Rockwell Automation's PlantPAx System Release 2.0 helps manufacturers achieve plant-wide optimization

Rockwell Automation has announced the latest generation of its PlantPAx Process Automation System, an integrated control and information solution that is designed to help manufacturers achieve plant-wide optimization. PlantPAx System Release 2.0 has new features that are engineered for high availability, device integration and asset management, design productivity, batch and sequencing control, and operations productivity.

The PlantPAx system is designed to focus not only on the redundancy of system components, but also on maintainability — helping ensure that problems are detected and corrected without disrupting production. New capabilities include EtherNet/IP network support for redundant systems and Device Level Ring network topology that is engineered to provide a highly available EtherNet/IP network without any additional infrastructure costs. A new I/O line — based on ICS Triplex technology — adds redundant I/O capability for the system. PlantPAx System Release 2.0 also includes diagnostics and error checking to help operators and maintenance personnel identify and resolve the root cause of a problem before disrupting production.

The PlantPAx system has a portfolio of connectivity options, including HART, Profibus-PA and Fieldbus Foundation. PlantPAx System Release 2.0 expands on these offerings. PlantPAx is also designed for the integration and asset management of other devices in the system, such as intelligent motor control centers, variable frequency drives, condition monitoring and power control components.

The PlantPAx approach to operations productivity is designed as a three-tiered solution. At the most basic level, the Rockwell Automation historian collects key process data from within the controller chassis or via a server at the site level. Data is then analyzed in an information and decision support portal. This portal provides appropriate information about the production system based on user role. Then, as the third tier, PlantPAx System Release 2.0 offers optimization solutions. This optimization leverages advanced control techniques for single loops or unit operations or more advanced model predictive solutions for an entire line or plant area.

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