Published on December 17, 2007
INDUSTRIAL ETHERNET: INDUSTRIAL ETHERNET A COMMON COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL IN LONGWALL AUTOMATION David C. Reid The Landmark longwall automation project: The Landmark longwall automation project 3 year project sponsored by the Australian coal industry. $5M budget. Driven by major safety and production issues. Ambitious automation goal to remove personnel from the hazardous underground environment. www.longwallautomation.org What is longwall mining?: What is longwall mining? A process for fully extracting large portions of an underground coal seam. Comprises three major equipment components. Shearer Roof Supports Conveyor Longwall shearer: Longwall shearer 15m long, 90 tonne A roof support module: A roof support module 200 modules on a typical longwall. Each module supports 1000 tonne. Face conveyor: Face conveyor Provides track for shearer. Can convey 5M tonnes per annum. Scale of longwall mining: Scale of longwall mining Indicative figures per longwall $200M equipment capital cost. > 1000 tonne of machinery. Producing 4M tonne of coal per annum. 30 longwall mines in Australia. 80% of underground coal production. Why are we automating?: Why are we automating? Simple Production Safety The control strategy: The control strategy So what is so difficult?: So what is so difficult? Accurate measurement of the 3D path of the shearer. Harsh environment. Experimental work underground. Statutory regulations for coal mines. Collaboration between competing equipment manufacturers. What is so difficult?: What is so difficult? New enabling sensor technologyfor longwall automation: New enabling sensor technology for longwall automation Many previous longwall automation attempts failed for want of accurate 3D shearer position information. GPS not available underground. Inertial navigation has provided the missing key. Automation breakthrough with accurate 3D position information: Automation breakthrough with accurate 3D position information 3D visualisation for longwall operators: 3D visualisation for longwall operators Control system and network design criteria : Control system and network design criteria Interconnection and high level control of existing multi-vendor black-box automated equipment. Integration of new enabling technologies – eg inertial navigation. Open system approach – no additional proprietary black-boxes. Expandable for future enhancements. Control system and network design criteria : Control system and network design criteria Common interconnection standard across all multi-vendor equipment. Hardware availability and maintainability. Go for commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components. Take advantage of existing mine communications infrastructure. Leverage off mainstream technology development. No time or budget to reinvent the wheel. CIP: a network independent protocol: CIP: a network independent protocol Application Device Profiles Data Link Physical Network Transport CIP Advantages of CIP: Advantages of CIP An open standard managed by the ODVA involving over 200 leading control and automation companies worldwide. It is network independent so can take advantage of rapid advances in network technology. Tried and proven in DeviceNet and ControlNet. CIP is network independent: CIP is network independent Application Device Profiles Data Link Physical Network Transport CIP CIP common to DeviceNet: CIP common to DeviceNet Application Device Profiles Data Link Physical Network Transport CIP CIP common to ControlNet: CIP common to ControlNet Application Device Profiles Data Link Physical Network Transport CIP CIP common to EtherNet/IP: CIP common to EtherNet/IP Application Device Profiles Data Link Physical Network Transport CIP EtherNet/IP chosen for Landmark control: EtherNet/IP chosen for Landmark control EtherNet/IP was selected because CIP is an open and mature standard Ethernet standard is open and familiar. Ethernet hardware High performance Readily available Utilises existing mine site network infrastructure. EtherNet/IP chosen for Landmark control: EtherNet/IP chosen for Landmark control EtherNet/IP was selected because Benefit from rapid advances in Ethernet development Low cost hardware Spin-off technology such as wireless Widespread skills available Continuing Ethernet performance improvement driven by office/enterprise market. EtherNet/IP chosen for Landmark control: EtherNet/IP chosen for Landmark control EtherNet/IP was selected despite Limitations and undesirable aspects of Ethernet for industrial control Lack of determinism for real time control. Need for network segmentation to ensure network reliability Requirement for network configuration and ongoing administration. Implementation issues: Implementation issues Each of the major equipment manufacturers need to provide an EtherNet/IP interface to their systems. Helped by project being customer driven. Develop Landmark equipment standard including EIP device models. Develop software test suites for OEMs to verify their equipment. Provide Ethernet channel to system components in a very harsh environment. EtherNet/IP implementation: EtherNet/IP implementation None of the sensors or existing control systems had EtherNet/IP interfaces EIP had to be implemented on Imbedded proprietary hardware Industrial PCs running Linux MS Windows Kick started development using a light-weight platform-independent EIP stack from Real Time Automation Progress to date: Progress to date The now published Landmark standard for longwall mining equipment specifies EtherNet/IP as the interconnection standard for all components. Australian coal industry now specifying Landmark compliance in new equipment tender requests. Manufacturers are retrofitting EIP interfaces to existing equipment. Progress to date: Progress to date Underground demonstration of EIP based automation on a production longwall scheduled for 2003. The Landmark project attracts international interest as a case study in large scale industrial control Summary: Summary CSIRO is undertaking a major Landmark automation project which will revolutionise the longwall mining process. The Landmark control system integrates existing proprietary control systems and new enabling technologies. Summary: Summary EtherNet/IP provides the common industrial protocol for all Landmark compliant equipment. The Australian coal mining industry is making a major push forward in industrial automation and adoption of new enabling technology.