Technologies and Solutions for Building The Connected Enterprise

Solutions for Smarter and Safer Operations

Hardwired or add-on safeguards can lead to longer machine design times and lower operational productivity.

To address these challenges, Rockwell Automation has enhanced its machine safety portfolio to include a full range of input, logic and output devices designed to help companies more easily make safety a core function of smart machines.

Safety Controller Enables Faster System Performance

The Allen-Bradley® Compact GuardLogix 5380 controller.

The new Allen-Bradley® GuardLogix® 5580 and Compact GuardLogix 5380 controllers expand the Integrated Architecture® portfolio by bringing safety into the latest generation of the Logix 5000™ series controllers.

They provide faster system performance and new options for meeting SIL 2/PLd safety requirements or higher. These can help machine designers simplify their architecture and reduce control chassis footprint by scaling machines to the specific required safety rating, rather than using a controller designed only for higher ratings.

Linking Safety to The Connected Enterprise

The Allen-Bradley Guardmaster® Dual GuardLink™ (DG) Safety Relay is a new multi-functional safety relay, which provides up to 20 configurable safety functions with an optional time delay of the relay outputs.

The Allen-Bradley Guardmaster® Dual GuardLink™ (DG) Safety Relay

To help minimize downtime and increase productivity, the relay features a built-in diagnostic function that can be used with the 440R-ENETR EtherNet/IPTM gateway or integrated add on profile (AOP) for Studio 5000 Logix Designer® software.

The Guardmaster GuardLink enabled connection tap connects an output signal switching device or electro-mechanical safety switch inputs — including guardlocking switches, non-contact switches, light curtains, limit switches, e-stops and key interlocks — to a GuardLink system.

As part of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system, the Guardmaster EtherNet/IP Network Interface provides comprehensive real-time terminal-level diagnostics such as cross faults and over currents, making it simple to troubleshoot manufacturing applications.

Servo Drive with Advanced Safety

The Kinetix® 5700 servo drive.

The Kinetix® 5700 servo drive includes five safe-stop functions and three safe-speed monitoring functions to help create smarter and more productive machines. These functions allow a machine to remain active while simultaneously being safely monitored.

With integrated safety on EtherNet/IP, the Kinetix 5700 servo drive mitigates the need to separately wire the drive for safety. It reduces overall system wiring, saves time and money in installation and helps remove potential points of failure, thus resulting in less down time and troubleshooting.

New Soft Starter Designed for Customer Flexibility

The Allen-Bradley SMC™-50 smart motor controller.

As an extension of the soft starter family, the Allen-Bradley SMC™-50 smart motor controllers deliver greater functionality and efficiency across industries.

Users will have the option of choosing the proper power structure for their application with the SMC-50 smart motor controller. For operations that run over an extended period, built-in internal bypass allows users to shift from solid-state switches to bypass contactors. By switching over to the bypass circuit, users can save on energy and decrease operational costs by minimizing excess heat buildup.

With 17 start and stop modes and four special operating modes, the soft starters have an advanced application scalability such as normal and heavy-duty ratings, expandable I/O and sensor capability and network integration capabilities.

Also, they provide access to several communication modules, including EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet™ networks. Combined with a microprocessor platform, such connectivity brings energy-monitoring capabilities and protection features that make applications easier to troubleshoot and fix.

Latest Software Release for Productive Programming

With the newly enhanced Studio 5000 Automation Engineering & Design Environment® software, engineers can more quickly design, build and commission automation systems. A new user interface is included across all Studio 5000 applications, helping users improve productivity from design to deployment. Other new features of the updated applications are:

  • Studio 5000 Logix Designer: Includes a new Logix tag-based alarm functionality, updates to several programming languages and a modernized structured text editor to help optimize design time
  • Studio 5000 View Designer®: Includes data logging and trending for easier troubleshooting
  • Studio 5000 Architect®: Supports system-wide capabilities that can reduce design complexity and time
  • Studio 5000® Logix Emulate™: Includes an updated interface for connectivity to operator training systems
  • Studio 5000 Application Code Manager: Allows free download of the application’s lite version, Machine Builder Library and Process Object Library

Module Offers In-chassis Computing Capability

The Allen-Bradley ControlLogix® compute module.

