GE Redundancy Technology Offers Quad Control

GE Intelligent Platforms has launched its Quad PAC redundant controller technology, offering a 'quad' redundancy-control solution said to virtually eliminate downtime risk. A quad redundancy-control system has four redundant controllers - a master controller and three synchronised backup controllers. It leverages Ethernet-based I/O that can arbitrate its I/O control from one of the four controllers. If the master controller or any of the system components fail, the system identifies the best backup controller to take over and provide the system with the most capability to withstand the next sequence of multiple or cascaded system failures.

The Quad PAC application consists of two redundant pairs of GE Intelligent Platforms' PACSystems RX7i controllers working in unison, for a total of four RX7i controllers and their associated items (racks, power supplies, etc.). The controllers are connected via redundant high-speed fibre-optic modules, which provide synchronised logic solving and data transfer between the controllers. Similar technology is used via network hubs to tie all four controllers into a cohesive quad-redundant solution. The Quad PAC I/O system involves GE Intelligent Platforms' PACSystems RX3i Remote I/O and redundant Ethernet LANs.

Each remote I/O rack supports redundant network interfaces and provides all four controllers with the system inputs and outputs in a fully arbitrated format. The remote I/O racks may be grouped into either a single (one I/O rack), redundant (two I/O racks), or triple redundant (three I/O racks) rack configuration, in which each I/O rack communicates independently with all four controllers, and each controller shares the same input and output point addresses from each I/O rack.

The Quad PAC solution features smart redundancy, an algorithm that continually calculates the relative system availability in real time and delivers predictive analysis on key process input variables to clearly identify the next master controller most capable of surviving a system failure, while maintaining maximum system availability.


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