More features for Aprol process control system

Paul Boughton

B&R's Aprol process control system is described as a complete and thorough system for use from the field level to the management information level. Now the system is gaining innovative new options and additional features that increase user friendliness.

A high level of system consistency and reliability is needed to meet today's demands for state-of-the-art process automation software. Seamless integration of all upstream, downstream and auxiliary processes in the system requires a wide range of highly advanced functions. The integration of Automation Studio means a number of powerful functions from the B&R software tool are now available in Aprol. Selected system functions ensure easy connection of B&R's X20 control system and System 2005.

System 2005 is the classic design for process automation, providing I/O modules and controllers to meet high demands in this field. Powerful interface modules ensure compatibility with Ethernet Powerlink, Canopen, Profibus DP, Modbus TCP/IP and Devicenet. The I/O and X20 control system offer a design well suited to decentralised requirements with distributed intelligence. A wide range of I/O components and modules is available.

Integration of safety-relevant components is also part of Aprol's standard functions. The IEC 61508 safety standard explicitly recommends the use of program blocks for implementing safety logic. The blocks in the integrated library are validated and conform to the PLCopen Safety standards.

Markers, rulers, a variety of diagrams for selection, the entry of comments on the trend curve and complete configuration in the process control system for up to 100,000 trend curves ensure the necessary transparency even for large systems. The context data browser shows all corresponding historical events. Up to 20 trend curves can be viewed at the same time, and time offsets can be specified for each trend curve to determine the 'golden' batch. All relevant events can be displayed right on the curve characteristic by showing and hiding recorded markings (eg for the batch start and batch stop).

An optional Matlab/Simulink module in Automation Studio is a high-performance tool provided within Aprol for system simulation. This leads to shorter development times by commissioning virtual systems with real automation systems. The WinIO protocol ensures consistent I/O images and serves as the basis for I/O Switchboard or Winmod. This means that a complete simulation of the system is possible right from the start of the project.

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