Which edge-related capabilities should every HMI/SCADA System have? Let’s start with workload consolidation and operational resilience.
Edge Computing platforms allow for workload consolidation, which is important in an HMI/SCADA system because it allows you to consolidate multiple physical assets into a single, more advanced, virtualized Edge Computer or server. Fewer devices deployed means fewer devices to maintain and operate, less panel space and wiring required, and the ability to have all your software assets available in a single redundant and industrially hardened Edge device. Plus, one single device makes it easier to implement solutions in industries that require good manufacturing practices (GMP), validation, and regulation.
Edge Computing platforms also allow for operational resilience another important feature in an HMI/SCADA system because operational resilience is what preventing unplanned downtime is all about. Your software is only as good as the platform it runs on. Your mission-critical applications need a platform that prevents unplanned downtime. You need an Edge platform that provides redundancy and is easy to implement: a ruggedized Edge platform you can install in harsh environments (temperature, vibration, humidity, Class I Division 2); a platform you can install in a control panel together with the PLCs, drives, and other control equipment; and a platform that helps secure your control infrastructure from cyber-attack.
Additional benefits Edge Computing platforms offer to your HMI/SCADA solutions
Scalability that evolves as opposed to big bang execution
Edge Computing platforms enable easy scalability, allowing you to start with a small HMI/SCADA solution (single node) and add more (multiple nodes in multiple locations) as your needs grow. With Stratus, you can expand from a single ztC Edge node to a pair that provides redundancy, upgrade to a version with more capacity, or migrate to an ftServer no big rip and replace all through a single vendor, with efficient stocking of spares, that’s less expensive in the long run.
Extensibility and flexibility on a budget
Edge Computing platforms allow you to easily add new capabilities and functionality to your HMI/SCADA solutions without breaking the budget. You can empower your operators by giving them the ability to use mobile devices for monitoring and control, in addition to the normal panel and control room computer displays.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel
Edge Computing platforms allow you to easily replicate and duplicate software, solutions, and applications multiple times. With Stratus’ built-in virtualization, you can simply drop pre-tested, characterized, and validated software applications into your virtual machine. You don’t need to be an IT professional or programmer. Any technician can do this effortlessly, which is important if your HMI or SCADA device is installed in a remote and/or hazardous location, where no IT professionals can help set up and maintain infrastructure.
Check out this video to see and hear three case studies of how Edge Computing platforms helped transform pain points into profits, helped leverage virtualization to increase control and safety, and solved for having multiple generations of PCs and industrial PCs. Video highlights below:
- Synthomer transforms pain points into profits
See how Synthomer utilized a Stratus Edge Computing solution to simplify and optimize operations. As a result, Synthomer increased production 30% and gained the company additional revenue, without ever shutting down the plant.
- QuarterNorth Energy leverages virtualization to increase control and safety
Discover how QuarterNorth Energy implemented a modernization project for the Bullwinkle platform (the largest fixed offshore oil platform in the USA) to address aging assets, including a control and safety system that was beyond its end-of-life, and outdated legacy infrastructure. As a result of implementing a centralized monitor and control system, QuarterNorth Energy saw higher yield, improved safety, and downtime-free operations for critical applications. They leveraged virtualization to consolidate 12 applications running on 6 servers onto a single, fault-tolerant Stratus ftServer compute platform. And they reduced system response time by 1,000%, from more than 20 seconds to milliseconds — increasing control and safety.
- Buckeye Partners uses the edge for standardization
Learn how Buckeye Partners, one of the largest independent liquid petroleum products pipeline operators in the USA, solved for having multiple generations of PCs and industrial PCs installed. Frequent changes in models and configurations required hundreds of hours of re-qualification which was complex to track due to different application versions. This resulted in significant, unplanned downtime and frequent failures due to environmental issues. This also required a lot of manual restoration because multiple application versions had to be matched. As a result of implementing a Rockwell PLC set with a Stratus ztC Edge Computing platform into 114 standardized terminal operations locations, Buckeye Partners was able to rely on one single vendor/supplier that’s easy to maintain and easy to operate.
Edge Computing platforms enable easy scalability, allowing you to start with a small HMI/SCADA solution (single node) and add more (multiple nodes in multiple locations) as your needs grow. Which one is right for you?