Libpf.com staff will attend on June 6th to 9th 2010 ESCAPE 20, (the 20th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering) in Ischia, Naples (Italy) and present the paper "Process simulation as a domain-specific OPC Unified Architecture information model".
Currently one of the key challenges for the process industries is to react quickly to market changes; also the process automation and information technology infrastructure should follow seamlessly these changes without requiring frequent reconfiguration or manual adaptation of custom interfaces.
This driver for flexibility also applies to the model-based applications in use in the chemical, petrochemical and polymer industries: soft-sensors, inferential, reconciliation, model predictive control and operator training systems. It is widely recognized that a Service-Oriented Architecture can match these requirements; in particular the recently released OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) specification provides a service-oriented architecture for interoperability in industrial automation.
In this work the prototype implementation of a simple process model as an OPC UA Server is presented; the model is a first-principle soft sensor that calculates a few useful physical properties from the composition of a process stream measured for example by a process gas-chromatographic.
The prototype demonstrates that an OPC UA soft sensor can be self contained, performant, transparent and easy to configure. Furthermore OPC UA is a very general technology that can be used to interface process models with other software components and implement distributed simulation systems; in this sense it challenges the existing interoperability standard CAPE-OPEN.