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A maxDNA distributed control system

Remote Processing Units (RPU) consisting of Distributed Processing
Units (DPUs) and I/O Modules, which provide control and data acquisition
maxSTATIONs providing the human interface with the system
maxNET, a redundant Ethernet network, which interconnects maxSTATIONs and

A maxSTATION may be set up as an:

Operators Workstation
Engineers Workstation
Dedicated Function
The Operators Workstation uses maxVUE graphical interface software to
provide a graphical view of the process. The software uses both standard and
custom displays
The Engineers Workstation is used for creating and maintaining configurations and
process control documentation using the maxDPUTools configuration management
software. It is also used to create and maintain
custom graphic displays using the maxVUE graphics editor software.
maxSTATIONs may be dedicated to a primary application or function. For instance,
maxSTATIONs may be set up to collect and manage process and system alarms,
process and event history, archive history, or log history reports, using various
maxDNA applications.
In network domains, maxSTATIONs may also be configured as proxy
To better manage maxSTATION processing loads and to reduce network
Individual maxSTATIONs could be configured for the following specific functions:

Event collection
Event logging
History reports
History collection (maxSTORIAN)
Communications (maxLINKS)
Proxy server
OPC server
Quick Log server
Remote SBP

maxDNA uses a client/server architecture

Providers supply data to clients using the Software Backplane distributed
communications infrastructure software
The maxDPU (DPU4E, DPU4F) is a primary data provider for system clients.
The maxDPU, acting as a server, collects information, stores it, and
ultimately transfers the information to the appropriate maxSTATION clients.
The collected data is comprised of alarm, event, trend, historical, and general
point information
maxDNA applications, such as maxVUE and maxDPUTools, are
clients accessing providers for data; however, applications, such as
maxSTORIAN, could play the role of provider as well as client.
The maxSTORIAN package gathers historic trend data and provides it to clients
such as maxVUE and the History Reports utility.

The SBP software suite includes the following core applications:

maxRRS - Registration and Routing (RRS), which connects clients with

providers of information. Providers register information on the software
backplane. Clients read, write and subscribe to that information through
the software backplane.
maxLSS - Local Status Server (LSS), which provides maxSTATION
housekeeping functions, such as storage for other processes (for example, the
last display and selected point for maxVUE) and a set of simulation functions.
Real Time Gateway (RTG), required with systems using DPU Bus Modules,
provides an interface between the DBM and the software backplane. The
RTG provides immediate data, trend data, alarm data, and more.
maxSTATIONs and maxDPU communicate with one another via maxNET.
The maxNET Network is a fully redundant 10/100 Mb per second Ethernet
network using industry standard TCP/IP protocol for communications
between Workstation clients and servers.

maxDNA Software

maxDNA applications feature associated initialization files and registry entries,

making it possible to customize the application to meet your specific requirements
To prepare software, you may need to perform any or all of the following:
Run the Startup Configuration tool to add (or remove) applications to the
maxSTATION startup program to start the software automatically when
a maxSTATION is booted.( ref., maxSTATION Auxiliary Functions, a Users Guide,).
Set up associated ini (initialization) files
Configure associated registry entries
maxDNA software, such as the Software Backplane suite, must be installed on all
Other maxDNA applications are optional depending on requirements.

Software Backplane Suite

maxRRS Registration and Routing (RRS)
maxLSS Local Status Server (LSS
Real Time Gateway (RTG) provides interface between the DBM and software
backplane; DBM-based systems only
maxTRANSPORT inter-station communications
maxINIT Make a repeatable series of software backplane operations
maxDpuTools Configuration tools for maxDPU
Graphical Configurator Document and print graphical representations of point

General Utilities
Alarm annunciation Add audible signals to maxSTATION to indicate alarms
MaxMergeAlm.exe Produce a merged alarm list derived from multiple sources
Events utility Collect, store, and log alarms and events
I/O Configuration and Test Test hardware using simulated point database
MAXDDE Exchange live data between applications
Registry Editor Edit maxDNA software registry settings
Point Picker Select and write point and HID text to any text box
QuickLogs Basic report generation package
Stable Time Permits a maxSTATION outfitted with stable time
card to assume time mastership of a maxDNA system
TestSBP Debugger and diagnostic tool
Transfer Points Tool create a database of points to be shared among
DPUs connected to different DPU buses or maxNET networks
Utilities for maxDPU systems only
Point Browser view and edit a DPU point database online
HealthLog monitor health of DPUs in your system
Bad Point Reference flag bad references in point database
Download FreezeCheck unfreeze outputs after a download
MaxMergeDpuAlm.exe produce a merged alarm list derived from multiple
maxPROXY.exe runs when a workstation is configured as a proxy server
TimeSync use to set up system time masters per domain

