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Rockwell Automation and Eplan in software deal

12 November 2009

New interface from Rockwell Automation and Eplan Software & Services will make Eplan Electric P8 electrical design software available in RSLogix, allowing electrical engineers, control hardware engineers and software programmers to automatically synchronise controls configuration data.

Rockwell Automation RSLogix Architect software will integrate with the Eplan Electric P8 electrical design software
Rockwell Automation RSLogix Architect software will integrate with the Eplan Electric P8 electrical design software

Rockwell Automation and Eplan Software & Services announced the two companies will collaborate on a utility that merges hardware design with software programming to help improve efficiency and reliability of controls data exchange. The new bi-directional interface available within the RSLogix Architect software will provide seamless integration with the Eplan Electric P8 electrical design software by allowing electrical engineers, control hardware engineers and software programmers to automatically synchronise controls configuration data. Release versions will be available in the first half of 2010, the companies said.

Manufacturers will benefit from the joint utility through accelerated time to production, quicker start-up, and improved quality of controls data. The solution eliminates the need for manual entry of configuration information by allowing software programmers and design engineers to automatically update, synchronise and validate changes to model configuration information, including racks, I/O cards, I/O tags and descriptions.

"Manufacturers are operating in an environment that demands seamless flow of information across all disciplines in the manufacturing enterprise," said Dick Slansky, senior analyst, PLM research director, ARC Advisory Group. "Collaborative Digital Automation tools like the new utility from Rockwell Automation and Eplan are especially critical at a time when accelerating time to production and improving efficiency are a top concern for manufacturers."

RSLogix Architect software is a system management and configuration tool that integrates with projects configured using RSLogix 5000 programming software, helping make it easy for users to manage control systems and network configurations, managing data and information across multiple controllers. Eplan Electric P8 automates the design and documentation of controls hardware systems. Its PLC & Bus Extension module logically represents all devices connected throughout a bus topology and manages their relationships within an Eplan project.

"To remain competitive in the marketplace, manufacturers must continually look for new ways to get their products to market faster and more efficiently," said Jason Weber, strategic alliance manager, Rockwell Automation. The partnership helps synchronises design tools from two industry-leading companies to create synergistic benefits for manufacturers, he suggested.

Users of the E-CAE software can access the project's entire PLC information via a dedicated Navigator to address, re-address, sort, import and export PLC data. The utility brings together the import and export function of Eplan Electric P8 with the ability of RSLogix Architect to manage control system and communication configurations. The result for customers is easier, more efficient and more accurate collaboration between hardware and software engineers, the companies suggested.

"In today's fiercely competitive business environment, it is no longer enough just to develop a well-performing automation tool to meet a specific need," said Reiner Konetschny, Eplan's director of key account management who is also in charge of the company's strategic global partnership with Rockwell Automation.

Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com


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