Older hardware and modern software often do not speak the same language, which makes it impossible for legacy field devices connected via serial links to communicate directly with the OpenTAS terminal management system. This usually requires an additional computer that converts the loading hardware’s legacy signals for the OpenTAS software. The TCP-X-Unit is a new, compact solution from Implico which considerably simplifies the previously required hardware environment.
The complete solution is a suite comprising the powerful Matrix-504 microcomputer and suitable software developed by Implico especially for OpenTAS connectivity. Except for this pocket-sized computer, no further hardware is required for the connection. The TCP-X-Unit converts the field device’s RS-232 signal into a TCP/IP signal and transmits it to the OpenTAS automation processes via Ethernet protocol.
The TCP-X-Unit is significantly more powerful than its predecessor. “The computer has three ports instead of just one and can therefore control up to three peripheral devices simultaneously,” said Frank Petersen, Head of OpenTAS Automation at Implico. This reduces the need for control hardware, simplifying the IT landscape and lowering total cost of ownership. “The box’s modern processor is also able to handle more data in a given time than the predecessor model,” added Frank Petersen.
Remote access for maintenance, updates and configuration
Since the TCP-X-Unit is equipped with a web service for remote access, the solution also represents yet another step toward the Internet of Things. The web service makes it possible to manage, configure, update or start the microcomputer remotely via a web browser. “The solution’s set of useful features includes data throughput remote monitoring and the ability to display the most recently sent and received information,” said Frank Petersen.
Should a TCP-X-Unit fail, it can easily be replaced by a low-cost backup device. Local staff does not require any specific IT knowledge to replace the box. After replacing, the preconfigured backup device is set to the failed unit’s IP address and restarted. The unit then automatically receives all the required settings and protocol information from OpenTAS and is available for use immediately. This minimizes downtime and ensures a continuous and stable loading process.
The Implico Group optimizes logistics and business processes for oil and gas downstream companies. The international consulting and software company with its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, has subsidiaries in Malaysia, Romania and the USA. Founded in 1983, the company today employs around 200 staff.
Implico provides consulting services, data services and software solutions for the entire supply chain – from forecasting, order entry, dispatching and tour optimization to data collation and invoicing. Leading oil and gas companies all over the world trust in Implico’s industry expertise and high-performance IT solutions including OpenTAS and iGOS. OpenTAS automates the storage and transportation of hydrocarbons for refineries, tank farms, and service station networks. iGOS (Implico Global Operation Services) offers innovative downstream solutions out of the Cloud.
Additionally, Implico offers unique consulting expertise surrounding the SAP Secondary Distribution Management for Oil & Gas (SAP SDM) and SAP Retail Fuel Network Operations (SAP RFNO) downstream solutions. SAP SDM steers and optimizes the complete order-to-cash process. SAP RFNO automates all payment and quantity flows of service station networks.
Implico is a Microsoft Gold Partner, a Software Development Partner of SAP and a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork. The company has been recognized for its products and services on numerous occasions. It was named, for example, Oil & Gas Logistics Company of the Year in 2015 and Best Oil & Gas Software Specialists in 2017. In the field of Terminal Automation Systems, Implico is market leader in Europe, Middle East and Africa (ARC market study, July 2016).
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