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Evolution of Integrated Architecture Continues

Rockwell Automation highlights significant updates to its controllers' capabilities at its annual Automation Fair event, including an integrated safety and control option as well as a new integrated drive-motor offering.

The new, midrange CompactLogix controllers can be used to handle several axes of motion using the Ethernet/IP.
The new, midrange CompactLogix controllers can be used to handle several axes of motion using the Ethernet/IP.

With well over 10,000 attendees and more than 100 exhibitors, there were plenty of new automation technologies on display at the 2011 Automation Fair. Holding center court on the show floor was an exhibit featuring the latest news on Rockwell Automation's Integrated Architecture System.

The idea behind Integrated Architecture is the convergence of control and production information for plant-wide optimization. The architecture addresses functionality across all of Rockwell Automation's products using: a standards-based approach; use of Ethernet/IP for managing production information, I/O and motion; and providing access to real-time data.

From the introduction of Integrated Architecture a decade ago, Rockwell Automation has maintained that the architecture will continuously evolve with the addition of new products and functional capabilities. This year, the advances highlighted include:

   CompactLogix 5300 programmable automation controller (PAC). Designed for applications with fewer than 200 I/O, this PAC integrates the use of motion with the Allen-Bradley Kinetix 350 servo drive over EtherNet/IP. As a result of this integration, Rockwell Automation says there is no need for a separate motion network.

   The Kinetix 6000M integrated drive/motor combines the Allen-Bradley MP-Series servo motor and Kinetix 6000 servo drive technologies into one package for space savings and simplified servo system cabling. The new drive/motor combo integrates with the existing Kinetix 6000 multi-axis servo drive system and mounts to a standard Kinetix 6000 power rail. This combined motor-drive currently operates on the SERCOS network, but an Ethernet/IP version is reportedly in the works.

   A safety-integrated version of the ControlLogix 5573 controller that has the capability to address safety and motion control using one processor. The controller is CIP Safety enabled (CIP Safety allows for safety devices to co-exist with standard control devices on the same CIP Network, with or without a Safety PLC).

   Though not available until next year, the Stratix 5700 network switch was on display. This switch will leverage Cisco technology for high-performance network switching capability, along with tools for network configuration and monitoring developed for use by both IT and manufacturing professionals.

Another product previewed was the Allen-Bradley PanelView 5000 electronic operator interface product line. Scheduled to be released in the second half of 2012, these operator interfaces are designed to integrate with the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 5570 and CompactLogix 5370 controllers. The new PanelView capabilities include the ability to link graphic objects directly to Logix structured tags and add-on instructions.

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