Interoperability test demonstrates significant communication efficiencies for topside systems
MDIS members have completed the second successful Interoperability (IOP) test to streamline Master Control Station and Distributed Control System (MDIS) communications on topside systems, in preparation for launching a new industry standard. With current systems it can take hours, if not days, to establish communications and begin testing the interface before approving the MCS-DCS equipment for offshore installation. The recent IOP test saw MCS and DCS vendors switching between one another, establishing communication and beginning to test across the MCS-DCS interface in a matter of minutes.
In September 2016, MDIS members completed the second successful IOP test, validating the work completed by the network so far. Hosted by OTM in Houston, Texas, USA, the IOP test represents true industry collaboration, with all members working together towards a common goal.
MDIS was established in 2010 to develop a standard interface and communication protocol to streamline Master Control Station and Distributed Control System communications on topside systems. As subsea developments become more complex and costly, creating a standard that helps minimise system testing, reduces development time and risk, and facilitates project changes is a very attractive proposition for operators. The MDIS Network comprising operators, DCS vendors and subsea vendors, proved it is getting close to achieving this vision with the successful IOP test in Houston.
This is the second IOP test which OTM has hosted for the MDIS network in the past two years. This test built on the results of the previous IOP test to validate the, now almost complete, MDIS standard. The standard has been written by members over the past three years and establishes how vendors should implement MCS to DCS communications. By implementing the MDIS standard, operators will benefit from simplified implementation and testing of the MCS-DCS interface, a single common interface to all subsea vendors' equipment and reduced risk of interface failures. The potential to achieve this valuable benefit was demonstrated by the IOP test which saw MCS and DCS vendors switching between one another, establishing communication and beginning to test across the MCS-DCS interface in a matter of minutes. With current systems it can take hours if not days to establish communications and begin testing the interface before approving the MCS-DCS equipment for offshore installation.
The MDIS standard is being implemented using OPC UA as the protocol for transferring information across the interface. Members chose OPC UA in a collaborative testing process back in 2013. OPC UA allows the creation of standard, defined common subsea working objects. These are incorporated into the MDIS information model which is largely completed and was shown to be valid in the IOP test. The MDIS standard will be released later this year via the OPC Foundation, the global organisation which produces, stores and maintains industrial standards based on OPC UA.
Once the initial version of the standard is released, OTM will continue to host subsequent meetings of the MDIS network. In 2017 and beyond, MDIS members will focus on updates and improvements to the standard based on user feedback and the facilitation of further testing, including automated and remote testing.
MDIS is the latest example of OTM promoting and facilitating industry collaboration. OTM also runs the Subsea Instrumentation Interface Standardisation Joint Industry Project (SIIS JIP). SIIS was established in 2003 with a remit to create an open standard for the benefit of the oil and gas industry as a whole. SIIS has recently finished producing a standard and a Recommended Practice (RP) which define three instrument interface protocols for communication between subsea control modules and subsea sensors: Level 1: Analogue Devices [4-20mA], Level 2: Digital Serial Device (CANopen) and Level 3: Ethernet TCP/ IP Devices. To demonstrate interoperability and validate the output of the JIP, OTM hosted interface trials between equipment from different suppliers (PlugFests), similar to the MDIS IOP test. SIIS member companies hosted the first two Plugfests and OTM hosted the final one (for Level 3) at its own facility in Cambridge in April 2016.
Following the recent success of both the MDIS and SIIS JIPs, OTM believes there is great value in industry collaboration to achieve industry-wide efficiencies, cost reduction and guarantee the security of the industry for years to come. OTM currently runs and hosts 16 JIPs and industry networks ranging across diverse industry topics from geopressure management to produced water. For more information please see www.otmconsulting.com/service/industry-networks
Established in 2010, the MCS-DCS Interface Standardization (MDIS) network aims to streamline the Master Control System (MCS) and Distributed Control System (DCS) communications on topside systems by developing a standard interface, including a standard communication protocol. Standardisation of the interface simplifies implementation of data communication links, whilst increasing data quality. Using the network group as a collaborative resource to the industry, it is able to facilitate information exchange in furthering development of the standard MCS-DCS interface.
MDIS has 23 member companies consisting of subsea (MCS) vendors, DCS vendors, automation suppliers and operators.
Subsea Instrumentation Interface Standardisation (SIIS) is a Joint Industry Project (JIP) that aims to achieve improvements in subsea reliability by standardising the interface between subsea sensors and the subsea control system. SIIS is committed to working towards an open standard for the benefit of industry as a whole.
SIIS has 28 member companies consisting of controls system suppliers, instrument suppliers and operators.