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Rockwell Automation Continues to Strengthen Process Control Offerings; Outlines Six Areas of Focus for its PlantPAx Process Automation System


Signaling the continued importance of process control to Rockwell Automation, the company outlines its strategy for delivering new performance optimization capabilities

ANAHEIM, Calif., Building on investments to extend and enhance its process technologies, solutions and services, Rockwell Automation outlined six key areas of focus for its PlantPAx Process Automation System at the Rockwell Automation Process Solutions User Group (PSUG) conference, Nov. 9 and 10, in Anaheim, Calif., in conjunction with its annual Automation Fair event. These advancements help manufacturers better optimize and integrate process applications into their global enterprise to drive greater productivity.

“The Rockwell Automation PlantPAx system allows end users to adopt a common control platform for their entire enterprise,” said Steve Pulsifer, global director, Process Market Development, Rockwell Automation. “End users find that using a common control and visualization platform introduces significant performance management and optimization opportunities, and significantly reduces life-cycle costs.”

To leverage this competitive advantage and further enhance its process control portfolio, Rockwell Automation concentrated on six key areas of focus, including core process control capabilities, design productivity, process networks and field-device integration, asset management, process safety and critical control, and operations productivity.

Core Process Control
As part of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system, the PlantPAx Process Automation System leverages a single control platform for discrete, batch, process, safety, drives and motion control. The supervisory-layer visualization servers and operator workstations are delivered ready to configure, helping engineers more efficiently build a process system. Rockwell Automation continues to help ensure customers receive the level of performance and capability they expect from the PlantPAx system by testing it as an entity, rather than relying on individual product testing.

Design Productivity
By integrating standard Integrated Architecture technologies with process-focused system configuration tools, users can experience up to 40 percent reduced project engineering. To further improve design productivity and shorten project execution, Rockwell Automation has extended its rich set of tools and utilities to speed project development. One example is the comprehensive library of standard process control objects comprised of the control logic, visualization components and supporting documentation.

Field-Device Integration
A continuing alliance with Endress+Hauser is a key part of the Rockwell Automation strategy to improve the end user’s field-device integration experience. Together, the two companies conduct interoperability testing between Endress+Hauser field devices and the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx system, including device connectivity verification on HART, Profibus and Foundation fieldbus.

Extending the process device integration options, Endress+Hauser is launching the Promass 83 Coriolis mass flow meter with EtherNet/IP connectivity. The Endress+Hauser flow meter is added to the I/O configuration of a project with easy integration to both the programming and visualization environments. These ongoing efforts help reduce startup costs and configuration time for devices.

Rockwell Automation also has established a leadership position in fieldbus connectivity on EtherNet/IP to further improve the ability to manage and share instrumentation profiles.

Asset Management
As asset management is a cornerstone of safe and productive plant management, Rockwell Automation continues to enhance plant-wide asset management capabilities for control and field device assets. The PlantPAx solution is positioned to help users adopt a consistent asset management strategy across process and factory automation applications, including management of change, engineering configuration security and disaster recover. In addition to Rockwell Automation promoting FDT/DTM technology, the company’s asset performance monitoring, plant-wide information access, and process optimization help users achieve operational excellence and dramatic improvements in manufacturing infrastructure, business performance and global success.

Process Safety and Critical Control
System availability and process uptime are critical for the oil and gas industry and other industry segments. To address these challenges, Rockwell Automation delivers end-to-end high availability with its integrated control and safety system, including new enhancements such as network redundancy and redundant I/O.

Operations Productivity
Rockwell Automation focuses on a data management and decision support framework that helps enable plant-wide operational productivity improvements. Earlier this year, Rockwell Automation launched the FactoryTalk VantagePoint application for web-based reporting and analysis of plant-floor data. The company leverages the application to deliver a single reporting and analysis tool that further helps users access system information to make real-time, value-add decisions.


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