Rockwell Automation now unabashedly calls its process control a Distributed Control System (DCS). For the first few years of its development of a true process control organization and product line, executives seemed reluctant to say “DCS.” No more. Every senior executive has taken a deep dive into process. In fact, Rockwell is downplaying the name “manufacturing” since it has connotations of discrete processes.
Side note: Ouch! I thought long and hard about a name for my revitalized blog and settled on “The Manufacturing Connection” simply because I couldn’t find anything else where I could also buy the domain name.
Anyhow, here is the product update release. They showed me more exciting updates to come by early next year. Stay tuned.
Rockwell Automation has added new virtualization, batch management and integrated motor control capabilities to its PlantPAx process automation system. With the latest system release, Rockwell Automation extends the capabilities of its modern distributed control system (DCS) platform to simplify the system’s design, deployment, operation and maintenance.
“We continue to invest in our modern DCS platform, making major strides to achieve our goal of providing the most highly distributed, cost-effective and performance-driven system on the market,” said Jason Wright, PlantPAx system marketing manager, Rockwell Automation. “The extended capabilities further enhance the PlantPAx system, helping simplify design and integration, reduce risk, and streamline operations and engineering efficiency across a user’s enterprise.”
Integrated Virtualization: Virtualization has become the rule more than the exception in global process facilities. It speeds system integration time, lowers hardware costs and burdens, and extends the life cycle of plant equipment. The PlantPAx platform now makes it easier for users to implement virtualization. Built into the core documentation of the system is a selection guide that provides guidance and best practices for adopting a virtualized automation system.
Batch Recipe Management: Upgraded batch software tightly integrates with the PlantPAx system for a range of applications, from small, basic sequencing to large, complex batch and sequencing. With new version-control capabilities, the software automatically tracks recipe changes and genealogy, and provides approval traceability in order to more easily manage recipes. This helps simplify the management of recipes throughout their life cycle.
Rockwell Automation has also updated the batch and sequence manager in its modern DCS platform. This helps reduce engineering time for process machine builders and system integrators by allowing users to configure sequences directly in the controller. Incorporating batch management and optimizing continuous sequencing, the batch and sequence manager is well-suited for both skid control and stand-alone process units, such as mixers, blenders and reactors.
Intelligent Motor Control: Through premiere integration with motor control devices – such as the Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 520-Series of AC drives, and Allen-Bradley motor starters and electronic overload relays – the PlantPAx system eases motor control configuration and delivers advanced diagnostic information directly to the operator at the HMI level. This helps ease maintenance activities and allows operators to diagnose issues before they occur. System users can monitor key process conditions leveraging the EtherNet/IP network. Tying intelligent motor devices into the unified, plantwide control architecture helps make an immediate, measurable impact on asset availability, operational efficiency and energy management.