The Allen-Bradley ControlLogix® compute module offers the flexibility to create custom applications within the Windows 10 IoT Enterprise or Linux operating systems as well as using off-the-shelf applications to enhance their automation systems. As a result, users can combine Windows applications as close to the point of decision-making as possible.

The module offers a full range of digital, diagnostic digital, analog, motion control, specialty I/O, and compute modules to meet different application needs. Users can use any of the chassis-based modules in the local chassis of a ControlLogix controller or in a chassis linked to a ControlLogix controller across ControlNet™ or EtherNet/IP networks.

Other features of the module include providing high-speed access to the ControlLogix controller over the backplane and allowing direct connection to a high-definition VersaView® industrial monitor.

A Centralized Asset Management tool

Plant managers can now use the updated FactoryTalk® AssetCentre v8.00 software to automate discovery and track the status of devices, network switches, and software on workstation computers across an entire facility.

FactoryTalk® AssetCentre v8.00 software.

The software’s base server functions streamline life-cycle management and help decrease unplanned downtime. Its asset inventory agent scans a network to discover the hardware, firmware, and software information for assets active in the facility. Other base functions with updates include, but is not limited to:

  • Improved Import/Export Utility: Improving the speed and control functions for users to create, configure, up/download assets within the software
  • New Compare Options: Allowing users to select a custom external compare utility using the Generic FTP asset
  • Mobile Web Client: Enabling access via platform spanning across iOS, Android, Windows on a device of user’s choice from a smart phone or tablet

The scalable design of FactoryTalk AssetCentre allows for easy expansion of assets and extensible (add-on) capabilities — it’s adaptable from small applications to plant-wide systems. Add-on options such as disaster recovery, process device configuration and calibration management help the system grow as the business goals and production needs change.

Demanding Applications Need Smart Sensors

Enabled with IO-Link technology, Allen-Bradley 871FM miniature metal flat pack inductive proximity sensors deliver more comprehensive diagnostic and parameter data to the controller over EtherNet/IP from the IO-Link master module. This capability helps minimize downtime and increase productivity.

The Allen-Bradley 871FM miniature metal flat pack inductive proximity sensor.

They are available in welding models with sensing range up to 10 mm and Factor-1 equal sensing for different ferrous and nonferrous metals.

Weld-immune models are equipped with an Allen-Bradley ToughCoat FinishTM coating to help prevent weld-slag buildup, making them ideal for extreme environments, particularly in automotive welding applications.

They are also well-suited for food and beverage processing plants, stamping, material handling and a wide variety of other sensing applications. The miniature flat pack sensors’ features include:

  • Stainless steel housing with stainless steel face provides a rugged solution in harsh environments
  • Compact, rectangular sizes ideal for space critical applications:
    20 x 32 x 8 mm / 30 x 52 x 14 mm
  • Enclosure ratings IP69K for general purpose model and IP67 for welding model

 The All-new Controller and Configuration Software

The Micro870TM programmable logic controller is a newest addition to the Micro800TM family. It offers machine builders and end users a higher level of scalability, flexibility and customization.

The Allen-Bradley Micro870 programmable logic controller.

Designed for large standalone machine applications, the Micro870 controller comes with great memory capacity — a double of Micro850® controller — to enable more modular program and use of user-defined function blocks.

The embedded motion capabilities support up to two axes of motion with TouchProbe instruction that registers the position of an axis more precisely than using interrupts. It can shorten machine development time with up to 280 KB memory size and support for up to 20,000 programming steps. Also, it can reduce wiring time with removable terminal blocks

Programming the Micro870 controller is simple with the latest Release 11.00 for Connected Components Workbench™ software, which feature a look and user experience that closely resembles Studio 5000 Logix Designer software.

It provides controller programming, device configuration and data sharing with the human machine interface (HMI) editor for PanelView™ 800 graphic terminals. Users who are familiar with Studio 5000 will find it easy to use Connected Components Workbench software r11.00 to program their Micro800 controllers for their standalone machines.

Their programming time can be shortened substantially as the software’s new code-sharing feature allows users to copy and paste ladder codes and instruction sets from RSLogix 500® and Studio 5000 to the Connected Components Workbench software.

A Right-sized Visualization Solution for Applications At Any Size

The new Allen-Bradley PanelView 5310 family of graphic terminals brings the benefits of greater integration between the HMI and controller to both large and small applications.

