ArchitecturesThe fully open architecture of eXLerate allow for highly integrated Depot & Terminal Automation systems. Combinations can be made with batching, tank gauging, and SCADA solutions in one single application.
The vertical integration architecture of such a complete solution can be visualized as in the illustration below:
At the top end, a company's ERP system is the high end interface with the Depot & Terminal Automation solution, and exchanges client driven order processing data with the eXLerate system.
At this level, various supervisory computers are the backbone of the Depot & Terminal Automation application, of which one or more computers are connected to the batch controllers, PLC's, flow computers and optionally directly connected to field devices, for example utilizing the HART® protocol.
The connection between these layers is based on Ethernet or serial (RS232/RS485) interfaces.
Field equipment such as tank gauges, pressure transmitters and temperature transmitters are connected to the controller layer via either 4-20mA signal loops, utilizing the HART or other fieldbus protocols.
The eXLerate software solution is completely independent of hardware suppliers. It provides built-in communication facilities to interface with intelligent sub-systems and field devices:
- Batch controllers.
- Tank level, tank temperature gauges.
- Flow computers, volume correctors.
- PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) systems.
- DCS (Distributed Control Systems).
- GIS (Geographical Information Systems).
- GPS (satellite receivers for centralized time synchronization).
- Fire & Gas systems.
Although eXLerate fully supports OPC and Modbus, which are the de-facto communication protocols used in the process industry and which allow it to interface to virtually any device, it provides sophisticated communications at a higher level to specific flow computers and batch controllers, which brings integration and automation to an even higher level.
For example, for Omni flow computers eXLerate is able to directly read out historical reports from the flow computers, which are archived and can be reprinted at any time.
A sophisticated mechanism make sure that the central report archive is synchronized with all the flow computers at all times even when the eXLerate system has been offline for a long period of time.
For the IBS batch controller a direct interface is also available, for parameter setup and batch preset quantities, as well as operational control during the loading process.
The open architecture of Microsoft Excel and eXLerate allows for many further software extensions and full integration not often seen in the market.
For example, when in a metering system additional calculations are required for a specific application, such additional calculations may be fully integrated in the metering system.
Numerous standards are available for this purpose:
ActiveX control (.OCX) technology, .XLL add-in library format, ActiveX extensions .DLL format, ODBC or OLE DB database standards, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros, or Excel .XLA add-in modules.
Although not needed in eXLerate, even the older Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) format is still supported by Excel.
Documents can be exported in numerous formats, for example: XLS (Excel workbook), CSV (Comma Separated Values), XML (extended markup language), plain text, RTF (rich text format) and DBF (Database format).
Since all data in Excel is represented in 64-bit IEEE double precision floating point format, maximum accuracy is standard available throughout the entire Depot and Terminal Automation application.
Various calculation add-in libraries and off-the-shelf applications for the gas and liquid industry are commercially available for full software integration in the familiar Microsoft Office environment.
This architecture with all its features makes eXLerate an extremely powerful tool for serious processing of real-time data in the field of Depot and Terminal