Posted: 01 Sep 2011

Until recently, Atmos SIM functionality has been pretty much exclusively focussed on the hydraulic simulation of pipelines, meaning that a lot of the control and logic required for Operator Trainer projects had to be implemented externally to Atmos SIM, and was often project-specific. This logic included PID control, sequences of valve movements for operations such as pig launching, and simulation of instrumentation failure conditions.

Now control logic is implemented directly in SIM using "control blocks". There is a PID control block that can be used to simulate real-life behavior when a pump or compressor set point is changed, and simpler control blocks that can be combined to implement sequencing logic. The control blocks are configured graphically in Atmos SIM, and the outputs from the resulting diagrams are used to control pumps, compressors and regulators.

In addition to control blocks, now Atmos SIM also has a full built-in data manager. That allows us to simulate instrumentation failure directly in Atmos SIM by setting OPC tags. The advantage is not only in removing the need for a separate Data Manager but it also vastly simplifies the way operator training scenarios are created and saved because the state of any extra tags required is managed by Atmos SIM.

These changes are not only about allowing us to provide training solutions more effectively, but they should also make it possible to use the actual SCADA software in training sessions, and thus provide a much greater degree of realism.