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Distributed System Architecture (DCS)


Plant Cruise provides a safe, robust, scalable, plant wide system with unprecedented connectivity through all levels of plant.

Basic Control System Topology:

The Plant Cruise system comprises of four major components as outlined below:
  • Supervisory platform: Non proprietary computing platform running on windows OS and serving on both servers and console stations. Console stations can serve both as engineering and operating station interfaces depending on the software loaded on each node.
  • C-300 Controller: C300 has a small hardware form factor that supports a scalable and modular architecture. It communicates with I/O modules and peer devices through the Fault Tolerant Ethernet (FTE) network.C300 communicates with IO modules with an IO LINK cable. The IO modules are mounted on an Input Output Termination Assembly (IOTA).
  • Series 8 I/O Modules: Series 8 I/O modules are connected to the C300 controller. These modules provide the terminals and processing power to accept input signals from transmitters, thermocouples etc and send output signals to valves, motors etc. A variety of I/O Modules are available for analog inputs/outputs and digital inputs/outputs. The Series 8 connect directly on the C300 Controller.
  • Integrated Controllers: The server integrates to a number of Honeywell loop controllers and recorders. This reduces engineering time by integrating the device configuration tools and/or diagnostic features with the Plant Cruise system.
  • Third party Controllers: Server can interface with third party controllers like Allen Bradley,PLC5,Master Logic and Modicon
  • Communication Platform:
    1. Honeywell’s Fault Tolerant Ethernet (FTE) based Plant information Network (PIN): Linking servers and clients for supervisory controls.
    2. Fault Tolerant Ethernet network provides communication link between the C300 controllers and the supervisory level as well as peer to peer communication between controllers and I/O.
    3. Safe Net: Provides safe communication link between Safety Manager Controllers on a separate network or by using FTE.

Distributed System Architecture

Distributed System Architecture is a unique feature of Plant Cruise. It enables multiple Plant Cruise server systems to share data, alarms, alerts, messages and history without the need for duplicate configuration on any server.

DSA is appropriate for:
  • Large-scale plant wide systems in which the servers are connected through a high speed LAN.
  • Geographically distributed systems in which the servers are connected through a WAN.DSA can be implemented with speeds as low as 64KBPS.

Each engineering Station Cluster is enabled to publish data in a DSA design. Order one of CV-XRESR1-DSA, Remote Server Enabler, software for an Engineering Station or redundant pair that needs to subscribe to data. This option allows systems up to five (5) clusters to be configured.

The Plant Cruise system generates notifications when it detects certain changes in the process or the control system.

The Plant Cruise system comprises of many different integrated hardware and software solutions depending upon the needs of the application. The pictured architecture is a representation of many of the possible nodes that can be used in the Plant Cruise architecture.
Plant Cruise by Experion software is optimized and simplified for the target market needs.
  • Plant Cruise by experion has a rich library of function blocks that makes application engineering simpler (pl. refer section 3.0 question number 4 of this document for details).

Peer Control Data Interface (PCDI):


This is a unique feature of Plant Cruise which lets the controller communicate with Safety Manager, PLCs and Analyzers that support the MODBUS TCP protocol including a serial MODBUS protocol through an off the shelf MODBUS TCP gateway device, over Fault Tolerant Ethernet(FTE) network. PCDI is available as a function block in the Control Builder. You can tailor your Peer Control Data Interface to meet your specific requirement.

Fault Tolerant Ethernet (FTE)-

Fault Tolerant Ethernet (FTE) is the control network of PlantCruise.FTE provides fault tolerance in the network, has quick response time, determinism and the security required for industrial control applications.

FTE is a single network topology with redundancy. This redundancy is achieved using Honeywell’s FTE driver and commercially available components. The driver and FTE enabled components allow network communication to occur over an alternate route when the primary route fails. Each FTE node is connected twice to a single LAN through the dual Network interface Card as shown in the following figure 5.The network also contains redundant switches and cables.