MCS Security Edit set up password security
MCSSecurity Schemes Editor create a security scheme database
Domain Configuration
Domain Configurator create domains
Screen Design
maxVUE Editor graphical user interface software which includes the following:
maxVUE Runtime
Screen Programming (Hidden Logic)
maxSCRIPT; simple language to customize maxVUE displays

History Collection
maxSTORIAN Historian and reporting package
History Reports
Reports Package Create and generate history reports
maxLINKS Package containing a set of interfaces to other systems
OPC server Provides a standard way to supply data from a maxDNA data source to
any client application
Remote SBP Provides the ability to monitor a maxDNA system from a remote
location by connecting into a selected workstation via a modem or LAN connection
maxCALCS Package to build calculations
maxAPPS Application development tool kit

maxSTATION Software Infrastructure

The maxSTATION file organization is divided into two separate directory trees called MCS and
Custom; one is for MCS use and the other for end user use.

the folders organized under Custom to store maxDNA applications containing custom
settings and files. Consider the Custom directory to be a safe place to store and
preserve custom settings, point configurations, custom displays, and databases.
When Metso Automation releases new software and upgrades, only software
located in the MCS folders is affected. Any work stored in Custom is preserved

In addition to programs, folders under Custom typically contain:

Initialization (.ini) files associated with applications with your own custom settings.
(many located in Custom\SBP)
Database files generated by various applications (located in Custom\Database)
maxDPUTools point configuration databases (located in Custom\Configs)
maxVUE Custom displays (located in Custom\Displays)
maxVUE OCX controls (located in Custom\Controls)

Utility programs and associated initialization files (located in Custom\SBP)

History Reports (located in Custom\History)

Registry and Initialization (ini) Settings

Configuring Initialization Files
Initialization files are typically text files containing settable options to
change the way a software program behaves or to activate optional features. Such files
are read by the maxSTATION startup program when it is first initialized.
Specifying Registry Settings
The Metso Automation MCS Registry is a database containing the default
settings for maxDNA operating system and application-related software. The
Registry, a subset of the Windows registry, is divided into two sections, user
settings and machine settings. Using the MCS Registry Editor tool, you may
customize the settings contained in these two areas
The machine settings area of the Registry contains default settings for several
maxDNA applications. Changes made in machine settings for software installed on a
specific maxSTATION remain in place and are applied globally regardless of user and
associated user logon name.
Changes made in the user settings area are associated with a specific user and
user logon name. Settings in the user setting part of the registry database are
organized by software application:
Software backplane.

System Resources
Two initialization files, stored in C:\Custom\Database, have special systemwide
importance: the following files are used to identify DPU and
workstation resources to other applications or to the network.
DPUList.ini File
DPUList.ini is a text file containing the names and IP addresses of all the
DPUs available in your system including virtual DPUs. A DPUList.ini file
should be created for each domain in your system.
This file is referenced by a number of maxDNA applications that need to
identify available DPUs in a system.
Point Browser Uses it to create the tree selection of the listed DPUs.
Healthlog Uses it to provide status of the listed DPUs.
DPUAlarms Uses it to get alarms from the listed DPUs.
DPUEvents Uses it to get events from the listed DPUs.
TimeSync Uses it to determine which DPUs to check time error and allow
time set/sync.
MaxDPUTools Uses it to look up the IP address for a given DPU name and
determine if the name references a stand-alone or backup pair of DPUs. Also used to
determine which DPUs get the security database download if all is selected. Writes to
DPUList.ini to add a new DPU if user requests it.
Database Summaries The scope of DPUs from which to get the summaries
Download Freeze Check The list of DPUs available to unfreeze
Find Bad Reference The list of DPUs for checking bad references
MaxTRANSPORT Pre-registers the IP address of the available DPUs.(at this point
it does not pre-register the DPU name).
MaxPROXY Uses it to determine if a data request is directly from a DPU and allows
an extra proxy hop. (normally a proxy will not forward a request for data to another
proxy) .
I/O Inventory List of DPUs available to check list and current state of their I/O.
DPU Atom List (diagnostic utility) List of DPUs available from which you can get a
summary of atoms by time class.

wks.ini File
wks.ini is a text file listing domain names and workstation names and IP
addresses and the domains these stations may access. An identical copy of
this file should be distributed to each workstation in your system. Only one
file is used for an entire system.

