Yokogawa to establish Open Process Automation Test Bed for ExxonMobil

The ExxonMobil OPA Test Bed will leverage the existing OPA development work and technological expertise of Yokogawa's US Technology Center

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. (Image courtesy: Yokogawa Electric Corporation)
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. (Image courtesy: Yokogawa Electric Corporation)

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announced that it has been 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. Yokogawa's development office for the Test Bed will be located near ExxonMobil's Houston Campus in Spring, Texas, and the initial stage is planned to 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 organisations who are working together to develop the specifications for utilising 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 US Technology Center. To house the Test Bed and facilitate the objectives of this 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. ExxonMobil will also encourage their collaboration partners to utilise the Test Bed to evaluate additional components that will be used in their independent field trials.

"We are looking forward to working with Yokogawa to stand up and operate the Test Bed for ExxonMobil and our collaboration partners," stated Brad Houk, project manager for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.

"This is an important milestone in the use of OPAF's standards to create an industrial control system. ExxonMobil's key criteria for system integrator selection included a demonstrated understanding of the technical requirements to create an OPA system from heterogeneous components and the ability to function as an agnostic broker of components from all suppliers."

Tsuyoshi Abe, a Yokogawa senior vice president and head of the company's Marketing Headquarters, commented: "Yokogawa is proactively participating in open architecture initiatives such as Open Process Automation with industry players globally. We are honoured to be selected for this key project, and are looking forward to working with ExxonMobil, its collaboration partners and the industry at the Test Bed facility to accelerate creation of an OPA ecosystem."

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