The way in which process and power systems are managed has long been costly and complex but by integrating both systems the economic benefits could reach millions of pounds.

Current systems that serve process automation and power automation within the same plant are usually separated by architectural standards, a lack of common communication and differences between company departments. Recent developments in this field mean that by integrating process automation and power automation into the same plant control system millions of pounds could be saved either through increased production or reduced operating costs.

Taking an integrated approach to automation systems allows a single overall strategy in the areas of operations, engineering and maintenance. This system, known as IEC 61850, is considered the global communication standard in substation automation and represents a massive development in simplifying the integration of protection and control IEDs.

Traditionally intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) are coupled by hard-wiring or serial interfaces and due to the extensive cabling needed and number of available protocols the cost-efficiency and bandwidth of this approach is limited. When using these complex setups it can often result in solutions being implemented on a specific project or device basis. This multiple system setup also requires a number of databases, additional engineering tools, operator systems and further system administration and maintenance.

Integration of process and power systems combines cutting-edge manufacturing technologies with IT-led solutions to provide significant benefits and setting new global standards in substation automation.

MGA Controls Ltd has expertise in designing and implementing such systems. We have over 20 years’ experience in engineering, consultancy and solution design and have successfully designed and engineered customised solutions for many end-user and OEM applications. Using state of the art technology from manufacturers such as Endress & Hauser and Emerson, our integrated systems are bespoke, fit for purpose and 100% compatible with your existing controls and instrumentation.

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