added system protection
- Improve performance
- Lower maintenance costs
- Simplify troubleshooting
- Enable better decision-making
This release also establishes native connectivity for the future integration of bolt-on analytics software, integrated digital twin simulation with smart grid models and stand-alone engineering tools.
In 2020, the ability to control and monitor plant processes from virtually anywhere was essential for maintaining operational continuity of critical businesses and 2021 will be no different. New security features provide added protection for remote management of assets, regardless of location. Integrity checks using digital signatures ensure that only Emerson-validated software and applications are operating within the Ovation platform. Additionally, instead of using routers, controllers can now initiate a secure VPN connection and use encryption to safely transmit data between geographically dispersed networks and a centralized Ovation system.
The next generation of the OCR controller family, model OCR3000, builds on the exceptional reliability and speed of the proven OCR1100 model with new features that lower maintenance costs while providing more efficient, robust operations. Significant enhancements include:
- Fewer hardware components
- Increased point capacity
- Extended manufacturer support for key electronic parts
- Integrated network switch connections
- Reduced power consumption
- Increased temperature ratings
The latest Ovation release is equipped with new software that enhances the operator experience by enabling them to more keenly focus on important tasks. Workspace preferences can now be saved for quick access to strategic plant information upon login to the system. Another development, identified as a key product enhancement by the Ovation Users’ Group members, is visual representation of the control hierarchy. This new feature simplifies troubleshooting by using color and animation to help operators easily identify algorithm connections.
Periodic Software Enhancements
Feature packs provide our customers with the ability to add innovative system enhancements without waiting for the next major release. Ovation 3.8 feature packs will include step-changes to the controller family and system virtualization. The new Ovation microcontroller (model OMC100) is a robust, small form factor module with field control and configurable I/O. Ovation system virtualization uses Dell’s VMware hyper-converged technology for installing an off-the-shelf, fixed configuration or using a vSan-capable server. Customers with an established virtual infrastructure can opt to use a custom virtualization design.
Continuous Technology Evolution
At Emerson, we continue to evolve our Ovation automation platform well beyond the bounds of traditional distributed control and data acquisition systems. Rick emphasizes that our top priority is helping our customers
adapt to the changing power and water industry landscapes by enabling secure, reliable and efficient plant operations. By enhancing the scalability, security and usability of the Ovation platform, we are doing just that.
Visit the Ovation automation software and technology page on Emerson.com to learn more about how this single platform provides full power plant control, optimization, simulation and analysis of all generating assets including individual units, multi-plant fleets, microgrids or distributed energy resources. Ovation is also engineered for cities and municipalities with growing and diverse water or wastewater collection, treatment and distribution services.