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Case studies



APMS, the Advanced Plant Management System, is a supervisory real-time control system widely used in the electrical power generation industry.

In 1993 RWE Npower plc, one of the largest power generators in the United Kingdom, and at that time known as National Power, gave consideration to the refurbishment of the diverse control systems at their numerous power stations in the United Kingdom.

RWE Npower recognised their upgrade strategy had to permit them to interface to the most advanced control systems currently available on the market, while retaining the ability to address older legacy systems. Such flexibility would allow a planned phasing-out of the older systems. After finalising their requirements RWE Npower commissioned Thales, a large international company with extensive experience in process control, to develop APMS.

Since 1995, when the first system was installed at West Burton Power Station, APMS has been chosen by some of the world's largest power generators, and there are now over sixty APMS systems installed on thirty-one units in various power stations in the United Kingdom.

APMS consists of several hundred tasks running under an RTAP environment; RTAP, the Real-Time Application Platform, is a real-time software package originally developed by Hewlett-Packard, and now available from Industrial Defender.

APMS utilises many of the facilities of RTAP, such as real-time scheduling and alarm processing, and augments them with modules from OpenPMS, a generic distributed control system produced by Thales.

APMS and RTAP are designed to run on a number of platforms, including Tru64 Unix on Hewlett-Packard Alphaservers; HP-UX on Hewlett-Packard RP/RX Class Itanium 2-based servers; Solaris on Sun Microsystems, and Red-Hat Linux on many commercially available PCs.

The following pages provide an introduction to the facilities available in APMS, and who to contact if you need any more information.