Integrated Control Systems

What are integrated control systems?

An Integrated Control and Safety System (ICSS) is a technology platform that combines elements of process control and functional safety into a single architecture. Our systems may include elements from multiple or single vendors and can incorporate existing systems or implement completely new architecture.

Integrated control and safety systems combine the functionality of both control and safety systems, which iti can also provide separately.

Safety Systems

Our safety systems minimise risk by providing accurate and reliable information required to take preventative action, giving sufficient time to shut off systems or evacuate areas prior to an emergency. Our safety solutions include:

  • Emergency shutdown systems (ESD)
  • Fire and gas (F&G) detection and control systems
  • Very early warning aspirating smoke detection system (VESDA)
  • High integrity pressure protection systems (HIPPS)
  • Triple modular redundant systems
  • Rotating equipment safety and control
  • 61508 design compliance
  • SIL calculation and conformity
  • Fire and gas mapping and philosophy
  • SIRA and CASS accredited, our TUV Certified engineers ensure best engineering practice in accordance with IEC 61508.

Control Systems

We utilise a range of systems to control outputs that are essential to the safe and reliable operation of our client’s assets. From our engineering and manufacturing facility, our experienced engineers build a wide range of bespoke control systems including:

  • Process control systems (PCS)
  • Distributed controls systems (DCS)
  • PLC/SCADA systems
  • Pipeline integrity monitoring and management systems
  • Rotating equipment controls

There are five factors involved in integrating different control systems:

  1. Software infrastructure
  2. Process databases
  3. Operator interface
  4. Alarm management
  5. Network security.

Each has a vital role to play. Here is an in-depth look at each one:

A modern automation system needs more than just configuration and monitoring functions. Applications also must be integrated, which is why software infrastructure is important for system integration. In an open software architecture employing a client-server scheme, the client application displays data from a server application.

Developed by the OPC Foundation, the OLE for process control-unified architecture (OPC-UA) technology is designed to provide simpler browsing and real-time and historical data exchange. OPC-UA provides integrators more flexibility to integrate different systems in a desired configuration instead of being locked into a specific setup by proprietary technology. The standard’s focus is interoperability and is designed to connect many devices to create a bridge from legacy products to new devices.

Database components primarily include three main components: one or more tables for the data, a query language (e.g., SQL), and forms for displaying or entering data. Additional components include customized page views of data and reporting tools. Moreover, a relational database is a collection of data items. These data items are organized as a set of formally described tables from which data can be accessed in many ways without the need to reorganize the database tables.

A database management system (DBMS) collects interrelated files and programs, which allow users to access and modify files. This is an efficient way to modify, store, and retrieve information. A query language such as SQL is used to interact with DBMS.

The human-machine interface (HMI) allows operators to monitor the state of a control process and issue commands to change the control objective. In emergency situations, it can also be used to manually override automatic controls. The primary aspects of HMI configuration are graphics, historical trend, alarms, reports, and scripts. These capabilities may either be merged into a single software application or made available as individual components in a suite.

Alarms mark the boundary between normal and abnormal conditions in the process and serve as the primary means of alerting operators of abnormal situations in their facilities. Plant operation requires alarms to be prioritized, relevant, and timely to be effective. Alarm management is critical when integrating different control systems and so alarm systems need to be designed to help identify critical issues.

Integrated control and safety systems (ICSS) operate within a complex environment with organizations increasingly sharing information between business systems and industrial systems. In addition to this, industrial systems, which include process control systems, safety systems, and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) have relied on commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies such as Ethernet, TCP/IP and Microsoft Windows for critical and noncritical functions. However, the isolation from the outside world is significantly less. In fact, in an event of security breach, the potential loss of life or production, environmental damage, and compromise to operational safety are far more serious consequences than loss of trade secrets.