New Foxboro PAC System Offers Integrated Hybrid Control and Data Acquisition at PLC Pricing

Oct. 20, 2010
Unit provides entry for Enterprise Control System.
A new Foxboro programmable automation controller (PAC) System made its official debut today in EXPO booth W4B, bringing with it a new level of system capabilities. It is designed for small to mid-size facilities in such hybrid manufacturing arenas as food and beverage; glass; metals, minerals and mining; life sciences, plastics; water and wastewater; and other industries with similar control and automation needs.

The Foxboro PAC delivers control, alarm management, data historian, web reporting and batch functionality. With a capacity for 3,000 points, the controller and I/O subsystem can integrate with the InFusion™ enterprise control system (ECS) and Wonderware® automation and information software, providing an easily integrated, robust component for use in ever more sophisticated control environments.

The unit features redundant continuous and sequential control, as well as data monitoring. The processor and I/O show a 99.99 percent availability.

"The Foxboro PAC System is an easy-to-use, entry-level offering for customers to rapidly build on as their operational excellence needs evolve," said Rick Morse, Vice President, Control and Safety, Invensys Operations Management. "Our design criteria called for unparalleled flexibility to integrate with other Invensys and third-party systems, such as PLCs, safety instrumented systems, SCADA and business systems, all at the price point of an ordinary PLC."

The controller marries high-density I/O modules with cost-effective redundancy options, energy efficiency, continuous analog, logic and sequential control and secure data recording at the point of measurement. Additionally, all controllers, I/O modules and power supplies can be swapped without interrupting or shutting down the process operations, which is essential in regulated industries.

The system is configured using the common ArchestrA Integrated Development environment and leverages the familiar Wonderware InTouch industry-leading human-machine interface (HMI) software as the operator interface

"The Foxboro PAC System was created specifically for hybrid market clients who want a powerful and reliable control system at an affordable price," Morse said. "It extends the power of enterprise systems down through a controller that has all the necessary elements native to it. While this is something seen in larger systems, until now, it's not been readily available for smaller manufacturing sites."

He added, "Our customers are more and more sophisticated in terms of integrated automation and information needs. Our aim was to design a PAC system that is faster, smaller, and easier to apply than other available systems-yet remain cost competitive with conventional PLCs. The Foxboro PAC System user should feel comfortable knowing that Invensys Operations Management systems control some of the world's largest and most complex plants, and we have incorporated that industry knowledge and innovation into this new PAC system."

Steven Garbrecht, VP of Product, Services and Solutions Marketing at Invensys, added: "We designed the Foxboro PAC to be a native component of the InFusion Enterprise Control System (ECS). There's no need to use external tools to map the controller's interface points to ArchestrA® technology, because ArchestrA is already inside the box."

"The representation of the control system in the PAC is part of the unified plant model in ArchestrA. "It's one seamless environment," Garbrecht explained. "And, you don't have to extract HMI tag names, Historian attributes, IO addresses or system performance diagnostics, because the native platform is the same as that of other system components from Invensys. You work with one set of tools, one way to look at the data-the idea is to grab it and use it."

The Foxboro PAC is integration-friendly in its physical packaging as well. The PAC's mounting hardware needs no screwdrivers. A built-in latch grabs onto backplanes and locks the unit securely against vibration and shock. Wiring is quick and easy.

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