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Extended DCS capabilities

02 December 2014

Rockwell Automation has added new virtualisation, batch management and integrated motor control capabilities to its PlantPAx process automation system. The new features combine to extend the capabilities of the company’s DCS platform to simplify system design, deployment, operation and maintenance.

The extended capabilities enhance the PlantPAx system, helping simplify design and integration, reduce risk, and streamline operations and engineering efficiency across the enterprise. 

Features include:
Integrated Virtualisation: This speeds system integration time, lowers hardware costs and burdens, and extends the life cycle of plant equipment. The PlantPAx platform now makes it easier for users to implement virtualisation. Built into the core documentation of the system is a selection guide that provides guidance and best practices for adopting a virtualised automation system. 
Batch Recipe Management: Upgraded batch software integrates with the PlantPAx system for a range of applications – from small, basic sequencing to large, complex batch and sequencing. With new version-control capabilities, the software automatically tracks recipe changes and genealogy, and provides approval traceability in order to more easily manage recipes. This helps simplify the management of recipes throughout their life cycle. 
The DCS batch and sequence manager has also been updated, helping to reduce engineering time for process machine builders and system integrators by allowing users to configure sequences directly in the controller. Incorporating batch management and optimising continuous sequencing, the batch and sequence manager is said to be suited for both skid control and stand-alone process units, such as mixers, blenders and reactors.  
Intelligent Motor Control: Through integration with motor control devices the PlantPAx system is said to ease motor control configuration and deliver advanced diagnostic information directly to the operator at the HMI level. System users are able to monitor key process conditions leveraging the EtherNet/IP network. Tying intelligent motor devices into the unified, plantwide control architecture helps make an immediate, measurable impact on asset availability, operational efficiency and energy management. 

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