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New era of multidiscipline control

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ATTENDEES at a series of information sessions, held by Rockwell Automation earlier this month throughout New South Wales and Victoria, were told of a new era of multidiscipline control.

“Process control and safety automation systems can no longer be implemented as an ‘add-on’,” said Gordon Bartlett, Integrated Architecture applications manager. “This is why Rockwell Automation has integrated this capability into its base control platform.”

According to Bartlett, with the world moving towards integrated solutions, Integrated Architecture (IA) is a fundamentally new “game changing” technology.

“Nearing an installed base worldwide totalling US$1.5 billion, IA provides a new era of multidiscipline control, providing a link between the information world and control world,” said Bartlett.

Based on independent standards, IA is “future proofed”, which makes it easier to live with and work with.

“It’s all about saving time and money,” said Bartlett, noting that up to 40 percent of the control of a project goes into integration costs.

The sessions highlighted aspects of the four enabling technologies of IA, with a particular focus on process control and safety automation. These aspects are: Logix, which provides a single control/programming environment; NetLinx, a communication platform that enables data to move seamlessly throughout the architecture; ViewAnyWare, a single visualisation platform that needs to be “engineered only once”; and FactoryTalk, a manufacturing information platform.

The overall theme is zero duplication, with resources such as tags and displays defined once and shared throughout the system.

“You don’t have to buy a Big Bang,” said Bartlett. “And you get everything in one box.”

Product overviews and practical demonstrations were led by two Rockwell Automation products managers from the US: Keith Hogan (process control) and Kevin Colloton (safety control).

Delegates were shown how IA can wholly manage a plant - which typically would use PLCs for sequential control, DCS systems for process control, motion controllers and drives.

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