Purifying the Engineering Process
LEWA defined three key requirements for its new automation platform. First, the system needed to deliver high-level control of components. Second, it needed to provide both control and information capabilities. Third, it needed to be available at a competitive price.
After a multiyear review process, LEWA selected Rockwell Automation for an integrated control and information system. In addition to meeting the requirements, the system was preferred by LEWA customers because it easily integrated with the technology in their facilities.
What helped make the Rockwell Automation solution ideal for LEWA was the Integrated Architecture® system. It provides tight machine-level control that is easily integrated with the information system. It also is scalable and includes common automation tools across applications.
The Integrated Architecture system uses a single Rockwell Software® Studio 5000® development environment to simplify the design process. The environment helps to configure and maintain devices, letting LEWA engineers organize the system however they prefer. Engineers also can access and reuse system content when working on other skids.
“The integration of Allen-Bradley® ControlLogix® controllers and Allen-Bradley PanelView™ terminals running FactoryTalk® View SE HMI software from Rockwell Automation is seamless,” continued Gach. “Of course, it’s a benefit for operators to have visibility into their process, but we’ve been able to simplify how engineers at LEWA communicate. A shared expertise is growing internally on how to best define tags, and create graphic objects and displays.”
Automation hardware, such as the controllers and Allen-Bradley Kinetix® 5500 servo drives, also have built-in connectivity to the FactoryTalk suite, including historian and reporting tools. As part of the standardized skid, LEWA pulls and collects data from 150 tags to create standard performance and audit reports.
“By standardizing on FactoryTalk Historian and FactoryTalk VantagePoint® software from Rockwell Automation, our EcoPrime LPLC platform provides a plant- and enterprise-level information solution depending on where the customer is on their Connected Enterprise journey,” said Gach. “The skid is a standalone system that quickly integrates with any new skids added to a line, and can then send performance information where it’s needed.”
At each stage of developing the standardized system, engineers at LEWA were assisted by the support team at Rockwell Automation. Working with them on the questions LEWA had while developing a standard solution also helped define how future iterations of the hardware and software would fit with the LEWA LPLC platform of systems.