Rockwell Automation Offers Options for Critical Control Applications


Nov 08, 2010

Rockwell Automation has expanded its high availability offering to include redundant I/O, alarm and event server redundancy, network resiliency and faster controller cross-loading.

According to research performed by the ARC Advisory Group, the global process industry loses approximately $20 billion, or about 5% of annual production, due to unscheduled downtime. ARC estimates that almost 80% of these losses could be preventable by end users deploying high availability systems.
To prevent downtime, most manufacturers rely on a form of redundancy. Redundancy involves the duplication or triplication of equipment needed to operate without disruption, if and when the primary equipment fails. To avoid weighing down a system with redundancy overload, Rockwell Automation recommends that manufacturers determine the cost of potential failures and make high availability investments accordingly.

The Rockwell Automation high-availability offering includes the following new capabilities:
•      Allen-Bradley L7x programmable automation controllers and 19.50 firmware: The L7x controllers are said to offer significant improvements in performance and provide faster cross-loading for redundancy systems.
•      Redundant I/O: Fault-tolerant I/O provides Safety Integrity Level 2-rated redundant input and output modules including analog outputs that are said to support redundant Ethernet adapters, all with no additional programming required. The I/O features built-in diagnostics to help with maintainability.
•      FactoryTalk View Supervisory Edition (SE) 6.0: FactoryTalk View SE 6.0 software supports alarm and event server redundancy for auto-synchronization of device-based and tag-based alarms between active and standby servers and a single alarm history configuration.
•      EtherNet/IP I/O: Device Level Ring, Star and other EtherNet/IP topologies provide a variety of fault-tolerant networks to meet availability, cost and performance requirements, according to the company. With the Device Level Ring topology, for example, the EtherNet/IP network can be set up without the need for additional switches and the wiring is daisy-chained from node to node to help reduce wiring time.

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