The PanelView 5310 graphic terminals deliver the same usability benefits and enhanced integration with Logix 5000 controllers as the PanelView 5500 terminals. But the new terminals are specifically designed for applications of up to 50 HMI screens. The terminals are available in 6, 7, 9 and 12-inch display sizes.

Companies can also use the enhanced integration to create high-speed jog buttons in place of cumbersome hardwired buttons. These auto-diagnosing buttons can interact with the controller at I/O speeds to help reduce downtime and improve productivity. Other benefits of the PanelView 5310 graphic terminals include:

  • The intuitive Studio 5000 design environment allows users to create reusable faceplates, screens and custom graphics to help reduce development time
  • Emulation capabilities allow engineers to test run projects in the development environment.
  • VNC connectivity allows operators to remotely monitor operations via a smartphone, tablet or personal computer.
  • Historical-trending and data-logging features allow operators to easily troubleshoot issues directly on the panel.

Better Access to Production Information

The updated ThinManager® v10.0 software platform provides new visualization, mobility and security features, helping machine operators and technicians produce more with less downtime.

With a new virtual-screening capability, users can customize how they see applications and data from multiple sources, all without rewriting a single line of code. This capability can help them view the information that is most relevant to their job.

The updated version introduces authentication pass-through to help improve productivity. Before the updates, users had to log in to ThinManager and other software applications separately, adding time onto costly operations. Now the software can natively pass users’ credentials to supported HMI products like FactoryTalk View Site Edition.

Moreover, with its built-in mobility solution, Relevance® software technology, the platform can deliver supported software components directly to mobile devices at specific locations within a facility.

Relevance uses location resolvers such as Bluetooth beacons and Wi-Fi so mobile users and devices can only receive content in authorized areas. This capability can help users achieve greater connectivity with better operational security.

Updated HMI Software Boosts Operator Efficiency

New features in the FactoryTalk View HMI software version 10.0 include greater access to information, new mobile device support and better cross-software integration to improve productivity.

FactoryTalk View HMI software.

Operators can now use the TrendPro tool in FactoryTalk View Site Edition (SE) software to overlay alarm information on trend data. The updated version also adds support in the HMI for flexible alarming with the Allen-Bradley Logix line of controllers.

Moreover, FactoryTalk View SE v10.0 integrates the ThinManager software login into the FactoryTalk View platform. Now, they can bypass the second security point with an automatic login pass-through for faster operations.

The updated FactoryTalk ViewPoint software, which extends the FactoryTalk View SE software to mobile devices, now supports recipe management. This update allows workers to view and download recipes on the device of their choice. And with ViewPoint v10.0 software, FactoryTalk Alarms and Events alarm history is also available on their mobile devices.

The FactoryTalk View Machine Edition (ME) software v10.0 adds design-time and run-time enhancements to improve user efficiency and productivity. The HMI software now better supports restoring and upgrading legacy projects and improves usability when editing displays.

OPC Connectivity to FactoryTalk Platform Available

The newly released FactoryTalk Linx software v6.00 is scalable from a single computer to large, high-volume distributed systems that share the common FactoryTalk Services Platform. It also provides data-server redundancy to maintain communications when a computer or network failure occurs.

FactoryTalk Linx Gateway provides OPC Data Access (DA) and United Architecture (UA) connectivity to FactoryTalk Live Data for 3rd Party OPC Clients to access control system information from the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture. It now enables better OPC UA Client and Server communications.

Other than the upgrades of FactoryTalk Service Platform (v3.0) and FactoryTalk Activation (v4.02), this software updates include adding anomaly correction function, granting software access to CIP Energy™ data and FactoryTalk View SE access to Logix Tag Based alarm members, incorporating new hardware electronic data sheets (EDS) files and more.

Network Management Software Improves Visibility of Factory Network

FactoryTalk® Network Manager™ is a plug-and-play software that help plant floor personnel manage all network product such as switches, routers and security appliances.

The software provides increased visibility and insight into performance of the network from the perspective of network devices. It automatically discovers assets, their associated IP address and then creates a topology view of those connected devices all in one place.

The software identifies plant floor assets by leveraging SNMP and SIP protocols and other common communication protocols for inventory discovery. Within the inventory, users can see detailed information about the managed switches.

Also, it is able to capture switch level alarms and events in real time to help minimize troubleshooting. User can have the ability to track the precise cause of network downtime without the need to check the entire network to figure out which node is causing an issue.

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.