#3DSCADA for #AutomationStudio

The power of standardization. The acquisition of B&R Automation by ABB did not come as a surprise. B&R Automation Studio suite is following the OPC UA standard. This decision to implement the OPC communication protocol at the very lowest level of their PLC & HMI compenents surely played a part in their recent buy-out by the ABB Group. EATOPS has been following the same approach and complies with OPC Unified Architecture for the same practical reasons. An open-standard between the PLC and the HMI leads to a stronger architecture leaving the PLC is its role of 'process logic controller' taking care of the logic, and the HMI in its role of 'human machine interface'. The HMI remains a slave of the PLC which means that several HMI modules can inherit the alarm & sensor values directly from the PLC.

The #RIVOPS overview panels are fully compatible with the #AutomationStudio Suite. Some more #3DSCADA overview panels will come-out from EATOPS production line during the year following that same OPC implementation.


OPC AE for the best of alarm handling


How should the captain of a ship decide to trigger an evacuation? How should a driller onboard an offshore vessel decide to pull-out and immediately disconnect from the well? How should a control room lead operator re-evaluate his initial risk assessment and prepare for a corrective action? EATOPS' Alarms & Events plug-in means a lot to operators. This OPC AE strict implementation considerably improves the judgment of an operator. The RIVOPS console benefits from this extra comfort. It gives the presentation layer of the control room a cleaner overview thus an increased awareness of the system being monitored.

The OPC AE standard is fully compliant with ISA 18.2 which promotes the use of process alarm messages and alarm attributes for the operator. An good example of that is the RIVOPS' 3D SCADA approach which naturally drives the operator attention over the areas of a process when the needed thresholds are met such as during an event detection, or an abnormal scenario detection with its pieces of equipment’s safety limits. The RIVOPS alarm-banner is mostly suited to identify the location of faulty equipment, or create awareness on the time to response before a corrective action should be taken. The operator's understanding of the severity of a scenario is improved through a colour-coded interface which is directly inherited from the OPC AE Server attributes. Instead of making its own interpretation of the severity, the HMI is brought back to its slave position receiving its information messages directly from the alarm server. This is very positive in the sense that the alarm server is now entitled to fully play is role of server dispatching a unique message to the family of HMI displays found in the control room.

Another advantage is that the operators' acknowledgment messages are aggregated inside the alarm server & directly transmitted to the PLC where the process logic is running. Unlike too many HMI packages, this alarm information is not stored inside the HMI Runtime.

Such a software architecture avoids a lots of inconsistencies in the control system. It pushes the artificial intelligence capabilities to another level. For more information on the RIVOPS overview panel, please visit our technology section.

Students building their own satellite

The open-call is valid until March 5th 2017. The European Space Agency will select the best proposals to help those teams of students to lead their own satellite campaign. EATOPS used a similar schem in 2010 (ESA Technology Transfer Programme) to get its 'OPS' tools deployed into a live ground segment environment. For the first time in the product development cycle, our UI/UX designers could test their piece of software against a control room operator.

Such initiatives are to be promoted as they gather teams of professional in their early-days of their engineering career. More projects will naturally emerge from those cross-collaborations and promote the European Space standards (ECSS) sometimes beyond the Space Industry.

The RIVOPS console is a good example. After first being used for the SwissCube Mission and later Triton & TUGSAT-1 mission, the console was eventually deployed onboard an offshore drilling vessel in the North-Sea. The same ECSS-data model is now used to structure the telemetry database of offshore platforms.

The RIVOPS ground segment package (video below) includes the console desk, the mission control system, the ESA-like software EGSE router, its data distribution, the command module, a set of housekeeping monitoring HMIs, the alarm-list, the 3D-overview panel. This software package also includes the suite of configuration tools such as the Spacecraft Mission Information Database (MIB), the spacecraft data model editor. For more information, contact info@eatops.com or chat with us at the bottom of this page.

Source: http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/20...

Mobile control panels for Civil Defense Sirens

EATOPS worked on the preliminary design of a portable control panel to activate the civil defense siren system in Norway. The touch control panel is designed following a 3-click navigation approach to activate the x1300 sirens at the country-region-district and sub-district level.


A control room layout solution (in a pre-study phase) monitors a broader range of assignments connected to major or special incidents (fires, natural catastrophes, oil protection, searches, evacuation, etc...).

