New version of one of the longest running DCS platforms

Yokogawa releases Centum VP R6.01 integrated production control system with major new features.

By Yokogawa November 24, 2014

Yokogawa Electric Corporation has announced development of its Centum VP R6.01, an enhanced version of the company’s flagship integrated production control system, with a scheduled release in February 2015. The company says R6.01 marks the first step in the development of an all-new Centum VP that will play a central role in Yokogawa’s VigilantPlant strategy for the industrial automation business.

Development background

Yokogawa points to requests from customers to provide a high degree of certainty and confidence to achieve timely production, and flexibility to make changes in product and material specifications. This enables manufacturers to effectively respond to intense global competition and major market shifts, and these requests have been the basis for improvements with this new release. The adaptive evolution of the new Centum VP focuses on addressing customers’ needs to keep up with the fast pace of change in the business landscape and technology while delivering maximum return on assets and the lowest total cost of ownership. This first R6-level release represents much more than conventional functional improvements, bringing together smart engineering, advanced operation, system agility, and sustainable plant concepts. With R6, plant operators can be assured of an optimum engineering environment that spans the entire plant lifecycle, from plant design and the engineering and installation of systems and devices to the start-up of production, maintenance, and renovation.

In addition, it is designed to meet the most stringent industry requirements for safe and reliable plant operations and environmental protection. R6.01 features an exciting expansion of Yokogawa’s lineup of I/O devices and introduces crucial new control system components. Combined with an intuitive engineering environment, it dramatically reduces the time required to configure and install a control system.

Yokogawa says it has added a group of strategic features to the new release:

1. N-IO (Network I/O): The new Centum VP field I/O device fulfills the functions of universal I/O and a signal conditioner, enabling configurable software and flexible I/O assignment. It has an I/O module that accommodates multiple I/O signal types, accepts up to 16 I/O points, and allows specification of an individual signal type for each point. Both analog and digital I/O signals can be handled solely through software settings. Pulse and relay I/O signals can be managed by using additional adaptors. With the N-IO, it is no longer necessary to replace the I/O module, reducing the amount of rewiring that must be done when changing sensor types and/or layouts during a plant revamp. This significantly reduces the amount of work that has to be performed by plant engineers and maintenance personnel.

In addition, Yokogawa has signed OEM agreements with Pepperl+Fuchs and MTL Instruments, under which Yokogawa will receive baseplates on a private-label basis. These will be used in combination with the company’s N-IO modules and intrinsic safety (IS) isolators procured from the two companies. Yokogawa believes both partners have solid track records in the development of interface products for use in hazardous areas, which will help ensure N-IO conforms to major IS regulations in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

2. FieldMate Validator: Upon installation of a field instrument and completion of all wiring, the wiring must be checked. Until now, such verification could only be conducted using the Centum operation/monitoring screen, which required engineers to wait for all field I/O devices to be installed and the entire system, including all operation/monitoring stations and system controllers, to be set up.

The new Centum VP R6.01 features the FieldMate Validator N-IO loop commissioning software, a tool to verify the wiring and relevant operations for any newly installed field instrument or field I/O device. When FieldMate establishes a connection with an N-IO device, the tool can check the wiring of all field instruments, based on the control loop I/O information in the control system’s application software, to verify that they operate correctly. There is no more need for the whole Centum system to be installed to do this, thus saving significant time and providing added versatility in project execution.

3. Automation Design Suite (AD Suite): AD Suite is an integrated platform that facilitates project execution, system integration, and site execution, bringing certainty and confidence through all project phases and the start-up, operation, maintenance, expansion/upgrade, and extension stages of the plant lifecycle. With advanced program templates for heat exchangers, filters, and other types of equipment commonly used in the field, AD Suite improves engineering efficiency and helps to ensure uniform quality. It is able to centrally manage the functional design documents that provide the basis for control system engineering, along with all the control program master data stored in the Centum database. This simplifies history management when programs are modified and makes certain that the latest design information is available when system expansion, modification, or maintenance is performed.

AD Suite generates a total engineering environment, with an entirely new database structure that feeds standardized and consistent engineering information, maintains engineering data integrity, eliminates inconsistencies between the design information and the actual system, manages change, and supports the automation lifecycle. It facilitates reuse of valuable engineering knowhow, eliminating duplicated work for subsequent projects saving time and reducing cost.

Ongoing development

Since release of the Centum integrated production control system in 1975, Yokogawa has continually strived to improve this platform by incorporating the latest technologies. In 2008, Yokogawa released Centum VP, the latest generation of this series. The company now claims a base of 25,000 systems delivered around the world.


– Edited by CFE Media. See more Control Engineering DCS and SCADA products.

Original content can be found at Oil and Gas Engineering.