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Integrated Architecture Simplifies Motion and Machine Control

Single, scalable programming environment. Along with a common control engine, the Logix platform uses a single programming software package, RSLogix 5000 from Rockwell Software. Once again, this eliminates the need to purchase and maintain separate motion, sequential, and drive programming tools. The integrated motion instructions in RSLogix 5000 eliminate the need to write and coordinate two programs on different controllers, simplifying the application programming and reducing engineering costs.

Plus, shared development tools allow for the reuse of engineering resources. If a company needs to scale from one feed line to three, for instance, it's as easy as adding the necessary processors and copying code from one to the next. In a matter of minutes, the programming is complete. Having a scalable architecture allows a company to eliminate repeat work and retraining, significantly minimizing design efforts.

Integrated recipe management. Like the evolution to electrical machinery, recipe control is another packaging advancement that has compressed changeover time. In brief, recipe control allows companies to sidestep the repetitive process of tuning machines during a line change by saving and managing multiple settings. That way, the switch from a two-inch bag to a three-inch bag on a VFFS machine is a push-a-couple-of-buttons task, not an engineering design function. But once again, recipe management has been a stand-alone function with its own controller and software package.

In the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture, engineers can manage recipes within the Logix platform using an AllenBradley PanelView for operator interface or in more complex systems RSView or RSBatch software. The number of recipes stored is limited only to the memory of the processor. By integrating this function, the interface between recipe and motion control lies on the same backplane. So the delay between accessing a recipe to action is reduced. Which amplifies speed, which augments performance and so on.

Common HMI platform and networking services. With motion, recipe, and sequential control split, many end users are forced into several HMI solutions. They are forced, as a result, to maintain software licenses and expertise for either different companies or different software packages, depending on the size of the application. Bridging the gap between the platforms increases training costs, decreases productivity, lessens connectivity, and reduces the ability to customize.

Rockwell Automation developed its ViewAnyWare strategy the visualization component of Integrated Architecture to deliver a unified and scalable suite of monitoring and control solutions. All ViewAnyWare products are platform independent and built on a central configuration environment, RSView Studio. This makes way for a significant cost reduction and improvement in development time, plus an ability to reuse applications on different platforms in order to meet new requirements.

In terms of communication, NetLinx is the open networking strategy for Integrated Architecture. Designed for industrial applications, NetLinx networks - DeviceNet, ControlNet and Ethernet/IP provide a common set of services, enabling the user to: exchange data for fast and precise control; configure systems and devices; and collect data for trending or analysis.

System bottlenecks are eliminated because NetLinx leverages producer/consumer network technology to provide a high performance, deterministic, and distributed solution. Within a Logix chassis, this flexible architecture permits multiple processors, networks (including SERCOS) and I/O to be mixed without restrictions. And as your system grows, ControlNet or Ethernet/IP provides the link to distribute control to additional chassis. With NetLinx, the right data is available at the right place at the right time.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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