WAGO Kontakttechnik GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) - WAGO presented a pioneering solution for the decentralized automation of process systems at the NAMUR Annual General Meeting: DIMA (Decentralized Intelligence for Modular Systems) aims to make system operators more flexible while reducing their automation costs.
At the 77th Annual General Meeting of NAMUR Nov. 6–7, automation specialist WAGO, in collaboration with Dresden University of Technology and Helmut Schmidt University of Hamburg, presented a revolutionary approach to automation process systems: “DIMA” — Decentralized Intelligence for Modular Systems.
DIMA was developed in response to NAMUR’s 2013 NE 148 recommendation that automation solutions for modular process systems clearly divide functions between module controls and higher-level control systems. This requirement stems from the need of process system operators to respond faster to changes driven by new customer requirements, markets or production conditions.
Intelligence for Every System Module:
In contrast to conventional and self-contained system architectures that have traditional visualization and procedure control, DIMA focuses on equipping the modules with their own intelligence. For this purpose, the system architecture is divided into two areas: the management level (“only” assumes complete process monitoring and procedure control) and the individual process modules (integrate an I/O level and their part of the automation). Cross-system functions, e.g., recipe management, are performed by a higher-level automation level while the automation within the modules handles all base functions.
Module Type Packages (MTP) describe the modules. The MTPs contain information on process control integration, the functions of operation and monitoring, as well as batch functions. The module supplier configures the module, the system operator uses the appropriate MTP in integration engineering and then configures the overall system. Communication between management level and module is service-oriented (SOA, Service Oriented Architecture).
“With DIMA, automation modules can be equipped with their own intelligence and, much like toy building blocks, are easily integrated into systems and flexibly replaced later,” explains Ulrich Hempen, Head of Market Management Industry & Process at WAGO Kontakttechnik GmbH & Co. KG. System operators will be much more flexible over the entire life cycle of a system and will benefit from lower automation costs. Hempen adds, “Modular process systems need solutions for automating individual modules that are significantly smaller than conventional self-contained system concepts within a large process control system.”