Yokogawa Releases Enhanced Version of STARDOM FCN-RTU Low-power Autonomous Controller

February 28, 2014

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announced the release of an enhanced version of the FCN-RTU* low-power autonomous controller for the STARDOM™ network-based control system on February 26. This new version of the FCN-RTU has been developed to meet the requirements of our customers in the high-growth upstream oil & gas industries.

*RTU: remote terminal unit

STARDOM is an open network control system consisting of components with control, operation, and monitoring functionality, and is highly acclaimed as it combines the reliability of a DCS and the versatility and economy of a PLC. The autonomous controllers at the core of STARDOM have the same control and monitoring functions found in a PLC as well as the information distribution functions of a PC. They are widely used as intelligent remote terminal units (RTU) in distributed applications such as natural gas and oil wells. When used in combination, the FCN/FCJ autonomous controllers and FAST/TOOLS SCADA software give increased flexibility in distributed applications.

Development Background
Until recently, gas wells were drilled at multiple sites spread out over a wide area, and each individual well head had its own controller for monitoring and control. With the advent of unconventional horizontal gas drilling techniques, multiple wells can now be drilled from a single well pad, enabling a reduction in the number of controllers needed to monitor and control the well heads. For such applications, the controllers need to be able to handle more input/output (I/O) signals. Also, as wells are often drilled in remote locations where temperatures can be extreme, these controllers must be ruggedly built to withstand those conditions.

Product Features
1.    Increased number of I/O modules
The enhanced FCN-RTU can now accommodate eight (8) I/O modules, up from the previous three, and can thus handle up to 256 input/output signals. This is well within the requirements of the latest unconventional natural gas well monitoring and control applications.
2.    Improved environmental resistance
An additional 10 STARDOM FCN-RTU I/O modules are now rated for use in temperatures ranging from −20°C to +70°C. These enhanced components are thus well suited for use in the very cold or hot weather conditions that can be encountered at natural gas drilling sites.
3.    Support for 64-bit Windows

ASTMAC VDS, the STARDOM supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) package, as well as all related software, now supports the 64-bit version of Windows 7. All engineering, monitoring, and control functions can be performed on computers running 64-bit Windows 7.

Major Target Markets
•    Widely distributed facilities such as those used in oil and gas well and water and wastewater applications
•    Small- to medium-size process plants in oil, chemicals, iron and steel, nonferrous metals, pulp and paper, food, pharmaceuticals, and other industries
•    Small- to medium-size power generation facilities such as wind turbines, steam turbines, and hydropower generation facilities

Applications
Monitoring, operation, control, data collection, and data storage in small-to medium-size manufacturing facilities, etc.

Source: Yokogawa