The Potential of Modular Automation and Open Process Automation (OPA) Solutions

The Potential of Modular Automation and Open Process Automation (OPA) Solutions

05 Sep 2018, 13:45 - 15:15

Gordon A

Session Title: The Potential of Modular Automation and Open Process Automation (OPA) Solutions for Lower Cost CAPEX Projects Helping Also To Maintain Flexibility and Productivity during the Full Life Cycle

Chair: Joerg Schubert, Technology Manager, Oil & Gas and Petrochemical Business Unit, ABB

1345-1410: Best in Breed Automation Components for Profitable Production during the Entire Life Cycle of a Plant

Brandon Williams, CEO and Co-Founder, OPAF Open Automation Forum

1410-1435: Modularisation Risk Reduction through Standardisation

Simon McEntee, EMEA O&G Lead, Rockwell Automation 

Abstract: Integrating packages on modular projects is complicated and time consuming during commissioning. Issues are communication protocols / media, graphics data mapping, network security, safety interlocks and alarming, due to the variants of package vendors with multiple specifications. This extract addresses the risk reduction of schedule / cost overruns by applying standardisation across the package level.


Traditional Greenfield Oil & Gas Automation projects are typically a small proportion of the overall project spend (on average 3 to 5%). The execution model is normally that the automation is bid as part of a package after the high value, globally resourced long delivery infrastructure elements. This usually results in a proprietary DCS and OPC gateways to specialist packaged vendors. Integrating these packages can be complicated. Giving issues with communication protocols / media, data mapping for graphics, network security, safety interlocks and alarming. This approach pre-determines and therefore compromises the design and potential benefits that the automation package can provide. Such as compatibility of technology, operability functionality and potential misdirection in the management of the package vendors within loose specifications. Through standardization of controllers and software throughout the entire system architecture we can benefit from a common network protocol, common alarm strategy and common HMI security and visualisation from field to cloud level the ring-fenced project schedule and costs can be vastly improved. Furthermore upon project completion, the operability and maintenance of the plant continues to benefit from a seamless operability perspective and reducing running costs through lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) due to added reliability, common maintenance application codes and open licensing for future expansion / modification. Effectively futureproofing the asset in a digital age.

1435-1500: Digital Twins Transform Work

Stanley DeVries, Senior Director Digital Transformation Consulting, AVEVA


The Digital Twin is an enabler for Digital Transformation, which is a change in how people work. The Digital Twin helps control room workers and field workers to perform tasks better – safer, more accurately. The Digital Twin must be maintained, otherwise it can’t be trusted, and there is technology to make this maintenance practical.

1500-1515: Discussion with the presenters / Q&A


  • Brandon Williams


    CEO and Co-Founder

    OPAF Open Automation Forum

    Brandon’s career spans industries from software and banking, to telecom infrastructure development and nuclear engineering. He is the Founder of...

  • Simon McEntee


    EMEA O&G Lead

    Rockwell Automation

    Simon began his career at Rockwell Automation in 2009 as Regional Sales Manager. He quickly developed key accounts across North & East Europe for the...

  • Stan DeVries


    Senior Director Digital Transformation Consulting


    In his current position as Senior Director, Digital Transformation Consulting at Aveva, Stan DeVries is responsible for advising on work enhancements...

  • Joerg Schubert


    Technology Manager

    ABB’s Oil & Gas and Petrochemical business unit

    Joerg Schubert is the Technology Manager of ABB’s Oil & Gas and Petrochemical business unit. He has 20+ years experiences in process automation and...

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