#Autofair Top ten innovations of integrated architecture

Automation Fair booth and podcast reveal major enhancements that help drive plantwide optimization and improve machine builder performance

Manufacturers and machine builders can more efficiently and effectively optimize their plants and machines with the latest Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system enhancements. New offerings within the integrated control and information system leverage EtherNet/IP to simplify the network architecture and deliver right-sized, high-performance control to smaller applications. Rockwell Automation will showcase its control, motion, networking, visualization and information technologies in booth 343 at the Automation Fair event, held today and tomorrow at McCormick Place in Chicago. The top ten innovations include:

  • New midrange control platform brings high-performance to small applications. The Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture portfolio has significantly expanded for smaller applications with a series of scalable Allen-Bradley CompactLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs), servo drives, I/O, visualization and simplification tools. High-performance features such as integrated motion, safety, EtherNet/IP connectivity and re-usable development tools give users the same flexibility, reduced development time and ease-of-use as larger scale systems from Rockwell Automation.Now applications with fewer than 200 I/O can get integrated motion on EtherNet/IP, safety and standard control, thanks to the new CompactLogix 5300 PAC. Using this PAC with the new Allen-Bradley Kinetix 350 servo drive provides coordinated motion over a single network, EtherNet/IP. This simplifies the network architecture by eliminating the need for a separate motion network, while providing a high-performance, cost-effective solution for low-axis machines.
  • Simplify your network architecture with one standard network. Now more than ever, controls engineers, machine builders and IT professionals are looking to simplify their automation systems and avoid risk. For this reason, they are turning to EtherNet/IP, the world’s leading open industrial Ethernet network to handle the widest range of applications, including: discrete, safety, motion, process and drive control. Using a single network technology helps simplify data delivery and minimize the risks associated with designing, integrating and maintaining more networks than necessary. EtherNet/IP provides manufacturers with a simple, yet robust communications platform – enabling users to effectively manage real-time control and information flow at the machine-level and throughout the entire manufacturing and IT enterprise. To provide manufacturers with a complete plantwide network solution, Rockwell Automation teamed up with Cisco Systems, Panduit and Fluke Networks on products, design guidance, tools and expertise.
  • EtherNet/IP enhances machine builder performance. Machine builders are turning to EtherNet/IP to simplify their network architecture. Rather than using a dedicated network for each application, like motion, safety, I/O and information, machine builders are using a single network technology, EtherNet/IP. This helps machine builders streamline design and development, build IT-friendly equipment and provide value-added remote monitoring capabilities. Next year, Rockwell Automation plans to release the Stratix 5700 switch, which was designed with the machine builder in mind. This entry-level switch will offer a broad range of switching capabilities for smaller applications through IT-ready integration with the plantwide infrastructure. The Stratix 5700 will leverage Cisco technology and provide high-performance switching capability with tools for configuration and monitoring developed for both the IT and manufacturing professionals. These tools can provide secure integration to the enterprise network, while allowing for easy setup and diagnostics from within the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture.
  • High availability is easier and simpler. Rockwell Automation has expanded its high availability offering to help end users achieve end-to-end fault tolerance in critical control applications. The new capabilities include redundant I/O, alarm and event server redundancy, network resiliency and faster controller cross-loading. This expansion is ideally suited for manufacturers in oil and gas, power and heavy process industries that need to minimize unscheduled downtime that can jeopardize worker safety, damage equipment, harm the environment and prevent meeting key performance indicators.
  • Enhanced mechatronics enables better collaboration. Motion Analyzer software helps mechanical, electrical and controls engineers collaborate on machine design decreasing the risk inherent to design changes. Motion Analyzer interfaces with Dassault Systemes SolidWorks 3-D CAD and allows users to analyze, optimize and simulate motion control systems – helping machine builders reduce the time it takes to design, develop and deliver their equipment.
  • New tools help manufacturers upgrade control platforms. Automation components, software and systems are a major capital investment instrumental to the success of a manufacturing company. To manage product lifecycles without negatively impacting productivity, Rockwell Automation is committed to helping protect and strategically migrate an end user’s installed base. Since last year’s Automation Fair event, Rockwell Automation has broadened its migrations portfolio to include an Installed Base Evaluation tool with Lifecycle Analysis. This tool assesses risks by identifying product obsolescence and provides actionable intelligence to help make data-driven decisions about conversion enablers. In addition, the StepForward Program offers a comprehensive set of tools to facilitate a phased approach to migrations, including conversion and selection tools, as well as consultation, planning and training services.
  • Rockwell Automation provides guidance on security best practices. Securing a manufacturing facility requires a thorough understanding of the risks associated with all aspects of production, as there’s no one-size-fits-all security program. Rockwell Automation and Cisco regularly work with manufacturers to assess their vulnerabilities and create a customized, comprehensive security program that addresses the plantwide infrastructure. Leveraging best-practice-based security policies and advanced technologies helps reduce risk and protect manufacturing assets.
  • New integrated drive-motor reduces footprint and simplifies cabling. Machine builders are always looking for ways to simplify cabling and decrease a machine’s physical footprint. The new Kinetix 6000M integrated drive/motor does both by merging the high-performance Allen-Bradley MP-Series servo motor and Kinetix 6000 servo drive technologies into a compact package. This provides significant space savings and helps simplify servo system cabling. Plus, the on-machine solution helps OEMs reduce the time required to add or remove servo axes. Designed to integrate seamlessly with the popular Kinetix 6000 multiaxis servo drive system, it includes an integrated drive-motor interface module that mounts directly to a standard Kinetix 6000 power rail.
  • Get a glimpse into the future of real-time information. For Automation Fair attendees, Rockwell Automation is providing an exclusive preview of the Allen-Bradley PanelView 5000 electronic operator interface product lines. These new industrial-hardened products will be available in the second half of 2012 and will provide machine builders and end users a whole new level of integration with the new Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5570 and CompactLogix 5370 controllers — including run-time data logging in the controller. By linking the graphic objects directly to Logix structured tags and Add-On Instructions, the product also delivers significant productivity improvements for project designers. Scalable Vector Graphics enable the creation of captivating displays with advanced animation that automatically scale-to-fit the target display. The exceptional integration and image quality provide a glimpse at the future of control and visualization, and are part of ongoing efforts to improve the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture in delivering real-time information.
  • Commitment to the evolution of Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture. Rockwell Automation continues to enhance its Integrated Architecture system with innovations designed to help manufacturers optimize their plants and machines. New products and technologies help manufacturers respond competitively to changes in the economy and consumer demand. Future developments will continue to focus on delivering the functionality, flexibility and scalability manufacturers need to stay competitive.

About Eoin Ó Riain

Sé Read-out iris uaithoibríoch, ionstraim agus stiúradh na hÉireann agus an "Signpost" a áit ar an idirlín! Read-out is Ireland's journal of automation, instrumentation and control and the Instrumentation Signpost is it's web presence.
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