I am spending the week with Rockwell Automation at its annual user conference and trade fair. Today was Integrated Control Architecture and Connected Enterprise day. More later on Connected.
The last two posts have been Rockwell and there is enough information for me to post many more times. We’ll see when I’ve run the course.
Someone asked me in the press room what was the most outstanding thing from the day on Wednesday, the first day of Automation Fair. The prompt response, “CompactLogix I/O.” First thing in the morning a trusted contact told me to check it out. I was not disappointed. I don’t have all the specs, but it is blazing fast.
Below are summaries of three announcements from Wednesday–Integrated Architecture which includes the I/O discussion, partnership with Fanuc, and some more detail about the “modern DCS” referred to a couple of posts ago on the Plant PAx product.
The expanded next-generation Integrated Architecture portfolio from Rockwell Automation includes a newly released next-generation Allen-Bradley controller, graphic terminal, servo drive and distributed I/O system, as well as the latest release of the Rockwell Software Studio 5000 and FactoryTalk software offerings.
“We’ve invested significantly in the Integrated Architecture portfolio to help our customers prepare their production environments for future growth, and help machine builders simplify machines and get them to market faster,” said Dan DeYoung, market development director, Integrated Architecture, Rockwell Automation. “With this new portfolio and our ongoing collaboration with our PartnerNetwork members, customers have the tools to more easily design, operate and maintain smart, high-performing systems.”
The new additions to the portfolio include:
- The latest release of the Studio 5000 software includes three new applications: Studio 5000 Architect, Studio 5000 View Designer and Application Code Manager. These applications, along with the Studio 5000 Logix Designer application released in 2012, bring more functionality together into one environment to simplify and speed system development. In addition, the latest releases of FactoryTalk ViewPoint Mobile software and FactoryTalk VantagePoint Mobile software allow users to more easily engage with their production information on mobile devices.
- The Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5580 controller provides up to 45 percent more application capacity and includes an embedded 1-gigabit Ethernet port to support high-performance communications, I/O and applications with up to 256 axes of motion. The new port and additional capacity cuts the amount of control and communications hardware required, reducing system complexity, costs and required panel space.
- The Allen-Bradley Kinetix 5700 servo drive is a single-platform alternative to using multiple servo drives for large custom machines with high axis-count and power requirements. This can reduce cabinet-space requirements by up to 70 percent and wiring requirements by as much as 60 percent.
- The Allen-Bradley Bulletin 5069 Distributed Compact I/O system with two 1-gigabit Ethernet ports scans 10 times faster than previous versions for greater productivity. The system can connect to as many as 31 modules without the need to expand.
- The Allen-Bradley PanelView 5500 graphic terminal provides a modern design and enhanced integration with Logix controllers using the Studio 5000 View Designer application. This integration improves programming efficiency because engineers can enter configuration information once and use it for the entire automation design.
The expanded portfolio also incorporates a number of security features to help manufacturers and industrial operators protect their facilities, assets and intellectual property.
Rockwell – Fanuc Collaboration
Rockwell Automation and FANUC are collaborating on several new initiatives to help customers realize productivity gains.
“Industrial IoT technologies are delivering on the promise of enabling operators to have access to the timely, contextualized information they need in order to prevent downtime,” said Sujeet Chand, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Rockwell Automation. “Working with FANUC, we can help customers gain access to the data that previously was either unavailable or trapped in their operations. This data is drawn from smart industrial assets, and then contextualized and delivered with actionable information related to asset health, performance and energy usage.”
Major strides have been made in monitoring and managing remote assets to further extend The Connected Enterprise.
“Companies are continuously searching out the latest manufacturing technologies that will help them drive future growth, innovation and profitability,” said Rick Schneider, president and CEO, FANUC America. “In the future, products such as Zero Downtime (ZDT), a cloud-based application, could virtually eliminate unexpected production downtime.”
ZDT from FANUC demonstrates how cloud-based data analysis can predict and prevent unexpected downtime from automation equipment in a connected infrastructure built upon Cisco and Rockwell Automation products.
New system capabilities include a more productive design environment to enhance automation productivity; easier adoption of new enabling technologies to improve user experience; and enhanced control capabilities to help meet operational goals.
“The latest release of our modern DCS platform focuses heavily on improving automation productivity,” said Jason Wright, PlantPAx system marketing manager, Rockwell Automation. “The system now includes pre-built process control strategies to help users greatly reduce the effort and risk to deploy new applications, which helps improve their time-to-market.”
Increased Automation Productivity: The system now includes expanded estimation, design and development guides. New pre-built control strategies developed within the Rockwell Automation library of process objects provide a consistent user and maintenance experience.
Improved User Experience: Leveraging network improvements and built-in mobility, the PlantPAx system delivers an improved, reliable user experience. Expanded industrial Ethernet switches support Layer 3 topologies, enhancing scalability for a variety of applications. Smaller control systems can now be integrated into larger enterprise networks with a common, fully supported network infrastructure. The network switches include embedded Cisco technology to integrate and translate operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT). This makes it easier for process operators to configure and manage system networks.
The PlantPAx system also now includes a mobile component that enables users to create displays and interact with process data across any HTML5-compliant mobile platform. The software is responsive to the user’s specific device, allowing operators and plant managers to access and view performance metrics and data analytics in their preferred format.
Enhanced Control: New built-in control features – such as integrated PlantPAx model predictive control (MPC), alarm management and batch management – now operate in a common environment, helping to improve plant efficiencies and operational performance. Control-based PlantPAx MPC provides the ability to predictably manage external and complex process disturbances, and maximize process performance up to process constraints. This allows continuous improvements within the process while reducing waste and variability.
The updated system also leverages the recently introduced batch application toolkit to help reduce the risk, time and cost of implementing batch control systems. Containing documentation, application examples and sample code, the toolkit gives engineers a starting point to build and maintain a consistent batch control system. It also provides flexibility to customize system elements for increased functionality.