A typical metering system is made up of several key components, each of which is critical to the integrity of the system: if any component fails then the entire system fails. To counter this each critical item must have its own backup solution.
Adding redundancy to an entire metering system introduces layers of complexity that challenge most traditional systems. Acquire™, on the other hand, uses the latest technology to provide a state of the art solution that is highly resilient at every level but still incredibly easy to implement and use.
Acquire deploys two live HMI servers that both receive up to the minute information from the flow computer. The user’s web browser selects one of the servers to use; it doesn’t matter which one is selected because each server has exactly the same view of the system.
If a server goes down while the user is connected to it, they are seamlessly transitioned to the other server. The only indication that this has occurred is an alarm stating that a server has gone offline. When the server comes back online it is automatically brought back up to date with the data that it missed while it was offline.
Setting up redundant Acquire servers is just as easy as setting up a single server. Once the Acquire has been configured on one of the servers, the configuration details are automatically sent to the other server. Any subsequent changes are also passed in a similar way ensuring that both servers remain in sync.
If a network fails the HMI will lose communication with the flow computers and the metering data. Acquire can communicate with the flow computers over two separate network connections and will seamlessly switch over to the second network if any part of the first network fails. The only indication to the user that this switchover has occurred is an alarm stating that a network component has failed.
The flow computers are the most important element as they carry the fiscal responsibility for the system. Introducing a pair of duty/standby flow computers ensures that the meter station can continue to operate even if a flow computer goes down. Acquire constantly monitors both the flow computers and automatically switches to the standby machine if the duty flow computer fails.
Acquire is multi-user straight out of the box, so multiple workstations can connect to the Acquire server at one time. If a workstation fails then the operator can simply switch to another workstation or start using the server itself.
The network between the operator’s workstation and the Acquire HMI is also a potential point of failure. Acquire enables workstations to connect using duplicate Ethernet connections on the operator network. The operator’s browser will automatically switch networks if one of the networks should go down.
Acquire provides a comprehensive solution that addresses each possible point of failure on the network to provide uninterrupted access to the metering system.
The measures detailed above provide maximum resilience to hardware failures; Acquire will continue to provide reliable access to the metering data even if multiple components fail.