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Lots of information and best entertainment at the ETM User Day

More than seventy users and interested parties came together in Hamburg to exchange information about the process visualisation and control software PVSS. The latest developments, a look at the future of PVSS, and a presentation of implemented projects were the focal points of the User Day 2008.

ETM chose Hamburg, the “gateway to freedom”, as it is known, as the venue for very deliberate reasons: firstly because PVSS, being a manufacturer-independent and open control system, corresponds to the motto of the Hanseatic City; and secondly because a notable traffic control project was implemented for Hamburger Hochbahn. The tour of the new Hamburger Hochbahn control centre was therefore one of the highlights of this two-day event. The networked, multifunctional terminals in the section control centres and in the operations control centre run PVSS. ETM has been a business associate of Hamburger Hochbahn AG since 1998. PVSS is currently used to control the infrastructure facilities of the U1, U2 and U3 lines, in future it will also be used to monitor the new U4.

The guest lectures on numerous exciting applications showed how versatile and wide-ranging the possible applications of PVSS are.
Gasunie: by default, PVSS also copes with such large-scale projects as the widely-branching gas grid. The project, currently in preparation, not only supports the gas supplier in monitoring his gas lines but also manages supply. This ensures a reliable and nevertheless efficient distribution of resources, Jan Willem Kootstra assured.

Karl-Heinz Stichling from Baumüller impressively described how PVSS can be used in mechanical engineering: For example, PVSS makes well-tried printing machines fit for new demands. The open architecture of PVSS is an absolute pre-condition for this. Another totally different application for PVSS is the infrastructure environment of moving escalators and lifts. According to Steffen Hieber from Siemens, many renowned manufacturers take advantage of the JAVA capability. PVSS connects to these units via the Web, thus allowing operators to monitor, control and parameterise from and to their own control system.

Because PVSS is often used in traffic projects with great success – from sea locks to tunnels and airports – these applications were the focus on day two. For system integrator Osmo, a German plant engineering specialist for traffic projects, the open architecture of PVSS was the key factor. Because the city of Munich has gone the Linux route. Jürgen Kiewitt: “PVSS met all our requirements, and so we will be using it for controlling inflow and outflow of traffic in the Allianzarena area.” Bavaria has given the go-ahead for a new tool. PVSS video management is a brand new development that is now being deployed for the first time: Munich will be equipped with 1000 cameras (when completed) to ensure efficient traffic flow control.

Wolfgang Drechsler from Siemens reported on a particularly interesting, cutting-edge traffic project that implements on-board visualisation for the new RailJet train concept of the Austrian Federal Railways with the support of PVSS. This solution serves to visualise all specific train data, separated according to the user’s particular task. This ensures that information for guards, workshop, advertising and statistics is understood and used in all countries where the train travels. What is more, thanks to PVSS and its open architecture the project team was easily able to meet the requirement of using only train-suitable hardware.

PVSS is regarded as one of the most reliable and safest process control systems. Users such as the Swiss Air Safety Authority and Frankfurt’s Fraport airport appreciate this. In his success report, Joachim Auer from Skyguide describes how PVSS monitors and controls all infrastructure facilities for eight Swiss airports (including Zurich, Geneva and Bern) as a geographically distributed system. At Frankfurt airport, system integrator Cegelec has been using PVSS for four years under its “Viewstar ALS” product label to control and monitor airfield illumination. The great strengths of PVSS became clear here as the system was installed and commissioned during online operation. Moreover, PVSS met the great demands of TÜV regarding safety-relevant functions such as system failure, error detection behaviour, data communication, and software life-cycle.

A new area of application for PVSS is the field of “energy management”. Thanks to efficient system control, consumption peaks can be smoothed out, thus cutting energy costs, optimising energy purchase, and minimising energy consumption. Ulf Melsa from Siemens explained the advantage of an energy management system with the multifunctional tool Sentron PAC3200 using PVSS, that she said can be used as a stand-alone solution, integrated into the customer’s solution, or as a hybrid version.

ETM itself is already presenting users and interested parties several new features of PVSS version 3.8, that is set to launch in October: the building automation solution (BACnet), the new engineering tool, and the achievement of even higher safety standards thanks to SIL3 certification. The company also presented the next version of the AMS maintenance tools, the benefit of the PVSS partner programme, and current developments in oil and gas projects.

As the feedback showed, the participants were full of enthusiasm for the event. That was also evident during the side events, for example an impressive tour of the port, during which people continued to exchange information.

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