ABB boosts oil and gas field communications

  • August 8, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

ABB is expanding its XIO series of remote input and output controllers to meet the digital connectivity needs of the oil and gas industry.

The extended series uses an Ethernet-to-serial passthrough application to provide real-time monitoring and control, improve data accessibility, and enhance data integrity. It extends site automation abilities, helping increase the efficiency of oil and gas operations.

The XIO-08, XIO-04 and XIO-00 each operate as an extension to ABB’s RMC remote module controller family, providing IO capacity and increasing overall wellhead operational efficiency. The series offers up to eight channels for users to choose the model that meets their site needs.

ABB flow computers and RTUs are used to monitor, measure and control many upstream oil and gas applications to ensure safe and efficient operations. This lets users monitor, measure and control flows from anywhere, anytime.

This XIO extension means site configuration requirements can be met whatever the size of the oil or gas field. The need for physical on-site presence is reduced due to the remote control and monitoring of IO points and serial devices, putting safety first and reducing costs. As well as extending ABB’s RMC capabilities, the XIO is compatible with a wide range of controllers across the market.

Equipment can be added without significant infrastructure modifications, allowing easy expansion of IO points and connection of serial devices. Up to 22 hot pluggable IO modules can be added or replaced without power interruption, reducing downtime.

The series has several connectivity options, networking features – up to four independent networks are supported – and the possibility to use wifi as a network or bridge with one of the Ethernet ports. Reliable and efficient data transfer is made easier by connecting the XIO to the RMC over Ethernet. Four Ethernet points allow for different network configurations. It also has control and measurement applications for specific needs in remote locations.

As an integration feature, the RMC discovers an XIO device on the network, learns its configuration, becoming a consumer of the XIO’s application data without the need to maintain a list of connected devices.

Increasing digitalisation in the oil and gas industry means reliable connectivity is required for successful operations. Wellheads often must achieve extended connectivity rapidly to meet expansion needs. XIO provides immediate connectivity expansion, enhancing production and reducing costs associated with traditional equipment upgrades. It integrates islands of automation and enables remote data connection for real-time analytics across the site and enterprise.

ABB’s process automation business automates, electrifies and digitalises industrial operations that address a wide range of essential needs, from supplying energy, water and materials, to producing goods and transporting them to market. It accounts for around 20,000 of the parent company’s 105,000 employees.