This automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP) certification program. ISA CAP certification provides a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of an automation professional's skills. The CAP exam is focused on direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting. Click this link for more information about the CAP program.
A specification for a new facility indicates that the new system “must be capable of analyzing the multiple sources of data required to run the entire facility, as well as have the capability to provide collaboration between the visualization, alarm management, scheduling, reporting, and analysis functions.” The type of system that would best meet these requirements is:
a) an MES system utilizing a B2MML interface
b) a stand-alone HMI system
c) a process automation controller (PAC) with fieldbus I/O
d) an integrated building automation system
e) none of the above
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Answers A, B, and C are not correct, mainly because they describe systems that are dedicated to a specific function, each of which may play a role in an integrated building automation system. An MES with B2MML interface (ISA95) can provide scheduling and analysis support, but it cannot address the basic control requirements of visualization and alarming. A stand-alone HMI can address only visualization and alarming, while a PAC with fieldbus I/O is limited to device control and logic execution.
The correct answer is D, “an integrated building automation system.” A well-designed, integrated building automation system seamlessly integrates lighting, elevators, boilers, chillers, fire protection, generators, access control, and HVAC control systems, which may all be communicating over different networks and using different protocols (BACnet, Modbus, LonWorks, OPC, etc.)
Reference: Nicholas Sands, P.E., CAP and Ian Verhappen, P.Eng., CAP., A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge. To read a brief Q&A with the authors, plus download a free 116-page excerpt from the book, click this link.