Rockwell's Integrated Architecture Expanded

New release features new manufacturing/IT integration products, support for both larger, complex control for large end-users and for smaller, simpler control for machine builders.

In what Rockwell Automation Vice President for Integrated Architecture Frank Kulaszewicz termed a “very important release for the team,” the company has released the latest version of its Integrated Architecture production control and information system. Kulaszewicz discussed the significance of the release during a recent interview with Automation World. The latest version of the software contains more than 30 new capabilities for end-users and machine builders—a dual focus, Kulaszewicz noted, with both large complex control and small, flexible control.

Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc. (www.rockwellautomation.com) describes Integrated Architecture as “a production control and information system allowed by fully integrated control, network, visualization and information technologies.” The platform is designed to address discrete, process, batch, motion, drive and safety applications.

“We’ve been uniquely successful in integrating control and information system functionality to reduce complexity and costs while providing innovative system features that help improve productivity and time to market,” said Steve Eisenbrown, senior vice president, Rockwell Automation.

New features

Some of the new features include advanced process control (APC) runtime partial import/export functionality, APC function blocks and controller online change logging. The company also increased the memory capacity of its ControlLogix L65.New safety tools for use with the Allen-Bradley GuardLogix programmable automation controller (PAC) offer a suite of 10 specific metal-forming instructions certified by German-based Berufsgenossenschaften (BG) as compliant with leading safety standards. These instructions—associated with clutch/brake, control and safety, valve control, and cam and crankshaft monitoring—improve ease of use, simplify diagnostics and streamline maintenance to canning applications and other metal-forming press-control and safety applications. The new GuardLogix L63S PAC is also available with this release.

The Stratix family, announced with this release, features a ine of modular, managed switches co-branded by Rockwell Automation and Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, Calif.

The Allen-Bradley CompactLogix L23 PACs are designed to provide the capabilities of the Integrated Architecture system in a small compact package. Offering three input/output (I/O) and communication configurations to help meet machine builder needs, the new controllers can be expanded using Allen-Bradley 1769 Compact I/O. Also available with this release is multilingual project documentation with language switching. Well-suited for users with the same applications running at international locations, the improvement helps reduce engineering costs by allowing customers to globally deploy a single project file with user documentation in multiple languages.

More determinism
Not part of the release, but mentioned by Kulaszewicz to Automation World, is the release of CIPSync. CIP, or the common industrial protocol, is the protocol that is the foundation of EtherNet/IP. CIPSync is a software implementation designed to provide more determinism in the delivery of packets required by coordinated control and motion control.
Kulaszewicz said that CIPmotion is still being developed. Other Ethernet-based motion fieldbuses implement this in firmware. Rockwell Automation and the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA), which administers CIP, are committed to a non-firmware version that they like to call “standard, unmodified Ethernet.”

Rockwell Automation Inc.
www.rockwellautomation.com

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