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PlantPAx Process Automation System From Rockwell Automation Extends Scalability, Eases Complex Tasks and Streamlines Project Start-Up

Share This PlantPAx system brings operational efficiencies, including ability to help users transition to a virtual automation environment in minutes

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 5, 2012 — Manufacturers in a wide range of industries can more easily deploy, operate and maintain operations using the PlantPAx process automation system from Rockwell Automation. With its latest release, Rockwell Automation extends the scalability of its system, helps enable operators to focus on the process for improved productivity and safety, and delivers new tools for engineers to streamline project implementation.

The new release builds on the success of the PlantPAx system, which combines the plantwide control technologies and unmatched scalability of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system with all the core capabilities expected in a world-class DCS. With the PlantPAx system, users can integrate process control, power, information and safety into one infrastructure for reduced total cost of ownership.

“Our goal is to provide the most highly distributed, cost-effective and performance-driven system available on the market,” said John Genovesi, vice president, Information Solutions and Process Business, Rockwell Automation. “This release is another major step toward this goal, as our investment in the PlantPAx system eases adoption of virtualization technologies in an end user’s private cloud infrastructure, offers additional system architecture options, simplifies and streamlines plant-operator workflows, and drives engineering efficiency.”

Virtualization Adoption: Rockwell Automation has launched the industry’s first production-grade virtual image templates so users can quickly deploy preinstalled system servers, operator workstations and engineering workstations on their virtualization infrastructure. These templates take the time required to install, update and activate a new system down to mere minutes. By virtualizing the automation system, users gain several advantages, including significantly simpler system backup and restoration, reduced risk associated with patches and upgrades, optimized computing resources, and reduced management and administration costs.

System Architectures: The PlantPAx system is the most scalable DCS available, based on total cost of ownership. New sizing tools add to this flexibility by helping system engineers fine-tune the loading and performance of their system. The latest release also expands on server capacity. It accommodates 2.5 times more servers than the previous release, making real-time information available throughout the organization through the EtherNet/IP network architecture. The number of operator workstations supported per system has increased to 50. This increase in system size gives users more client/server options, including the ability to segregate the system by plant area for simplified operations and maintenance. Combined with its extensive controller and I/O portfolio, these improvements help solidify the PlantPAx system as the most distributed process control system on the market.

Operator Effectiveness: The PlantPAx system has delivered several new features to improve operator effectiveness, including a new sequencer tool, an improved state model for alarm systems, simpler faceplates for common control objects, and new trending tools for improved navigation.

The sequencer tool helps users easily and efficiently sequence actions, whether it is the startup of a unit, a massive change in operating parameters, or a transition to a different product or grade. The new state model helps enable more effective runtime management of alarms to reduce downtime and prevent incidents. HMI faceplate enhancements present the appropriate information based on the role of the logged-in user, enabling quick and effective decisions.

Project Implementation: The new Quick Start implementation tools will help users reduce the time it takes to start a new project and use the system. These tools document common tasks and include preconfigured controller and HMI content. This means that system diagnostics are prebuilt, and common HMI components, such as alarming setup and navigation, can be easily configured from the provided templates. Additional efficiencies include simplified search-and-replace in the design-time environment to simplify merging projects, a new tool for system sizing to help ensure that architectures are easily adaptable, and a new alarm-builder tool that streamlines alarm configuration.

About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs over 22,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

For more information:

Media contacts:
Marilyn Muscenti
Rockwell Automation
440.646.4087
memuscenti@ra.rockwell.com

Dani Litt
Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc.
612.455.1726
dlitt@padillaspeer.com

Integrated Architecture, LISTEN. THINK. SOLVE. and PlantPAx are trademarks of Rockwell Automation, Inc.
EtherNet/IP is a trademark of ODVA.

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