With the improvements in Automation Systems and Web Ser-vices, the Operator's / Dispatcher's Role has broadened. In addition to their historical duties, Operator's / Dispatcher's are now responsible for delivering validated real-time data to the Corporation in a timely manner. Therefore, it is necessary to look at the Operator's / Dispatcher's Organizational Position to see how it can be strengthened in a sustainable manner. As the Position becomes more complex and Operators / Dispatch-ers receive longer contiguous days away from their Post, the need for "refresher" Activities grows. This cultural change has increased the need for a more comprehensive refresher / train-ing environment. This paper discusses one approach to such a sustainable environment. Our approach is to create a Vendor Neutral Platform for Real-Time Data Integration that readily
Adopts new Vendor Independent, Standards Based Component Functionality thereby decreasing the time to implement new functionality.
Provides the Architecture to
Ensure Testing of new Component Functionality within an exact duplicate of the Live System - be-fore that Functionality is installed in the Live Sys-tem
Train, Certify, and re-Certify Pipeline Operations Personnel on a copy of the Live System - thereby ensuring proper operations.
Afford a full duplicate of the actual Control Room that serves as the Secondary Control Center in an emergency, the Training Center, and the Software and Hardware Testing Center.
Segregates Industrial Control Domain (ICD) Functional-ity from Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Func-tionality and provides the structure to continually en-hance both environments.
These concepts have become practical due to the evolving In-formation Acrhitecture and the fact that many pipelines now have fiber running standard high speed Ethernet connecting the Pump Stations, Tank Farms, Custody Transfer Points, Block Valve Shelters, Cathodic Protection Shelters, etc. This paper presents these concepts in terms of a system archi-tecture for a testing environment that integrates three SCADA Vendors and three major real-time component Vendors. The environment supports the legacy SCADA Vendors while pro-viding the means for "Best of Breed" Functionality to be inte-grated into 1) a single Microsoft SharePoint Portal Environ-ment and 2) into the Industrial Control Domain (ICD). Simu-lation was performed by a simple simulator that received the signals from each of the SCADA Systems via OPC DA and delivered the responses via OPC DA as though the responses were from field devices. In practice, the Testing Environment can be used as a Secon-dary Control/Training/System Testing Center. A copy of all the components within the MES Environment can be con-nected via simulated XML Messages and within the ICD can be connected via OPC DA to a Pipeline Simulator of the de-sired fidelity. In the Main Control Center, the live version of those same ICD components would be connected to live equipment via other OPC DA Servers. The MES functionality should also be duplicated within the Testing Environment.