As an Administrator
To perform many basic maxSTATION setup functions, such as creating
passwords, configuring process security, setting up domains, selecting which
applications run automatically and so forth, you must be recognized by the
system as a user with administrative privileges.
Windows recognizes different user account classes. These classes include
Administrators, Guests, and Users, as well as operators. Each of the classes
has different privileges. When new user accounts are created, they are
assigned to one or more groups, which control the privileges of that account.
Each account has a password that allows access to the computer functions
under the Windows operating system.
Each account has a profile that maintains information about the desktop for
that account. These profiles contain information about what icons should
appear on the desktop and what programs should be accessible from the Start
menu, in addition to other information.
Two default accounts are always available in Windows: administrator and
guest. The administrator account is used for administration purposes,
including user administration, hardware and software administration, and
diagnostic testing. Guest account is a general-purpose account that allows
persons who do not have an account on the machine to use it with limited
To log on as an Administrator:
1. Turn on the computer and monitor, if they are not already turned on.
When you turn the computer on, it goes through its normal boot up
routines. When the computer finishes its start up procedures, the
Windows Auto Logon Dialog appears.
2. Press the <Ctrl + Alt + Delete> keys to open the Logon Dialog.
3. Click the administrator icon, enter the administrator password, and
click the Logon button.

Setting up maxSTATIONs with Individual Assignments

To balance processing loads, it is recommended that you select specific
maxSTATIONs for various control room assignments, such as alarm masters,
event stations, maxSTORIAN stations, and so forth. Assignments are
normally set up on maxSTATIONs configured as Operator Stations.
To further balance processing loads, maxSTATION assignments may be
distributed by domain. For instance, each domain may have alarm masters,
event collectors, event loggers, and so forth.
For critical control room applications, such as alarm and event monitoring,
alarm annunciation, etc, select two stations for each application in the event
one or the other station should fail.

Setting up Domains
Use domains in a maxDNA system to functionally divide a system into
operational units. A domain typically contains a group of DPUs and
workstations that are engineered, maintained, and operated independently
from equipment in other domains
While items such as live data and historical trends can be retrieved from
other domains, many of the overhead functions would normally be performed
within the domain. For example, database configuration, alarm management,
event collection and logging, time synchronization, and diagnostic
maintenance are functions that are typically restricted to a domain
Accurate Sequence of Events (SOE) time synchronization only
operates within a domain, not across domains.

Up to 31 independent domains may be configured. Domains 1 to 15 are

primary domains, while domains 16 through 31 are auxiliary domains. A

maxDPU may be assigned to any primary domain from 1 to 15 (actually set
as hexadecimal 0-9,a,b,c,d,e,f). A DPU is assigned to one and only one
domain by the first address switch on the DPU4E chassis and by the second
value from the right in the IP address of a DPU4F. A Workstation may be
assigned to any domain from 1 to 31 and can belong to more than one
Domains 16 through 31 may contain workstations, but may not contain a
DPU. Workstations assigned to domains with no DPU can be configured to
communicate with workstations in other domains that have direct access to a
DPU. Workstations that provide other workstations with maxDPU or DBM
point access are called proxy servers.
To define domains and assign workstations to specific domains, you will use
a utility called Domain Configurator. As you define domains and make
domain assignments, the utility, in the background, automatically defines
domain addresses and creates a text file, wks.ini, listing domain names and
workstation addresses and the domains these addresses may access. The file
is stored in C:\Custom\Database\Wks.ini file.
To complete the domain configuration process:
1. Copy wks.ini file from the maxSTATION with the master file to each of
your maxSTATIONs.
2. Reboot each maxSTATION. The maxTRANSPORT program will
automatically update the IP addresses for the A and B networks to
support the specified domains

Designing a Domain Topology

Use domains to segment your system in a way that makes best use of your
resources. In a large process control environment, a system may be
segmented by physical plant units. In a power generating station, for
instance, a domain may represent a single unit.
In summary, observe the following steps to set up domain addressing:
1. Establish a domain number. Check by looking in your existing
DPUlist.ini file, located in c:\custom\database. For Network A, a DPU
uses the following address scheme:
172.16.D.xx, where D is the domain number.
2. Assign all workstations a unique number (the last octet of the IP address)
1 to 254.
3. While logged in as administrator, configure workstations to
172.16.160.xx (their unique number), using the network applet of the
Windows Control Panel.
Run the Domain Configurator to define the domains and the workstations
assigned to the domains.
4. Reboot the workstation. The maxTRANSPORT program will detect the
changes when starting up and modify the IP addresses of the workstation
to include the domains you have defined. After updating the IP
addresses, maxTRANSPORT will cause the workstation to reboot again.

