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Industry collaboration merges platforms

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article image Strategic collaboration will merge process and instrumentation platforms.

A strategic collaboration between industrial automation leader Rockwell Automation , and global process instrumentation group Endress+Hauser , will provide a new level of seamless control integration to the industrial process engineering sector.

Leveraging the open and ultra-flexible 'Field Device Tool/Device Type Manager' (FDT/DTM) interface specifications, the joint venture promises more convenient, standards-compliant methods for configuring, operating and maintaining a wide range of process instruments and factory automation equipment.

Under the agreement, software enhancements will permit the integration of Endress+Hauser's FDT/DTM-based FieldCare software with Rockwell Automation's RSMACC suite of asset management software solutions.

The agreement also targets interoperability between FieldCare and Rockwell Automation's programming and configuration software, RSLogix 5000, and visualisation platform, RSView. This will allow seamless connectivity between process instrumentation and Rockwell Automation control platforms via standard communications protocols such as Foundation Fieldbus and HART.

"This collaboration with Endress+Hauser adds another dimension to Rockwell Automation's Integrated Architecture solutions portfolio," Chris Chan, Rockwell Automation Australia marketing manager, said.

"It means that instrumentation, process control and plant automation are now available on a single open platform."

Rockwell Automation's family of Allen-Bradley Logix programmable automation controllers (PAC), combining logic and process control functionality, are ideally suited to this task.

According to John Immelman, managing director Endress+Hauser Australia, the joint venture provides a great deal of flexibility to the Australian industrial process engineering sector.

"The open nature of the offering empowers the industry to select 'best-of-breed' solutions for a particular application," he said.

"The clear message we've been getting from customers is the need for open, non-proprietary systems to manage configuration, operation and maintenance of process devices. This is what FieldCare provides."

Endress+Hauser has been a Rockwell Automation 'Encompass Partner' for more than a decade, and this new collaboration both extends and strengthens that relationship.

The agreement also underscores Rockwell Automation's commitment to open control platforms, which is further reflected in the company's intent to join Endress+Hauser on the steering committee of the FDT/DTM joint interest group.

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