Automation, Control & Plant Intelligence News Updates
Rockwell Automation expands Logix family for users and machine builders
August 1, 2008 - Rockwell Automation introduced the latest version of its Integrated Architecture production control and information system with more than 30 new capabilities for end users and machine builders. Featuring the Rockwell Automation Stratix family, advanced process control and safety functionality, and three new Logix programmable automation controllers (PACs) for midrange machine builders and end users alike, this expansion is designed to help improve integration and performance within the manufacturing and IT infrastructure.
The Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture is a production control and information system allowed by fully integrated control, network, visualization and information technologies. The Integrated Architecture platform addresses a full range of control and information needs for discrete, process, batch, motion, drive and safety applications, and addresses enterprise performance information needs including quality and compliance, production management and asset management.
New advanced process control (APC) features include runtime partial import/export functionality, APC function blocks and controller online change logging. Runtime partial import functionality helps reduce downtime risks and improve productivity during deployment and maintenance operations, allowing the addition of new programs, routines and add-on instructions, as well as replacement of existing programs and routines. New APC function blocks allow for long, dead-time processes and provide simpler multivariable control with automatic tuning built in. The controller online change-logging feature allows users to be notified when application changes are made. Regulated industries will benefit from tighter control and evidence of validation for industry certifications. Process customers may also be interested in the new Allen Bradley ControlLogix L65 PACs with increased memory capacity.
New safety tools for use with Allen-Bradley GuardLogix PACs offer a suite of 10 specific metal-forming instructions certified by German-based Berufsgenossenschaften (BG) as compliant with leading safety standards. These instructions associated with clutch/brake, control and safety, valve control, and cam and crankshaft monitoring improve ease of use, simplify diagnostics and streamline maintenance to canning applications and other metal-forming press-control and safety applications. The new GuardLogix L63S PAC is also available with this release. Because GuardLogix controllers are designed to help perform safety and standard functions, the amount of time required for programming, validation and testing is reduced. Using the same controller for both safety and standard control also helps reduce wiring costs.
New information capabilities are provided with the introduction of the Rockwell Automation Stratix family. The Rockwell Automation Stratix family features a Rockwell Automation and Cisco co-branded line of modular, managed switches with attributes that will add value to both IT and automation control professionals. Other product lines in the portfolio include Embedded Technology, as well as lines of fixed managed and unmanaged switches, and physical media. The entire portfolio uses standard, unmodified Ethernet and is optimized for use in EtherNet/IP applications and the Integrated Architecture system, while the Cisco operating system, user environment and feature set is exclusive to the Stratix 8000 line.
New capabilities for machine builders include the introduction of the Allen Bradley CompactLogix L23 PACs designed to provide the capabilities of the Integrated Architecture system in a small compact package. Offering three I/O and communication configurations to help meet machine builder needs, the new controllers can be expanded using Allen-Bradley 1769 Compact I/O. Also available with this release is multilingual project documentation with language switching. Ideal for users with the same applications running at international locations, the improvement helps reduce engineering costs by allowing customers to globally deploy a single project file with user documentation in multiple languages.
The new capabilities in this Integrated Architecture system release will begin shipping today and are ideal for machine builders, as well as end users in food and beverage, life sciences, and other industries that rely on manufacturing information from an integrated process control environment.
Weve been uniquely successful in integrating control and information system functionality to reduce complexity and costs while providing innovative system features that help improve productivity and time to market, said Steve Eisenbrown, senior vice president, Rockwell Automation.
"These Integrated Architecture system improvements are a direct response to manufacturers who seek a new generation of more powerful automation and production systems to automate and standardize their work processes more effectively," said Craig Resnick, research director, ARC Advisory Group. "Manufacturing organizations are becoming increasingly dependent upon the availability of real-time information from all aspects of their production operations. Thus, it is incumbent upon manufacturers today to deploy information architectures in the production environment that facilitates transparent connectivity between production equipment and all aspects of their enterprise."
Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK) is a leading global provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions that help manufacturers achieve a competitive advantage in their businesses. The company brings together leading global brands in industrial automation that include Allen-Bradley controls and services, and Rockwell Software factory management software. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., the company employs about 20,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.