Using maxDPUTools, you create one configuration database file for each DPU, and define function blocks
within the configuration representing an individual DPUs associated I/O hardware, along with control and
data acquisition processing
A configuration database is composed of function blocks. A specialized subset of function blocks exists to
interface with the I/O and these are known as buffers. Buffers are used to define the I/O inventory and
specify signal conditioning and linearizations.
Blocks have inputs and outputs which can be softwired together via references to provide a flow of
sequential processing from reading input hardware, performing conversions and logic, and outputting the
results to hardware. Blocks can be grouped into larger objects to encapsulate increased functionality into an
organizational hierarchy.
Use maxDPUTools to:
Create one or more configurations.
Install the configuration(s) and load them into their respective DPUs.

Hardware Resources
define hardware resources using buffer functions. Hardware resources consist of Distributed Processing Unit,
(DPU), I/O Modules, and associated signals.

Distributed Processing Unit

The maxDPU, the process controller, providing control and data acquisition functions, executes the
configuration you create to carry out automation functions. The DPU may be configured as a standalone
module or as part of a backup pair. When you create a configuration, a DPU is automatically defined at the
root of a configuration hierarchy.
Backing Up the DPU
In a redundant configuration, two DPUs are connected to form a backup pair. One DPU is designated as the
primary unit and the other DPU the secondary unit. The DPU IP address of the secondary station is one
number greater than the address of the primary station. DPU IP addresses are listed in a text file called
The backup serial link cable (Part number 081387) carries data signals between the primary and secondary
DPUs, as well as a status signal which determines which DPU is active. If one end of this cable is removed
from either DPU, that unit is rendered inactive.
Click the Enable/Disable Backup button on the configuration download dialog to enable and disable DPU

Defining I/O Modules

The DPU processes analog and digital input/output signals via the family of parallel input/output modules.
These modules provide the physical connection point for the input/output wiring of signals to and from a
process. All plant data signals and control signals pass through these units. Use maxDPUTools to assign I/O
modules to the Distributed Processing Units (DPUs).

I/O modules plug into a Remote Processing Unit (RPU) cabinet card rack along with DPUs and other
equipment. I/O modules communicate with DPUs via an I/O bus.
Each module has from 1 to 16 channels, each corresponding to a signal. Use maxDPUTools to define the
desired input or output modules using buffers. Use Atag and Dtag function blocks to assign tagnames to each
I/O modules provide varying levels of signal conditioning, data conversion, and alarming (with validity, limit,
and error checking) before passing information onto the high-speed parallel I/O bus for further processing by a
Use digital and analog buffers to configure digital and high level analog signals coming from I/O modules.
Use thermocouple and RTD buffers to specify linearizations.
Other function blocks may then be configured to point to analog and digital input buffers to obtain conditioned
signals as input data. Output buffers, in turn, may then output processed data from other function blocks to an
output module connected to a field device

I/O Addressing
Up to 255 I/O addresses may be assigned to each DPU. I/O addresses are used to access I/O modules or
channels of I/O modules. Each digital I/O module supports 16 bits with one address. Analog input modules
generally use two addresses per module. Older legacy modules and analog output modules use one address per
channel. I/O Analog and Digital Modules and associated signals are defined and configured as buffers and
become part of a DPU I/O inventory list. Refer to the next section for information about the I/O Inventory
I/O Configuration Rules
The amount of I/O that can be connected to a DPU can be limited by a number of different factors, depending
on the type and mix of I/O. These limitations include the number of hardware modules that can be connected
to one DPU, the number of I/O addresses available for transfer of I/O values, the mix of analog versus digital
I/O, the mix of inputs versus outputs, requirements of other features within the DPU, and the update rate of the
I/O. The I/O Bus Configuration Tool, IOBusConfig.exe, is used to determine the allowed mix of I/O modules
on a DPUs I/O bus.
I/O Module Types and Associated Signals

Function block Categories

Table 1-1. Function blocks Table

Analog Math Functions (AnlFunc)

Special functions

Buffers (Bufs)

Control Logic


Device Logic


Discrete Logic
Basic Gates
Flip Flops