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Rockwell Automation bolsters development tool

16 August 2010

Rockwell Automation has incorporated the latest changes in the ISA-88 standard into its Power Programming version 4 development tool. This covers the inclusion of OMAC (Organisation for Machine Automation and Control) PackML guidelines.

The company claims that leveraging the latest programming standards will help machine builders to improve programming consistency, reduce engineering costs, and speed machine installation and startup time.

PackML (Packaging Machine Language) guidelines define the vocabulary and definitions to describe the process being controlled. With a standardised look and feel of the programming and HMI graphic objects, it’s easier for operators and software personnel to recognise application functionality across applications and suppliers.

“Translating PackML guidelines into ISA-88 terminology is at the centre of our changes,” said Darren Elliott, global technical resource manager, OEM Business Solutions, Rockwell Automation. “Using a predictable, reusable state model – with standard terminology – helps ensure design consistency when multiple programmers are involved.”

To create a functional specification, most machine builders begin with a state model. The new version of the Power Programming tool provides a broadly recognised machine state model and standardised data model (PackTags) to help ensure that programmers are speaking the same language and using terminology consistently. This can help reduce the overall integration time and costs for process and packaging equipment.

“Machines are becoming more complex, adding a burden to the manufacturers who operate and maintain them, particularly when machine code and operator interfaces vary among machine builders. Manufacturers are also demanding faster deployment and more reliable machinery with immediate access to machine and line information that is critical for business growth,” said John Blanchard, research director, ARC Advisory Group. “The common terminology, a common state model, and pre-tested modules of code that Rockwell Automation incorporated into Power Programming version 4 will help machine builders and their clients address these business needs, and reduce design time and total cost of ownership.”

The Power Programming version 4 development tool offers more than a dozen different templates for the most common functions in machine development. These pre-tested modules of code are based on current, open standards and best practices acquired through years of experience. With predefined modules, the same code is used from machine to machine, so there is less chance that new software development will impact proven software objects.

Power Programming has been successfully applied in a wide range of industry segments, including packaging, converting, print, web-handling, assembly and process.

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