Here is another of a number of new releases from Rockwell Automation that I’m picking up during Automation Fair in Houston. My process automation briefing included a description of this new product which will enhance configuring process safety applications. AADvance Workbench 2.0 is suited for applications that require a flexible architecture, distributed safety and mixed SIL levels. The AADvance Workbench is a complete design, configuration and maintenance software environment.

“This new offering stems from the acquisition of ICS Triplex and represents the continued investment Rockwell Automation is making as a world leader in the industrial process-control and process-safety markets,” said Julien Chouinard, director of Process Safety and Critical Control, Rockwell Automation. “The workbench is now an integral part of the PlantPAx process automation system, which is capable of managing the entire range of plant automation applications, including process control, discrete control, power, information and process safety.”

The system consists of the scalable AADvance controller platform configured to any mix of SIL1 to SIL3 simplex, redundant or triplicated safety loops. Several units can be used to form a network of distributed safety controllers seamlessly integrated to monitor and control thousands of safety I/O points. A system is configured using the workbench software to suit any functional-safety or critical-control application using a standard range of modules and assemblies. It is particularly well-suited to emergency shutdowns and protection applications for fire-and-gas detection by providing a system solution with integrated and distributed fault tolerance.

The new workbench is one of the industry’s first T3-compliant software tools, as per the IEC61508 standard that generates SIL3 code certified by TÜV Rheinland. This significantly reduces the burden of validating the application.

AADvance Workbench 2.0 features a multiuser, multicontroller environment with built-in version control and traceability. A modern graphical user interface (GUI), drag-and-drop configuration, built-in simulation, and compliant IEC61131 programming languages for optimum flexibility are also featured. With the workbench, application designers can import, export or migrate projects, as well as use convenient plug-ins to monitor and manage controller status and communication protocols, along with other time-saving development tools.

“With the modern GUI of the workbench, users aren’t confined to a single pane anymore – the floating windows improve productivity by giving the viewer more navigational flexibility and a more holistic view of their application,” added Chouinard.

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