High Availability Process Safety Applications Enabled by Concurrent Connections

Technical Paper Abstract

In most process control and many manufacturing applications, control system failure resulting in unexpected shutdown can cause financial loss through wasted products and system restart can take an extended period of time. The ability to design fault-tolerant control systems for these applications is critical. This is even more important when the response to a safety-critical incident requires a highly controlled transition to a safe state, rather than the instant stop of moving equipment normally used in manufacturing applications. These applications rely on the control system being “highly available” even in the face of unexpected failures. Products can be designed to minimize failures, but not eliminate them. Systems can employ redundancy to remove the chance of a single failure rendering the control system inoperable. Both techniques help, but still have limitations. In the Spring 2023 publication of the CIP family of specifications, ODVA announced the addition of an important new technology, Concurrent Connections which enables flexible, zero switchover time, end-to-end redundancy solutions. This session provides a brief introduction to how availability is measured, documents some of the issues with current high availability solutions, and highlights how Concurrent Connections addresses them. It will also summarize the portions of the CIP specifications that were modified to add this new functionality.

Paper and presentation from the 2023 ODVA Industry Conference & 22nd Annual Meeting

Filip Zembok, Rockwell Automation
Gregory Majcher, Rockwell Automation
Darren Klug, Rockwell Automation