Process Automation System Provides Asset Management Capabilities
Rockwell Automation's latest generation of its PlantPAx Process Automation System is an integrated control and information solution that can help manufacturers achieve plantwide optimization in a wide range of industries. PlantPAx System Release 2.0 builds on the initial PlantPAx system, adding new features for high availability, device integration and asset management, design productivity, batch and sequencing control, and operations productivity. In addition, a new focused program can help OEMs and skid builders serving process industries reduce their overall costs and minimize their time to market.
The PlantPAx system focuses on the redundancy of system components and on maintainability, which can help ensure problems are detected and corrected without disrupting production. New capabilities include EtherNet/IP network support for redundant systems and Device Level Ring network topology that provides a highly available EtherNet/IP network without any additional infrastructure costs. A new I/O line -- based on ICS Triplex technology -- adds redundant I/O capability for the system. PlantPAx System Release 2.0 also includes new diagnostics and error checking to help operators and maintenance personnel identify and resolve the root cause of a problem before disrupting production.
The PlantPAx system has a broad portfolio of connectivity options, including HART, Profibus-PA and Fieldbus Foundation. PlantPAx System Release 2.0 expands on these offerings for a more scalable portfolio. Another addition is the integration and asset management of other devices in the system, such as intelligent motor control centers, variable frequency drives, condition monitoring and power control components. Drives, for example, are now exposed via icons and faceplates in the visualization layer, and managed in the asset management layer to provide disaster recovery, automatic backup and restore of drive configuration, and change auditing.
A focus on design productivity can assist Rockwell Automation delivery partners bring a more consistent, modular solution to users more quickly and with less human error. PlantPAx System Release 2.0 also addresses batch applications. At the most complex level, new batch server software adds capabilities such as intelligent recipes, improved runtime user control, expanded data collection and reporting, and enhanced material management. The PlantPAx approach to operations productivity is a three-tiered solution, including collection of key process data from within the controller chassis or via a server at the site level. Data is then analyzed in an information and decision support portal. This portal provides appropriate information about the production system based on user role.