There were plenty of fun and games to be found at Automation Fair 2007 Nov. 13-14 in Chicago, with booths featuring video games of baseball, golf, racing, and guitar playing. But the real attraction for the throng of attendees were the products on display across the exhibition floor at the annual event, staged for customers of Rockwell Automation Inc., the Milwaukee-based controls and automation supplier. Some 9,000 to 10,000 customers attended the Fair, according to Rockwell Automation sources on site.
Rockwell Automation featured new products in the categories of Essential Components, EtherNet/IP, Integrated Architecture, Intelligent Motor Control, Software, Safety, and Services & Support.
The FactoryTalk family of software applications saw upgrades in the form of the new AssetCentre, Historian SE, and Metrics applications. As put through the paces by Rockwell team members on hand, Factory Talk AssetCentre provides a central point from which to manage production assets, from recovery to tracking, to controlling user access. FactoryTalk Historian SE demonstrations showed the ability to handle data-management needs from collecting to analysis, with user-friendly reporting tools designed for flexibility. FactoryTalk Metrics is used to monitor plant equipment and supply relevant data on machine performance to identify problem areas and instances of inefficient operation.
The CompactLogix L2x controller offers owners a budget-friendly solution to jobs that would normally require larger controllers, as well as the option to expand the system up to 96 input/output (I/O). Other CompactLogix Integrated Architecture solutions on display included the CompactLogix L32E and L35E, and the CompactLogix L45. The L32E and L35E controllers were tested in extreme conditions to gain their “marine certified” label, and offer a control system to meet the challenges posed by operating in marine-related environments. The L45 enables a top-to-bottom flow of information by supporting DeviceNet, ControlNet and EtherNet/IP, and expands on Logix Control Platform capabilities.
Efficiency was on display in the form of wiring systems such as the Bulletin 1492 In-Panel Wiring System. Side-by-side video screens demonstrated the speed of the system when compared to traditional point-to-point wiring methods, showing a reduced wiring time of up to 75 percent while cutting down on human wiring errors. Among other Essential Components were the new Bulletin 1485C/1485G/889N Flex Rated DeviceNet Round cordsets and patchcords, and the Bulletin 700-SH solid-state relay, which boasted of increased load capacities up to 100 amps and 660 volts.
Several new products fell into the always-important Safety category, including the MSR57 Minotaur Safety Relay. The MSR57 offers the dual benefit of monitoring speed and being able to slow or stop a process safely. A pair of remote I/O nodes—the ArmorBlock Guard I/O and CompactBlock Guard I/O—were offered as ways to control and monitor safety devices. Both work with Guard PLC, GuardLogix and SmartGuard controllers, use the CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) Safety protocol to communicate on DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP.
Easy, yet powerful
PremierSystems, the new human-machine interface (HMI) system in the Intelligent Motor Control area, features ease of implementation and use, as well as a powerful operator interface. A new circuit design called PowerBrick was behind the Bulletin 1503E 15kV SMC Flex OEM Component Kit aimed at original equipment manufacturers, a new addition to Allen-Bradley’s Smart Motor Controller line. Also upgraded was the existing IntelliVAC vacuum contactor control, in the new form of the IntelliVAC Plus. Among the advantages attributed to the IntelliVAC Plus are DeviceNet communication, DeviceLogix control and features to aid troubleshooting.
Overall effectiveness was the goal at the Service and Support displays. Rockwell’s Contract Callout Services give users a way to enlist the help of OnSite Support Services to provide maintenance as needed. PriorityConnect Systems Support offers the expertise of experienced systems engineers, available to respond to questions regarding Rockwell Automation controls systems on a priority basis. Advance Remanufacturing Services represent an alternative to returning failed equipment, promising to deliver remanufactured units in better condition, thereby extending the life of the equipment.
Rockwell Automation Inc.