Sales -- Memory leak troubleshooting

EATOPS is given the assignment to troubleshoot a memory leak in a control system deployed on onboard an oil tanker in operations in the Netherlands. The leak was identified and resorbed using two different methods: (1) injecting a watchdog inside the code functions as well as (2) dichotomy. The control system was virtualized in order to avoid interrupting operations.

EATOPS would like to thank the SchneiderElectric CitectSCADA 7.40 team in Sydney for their remote iterative testings as well as their availability during week-ends & early day shifts. This project is a good example of cross-collaboration between Schneider Electric and one of its system integrators.

Adding a tablet-PC to the control room

Mobile tablet computers have made it inside the control room replacing the traditional touch display very often used for the voice matrix or task scheduler.

In this hardware update of the RIVOPS console the tablet PC is embedded as part of the table top. This touch-screen is ideal for: audio-voice-loop selection, fault-scenario selection or an alarm overview panel. Compatible in various dimensions with the Wacom Cintiq product range and Microsoft Surface.

In this hardware update of the RIVOPS console the tablet PC is embedded as part of the table top. This touch-screen is ideal for: audio-voice-loop selection, fault-scenario selection or an alarm overview panel. Compatible in various dimensions with the Wacom Cintiq product range and Microsoft Surface.

EATOPS included the latest stylus-touch-based tablet from Wacom into its RIVOPS console layout. This evolution is a response to the use of tablet PC equipment inside the control room.

More on Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 console available soon.


Automatic generation of your OPC communication tables is just one click away. AutoGenforOPC is a script written in Python which parses your IO-list and automatically generates your OPC sever configuration files. It saves you of a day of work, without mistakes! 

AutoGen is compatible with Siemens Step7, Automation Studio 4.2, CodeSys, & RIVOPS. OPC EATOPS products are compliant with OPC stacks v1.3.1340.

Milestone -- Unified Architecture - OPC UA

RIVOPS supports OPC UA (unified architecture, OPC Stack 1.3.340) for both DataAccess (DA) and AlarmEvent (AE). The new standard is compliant with the ISA 18.2 requirements on dynamic alarm arouping, alarm acknowledgment, display of advisory messages and alarm shelving mecanisms. EATOPS develops its expertise in using the standard to anticipate the growing demand related to Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things.


Milestone -- Use of Remote Terminal Units

The introduction of VHF/UHF modems and remote terminal units -RTUs- within the core skillset of the company comes as a natural step after the SwissCube mission, 2009-2016. The telemetry is transfered at low bandwidth using a UHF/VHF Tetra infrastructure which is often use in critical operations (airport management, fire service ambulance, olympic games monitoring, police stations, pipeline monitoring, Suez Canal infrastructure, etc...).


Milestone -- fault scenario detection PLC module

EATOPS releases an automatic fault-detection module. This piece of software is embedded at the lowest level of the process & control logic, directly inside the PLC code. This alarm grouping module is compliant with the 1 Hertz response requirement for Safety Alarm Systems (SAS).

Norwegian/English translation: "Okay derrickman, the coffee break is over!"

Norwegian/English translation: "Okay derrickman, the coffee break is over!"

Sales -- Control system upgrade for DRILLVIEW -- Aker Solutions A.S.

In response to Statoil TR1494 on Alarm Management, EATOPS is contracted by Aker Solutions A.S. to upgrade its DRILLVIEW control system. The mud control room (PLC+HMI) is equipped with an alarm reduction module. As soon as an alarm scenario is identified, alarms are automatically compacted under an alarm header (also called parent-alarm or alarm group). The drilling package is ISA 18.2 compliant in the sense that it automatically cleans the alarm-list of the nuisance alarm messages. On the other hand, an advisory message is given to the operator suggesting him the way forward. The solution is now part of the production line, ready to be deployed on every new-built vessels. The control system software architecture remains compatible with older semi-submersibles allowing the company to retro upgrade its existing offshore installations.

Development -- Mud Flow Overview panel

This touch control panel displays the flow direction of the mud from pit to pit to the derrickman. Having a Mud-Flow overview control panel improves the awareness of the crew during drilling operations.

This software implementation was developed on the top of a PLC control software. It gets its inputs data from the SCADA system (Citect OPC DA, Schneider Electric). The challenge during the software integration was to script the automatic detection of valid trajectories and possible flow directions from a 3D CAD model of the plant. This type of panels is well suited for Mud Mixing Systems of third category. For more information on Automatic Mud Mixing System, the Derrickman console or Mud-flow overview panel, please contact our nearest distributor 

3D SCADA, a mud-transfer system for a drilling vessel.

3D SCADA, a mud-transfer system for a drilling vessel.