Less is More: Premier Integration

Less is More: Premier Integration

An effective level of integration mitigates redundant programming while establishing functional connectivity within the controller-device network.

As industrial automated production and information systems continue to grow in complexity, productivity is becoming increasingly important in all aspects of manufacturing operations – including the machine design and configuration stages.

The traditional, labor-intensive approach of manually integrating and configuring devices and systems is doubtlessly time-consuming, costly and counterintuitive to the needs of today’s manufacturers.

Achieving faster time-to-market is a key to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition. There is no time to build a system from scratch, nor deal with the compatibility risks that come with off-the-shelf components.

When companies are using devices from multiple vendors, they often encounter difficulties in getting the devices to communicate and operate in concert with each other efficiently. Such problematic issues can result in extended engineering time and increased costs. Besides, an array of devices in the control system can create maintenance challenges in the future.

To perform efficient engineering as well as greater synchronization in operations, a better integration between controller and devices is particularly essential for designing and building products.

Next Level Integration

Throughout the supply chain, from manufacturers to end-users, all are striving to boost efficiency and effectiveness. In order to optimize performance, both the architecture and each component within must be designed appropriately, and the resource allocation must be efficiently performed

A simpler, holistic integration can help machine builders consolidate high levels of complexity and connectivity while having development time and costs on the watch. Rockwell Automation has introduced the Premier Integration experience to represent the next level of controller and device integration.

What benefits have you seen from using an integrated solution of a PowerFlex drive, Studio 5000 software, and a Logix-based controller?

More than just connecting process, power, information, and safety into one control architecture, Premier Integration performs a seamless integration that simplifies and streamlines system design, maintenance, and operation for any networked automation systems, thus addressing common yet vital operational challenges.

With a foundation constructed by a Logix-based control architecture and intelligent Allen-Bradley® devices, Premier Integration is unique to a wide range of specific control-system elements from Rockwell Automation, such as controllers, devices, motor control centers (MCC) and soft starter.

Executing controllers programming, devices configuration and maintenance management processes all within one single software environment can be said as another defining characteristic of Premier Integration.

With these capabilities, manufacturers and engineers can ease integration, cut development time, improve information visibility and productivity in manufacturing operations since all they need now is a centralized intelligent platform for leveraging many different devices.

Rockwell Automation understands that, to meet challenges in this world of smart manufacturing and to establish The Connected Enterprise, flexibility and responsiveness are as important as effectiveness.

Acquiring a fleet of Smart tools and software, Rockwell Automation brings OEMs the opportunity to gain a Premier Integration experience and the ability to respond more quickly to changing market and business needs, while helping to reduce total costs of ownership, including maintenance and training.

A One-Stop Solution

Specifically designed to deliver an intuitive and user-friendly experience for designing and configuring systems and devices, The Rockwell Software® Studio 5000® environment attains Premier Integration by combining engineering and design elements into one standard framework that enables optimized productivity and reduced commissioning time.

It provides a standardized way to share data, tags, and alarms across multiple design applications so that engineers are allowed to configure information once and use it across the entire automation system. Likewise, they can configure all elements of the automation system in one place, rather than using multiple tools for control and visualization.

When a system is operational, operators and maintenance technicians can view all system components from a central location so that they can easily reconfigure devices, troubleshoot and access information.

Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™) is an application-layer protocol that delivers plantwide communication for control, device configuration and data collection. Based on the CIP, EtherNet/IP™ enables real-time, deterministic control for both drives and servo drives.

Multiple motors can be accurately coordinated through the combination of synchronization capabilities in Logix-based controllers. These exclusive application resources are available for AC and servo drives that present the specific, device-independent profile supporting synchronization over the network. Works for engineers can be done more easily since they will not need to do programming nor make changes every time over again.

Beyond reducing integration complexity, industrial manufacturers will find Premier Integration is capable of shortening their engineering time and associated costs in numerous ways.

Device Mapping and Configuration

The Logix-based controller can recognize specific Allen-Bradley components and automatically import their device profiles. When integrating an Allen-Bradley PowerFlex® AC drive, the engineer can simply select the specific module and the Studio 5000 software will then automatically pull in all drive parameters.

Mapping devices will become easier since the engineer no longer has to manually associate parameter numbers with descriptions or enter the drive’s details, such as power and voltage.

Also, using a single software environment and configuring the controller and drive network connections from a single location can reduce costly development errors and eliminate input/output (I/O) mismatch errors.

Duplicating Devices

The copy-and-paste capabilities within the Studio 5000 software can help reduce the time needed to integrate additional, similar devices once they are configured. If duplicate devices are needed for the same project, the engineer could simply copy the original to create additional device nodes. The Studio 5000 software automatically transfers the descriptive tag names and configuration settings used in the original drive to the new drives through the copy-and-paste process.

Tag-Aliasing

Within a Logix-based architecture, engineers can write an entire program with meaningful tag names before the physical hardware is ready, and then assign the physical module and terminal information at a later time. Such tag-aliasing capability is commonly used to develop programs before wiring diagrams are available. It allows concurrent development, and programmers need not wait for the design-engineering group to complete its electrical layout; thus it speeds the time for product designs to get to market.

Library Management

As an essential element of Premier Integration, library management enables engineers to store, manage and reuse code from their programs efficiently. It saves development time while also building on the outcomes of successful projects.

Project code can be exported to the code library for use again in future projects or even to establish a new company standard for similar applications. Engineers can simply drag and drop the code from the library into the new project whenever they wish to reuse the content.

Enhancing Smart Manufacturing

Improvements in controller-device integration help OEMs move one step closer to smart manufacturing and design smart machines and automation systems by achieving effective connectivity.

Premier Integration gives engineers an exclusive integration and configuration experience and assures operators and technicians that they will have the secure and accurate information needed to keep machines running more productively and profitably. Therefore, every piece of information can then be used to make better decisions from the machine up to the enterprise level.

Automation Today

Automation Today Asia Pacific, quarterly magazine published by Rockwell Automation Inc. is designed to deliver the latest industrial automation & information technology trends, case studies & application stories, new products & features.