Automation & IT / Control Systems

Yokogawa Will Establish ExxonMobil’s OPA Test Bed

By Chemical Processing Staff

Jul 10, 2019

Yokogawa Electric Corporation is selected by ExxonMobil to be the open process automation (OPA) system integrator responsible for establishing the company’s OPA test bed. Development work and experiments conducted on the test bed will support ExxonMobil’s effort to move towards a standards-based, open, secure and interoperable process control architecture. ExxonMobil will use the test bed to evaluate candidate components and standards and provide the basis for moving OPA technology into initial industrial field trials, according to Yokogawa. Yokogawa’s development office for the test bed will be located near ExxonMobil’s Houston campus in Spring, Texas, and the initial stage should be operational in Q4 2019.

ExxonMobil and Yokogawa are members of The Open Group Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF), an international forum of end users, system integrators, suppliers, academia and standards organizations working together to develop the specifications for utilizing OPA technology in next generation process control systems. An OPA-based control system is designed to support integration of best-in-class components and provide both configuration and application portability across components from different suppliers.

The ExxonMobil OPA test bed will leverage the existing OPA development work and technological expertise of Yokogawa’s U.S. technology center. To house the test bed and facilitate the objectives of the collaborative project, Yokogawa will open an office near Spring, Texas. ExxonMobil intends to share the results of systems tests using the test bed with their collaboration partners and OPAF, according to Yokogawa. ExxonMobil will also encourage their collaboration partners to utilize the test bed to evaluate additional components that will be used in their independent field trials.

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