By Gregory Hale
Invensys released its next-generation process automation system called Foxboro Evo, which is integrating safety into the control system.

The system has advanced tools and applications and a cyber secure hardware platform, and it integrates the company’s Triconex safety system.

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“This new system can help eliminate barriers to success,” said Gary Freburger, president of Invensys’ systems business during his keynote address at the Foxboro & Triconex Global Client Conference ’13 in San Antonio, TX. “This changes every function within the operation. It can reduce risk, reduce costs and reduce time.”

The Foxboro Evo process automation system comes from Foxboro I/A Series and Triconex technology. The one thing everyone at the conference went to great lengths to say is this system is, and will be, compatible with existing Foxboro systems already out there. So, when they need to, legacy systems can migrate up to the Evo system in step-change fashion.

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This new system comes out with the global automation environment continuing to evolve into a cohesive unit with the enterprise.

“We have seen complexity increase with collaboration all over the world, and we think that will intensify,” Freburger said. “We know we have a changing workforce with young engineers coming in and older ones leaving and this system will allow workers to have to opportunity to make decisions quickly.”

The Foxboro Evo system includes a high-speed controller, field device management tools, a maintenance response center, an enterprise historian, 1-n redundancy and cyber security hardening.

One of the benefits Invensys is touting is safety and security workers should gain from the integrating control and safety, which enables sharing of operational information while keeping the safety system functionally isolated. The other bonus was talk about the levels of security that go into place before any product hits the users’ hands.

“We recognize (users) have a set of challenges and one of them is a more formal way to report safety issues. We are committed to make safety more visible,” Freburger said.

But in the end, since users do not jump from system to system easily. It takes years if not decades to make changes. That is why Freburger said this is one way to future proof the investment in a system.
“We will always make sure there is a path to the new technology,” he said. “We will never leave anyone behind.”

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