Rockwell Automation has added two new tools to its FactoryTalk integrated production and performance software suite. FactoryTalk Integrator, a key component in the FactoryTalk data management discipline, allows manufacturers to more easily connect their plant-floor applications with higher-level business systems for more responsive and informed decision-making. FactoryTalk Portal, part of the FactoryTalk performance and visibility discipline, helps manufacturers increase productivity by allowing them to consolidate their Web-based interfaces into one manageable and configurable launch point.
FactoryTalk Integrator extends the reach of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture by allowing plant systems to transmit data and exchange transactions with virtually any other system. The robust and expandable architecture of FactoryTalk Integrator helps feed common types of information required by a manufacturing execution system (MES) system, such as work orders, schedules or recipes, directly from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This helps improve manufacturing responsiveness and efficiency and allows for better decision-making.
Making informed business decisions requires manufacturers to share information seamlessly between multiple applications, said Kevin Roach, vice president of software, Rockwell Automation. FactoryTalk Integrator enables efficient vertical and horizontal integration, offering a seamless way to view the enterprise and benchmark various manufacturing assets.
FactoryTalk Integrator simplifies integration with corporate IT systems by supporting open industry communications (such as XML, COM and J2EE) and linkages to commonly used ERP applications like SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft. FactoryTalk Integrator is built on the FactoryTalk service-oriented architecture, which leverages IT assets and the latest standards for increased business flexibility and faster deployment.
FactoryTalk Portal is a Web-based framework that allows manufacturers to quickly build highly scalable portals designed to improve employee productivity through personalized and collaborative access to information, applications and people. FactoryTalk Portal eliminates the need for multiple reporting interfaces by consolidating the MES reporting space into an enterprise-level portal that Rockwell Automation has adapted for the manufacturing environment.
Timely access to dynamic information, applications and people is essential to building manufacturing portals, Roach said. FactoryTalk Portal can help users quickly build highly scalable portals that provide the right information to the right people in the right format.
FactoryTalk Portal provides a comprehensive window into the production process, for access to performance metrics and the situational display of manufacturing information at the machine, line, plant and enterprise levels. Simple content management features allow users to manage portal pages and the portlets on those pages, eliminating the need for programming. Reporting and analysis tools, operator interfaces and management dashboards deliver contextual, localized, role-based information for better decision-making.
FactoryTalk Integrator and FactoryTalk Portal incorporate IBM's WebSphere middleware technology for increased application-to-application connectivity with substantial performance and scalability.
Announced in 2005, the FactoryTalk production and performance software suite consists of six production disciplines designed to deliver distinct business benefits. The scalable software applications are designed for tight integration with the Rockwell Automation Logix Control Platform, as well as extensive connectivity to third-party and legacy systems. "Rockwell Automation set ambitious goals when it announced its FactoryTalk strategy last year, and FactoryTalk Integrator and FactoryTalk Portal represent key milestones in achieving that strategy," said Greg Gorbach, vice president of collaborative manufacturing, ARC Advisory Group. "These two elements within the FactoryTalk production disciplines are critical to improving plant performance."
For more information on FactoryTalk Integrator and FactoryTalk Portal, please contact the Rockwell Automation Response Center, 10701 Hampshire Avenue South, Bloomington, Minn., 55438, 800.223.5354, ext. 1957.