Distributed Control System Improves Automation Productivity

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Rockwell Automation’s updated PlantPAx DCS enhances automation and control.

The latest release of the PlantPAx modern distributed control system (DCS) from Rockwell Automation includes a more productive design environment to enhance automation productivity, easier adoption of new enabling technologies to improve user experience, and enhanced control capabilities to help meet operational goals.

To provide operators with reliable and accurate system configuration, the PlantPAx system now includes expanded estimation, design, and development guides. The updated documentation and design capabilities help increase automation productivity, decrease the time required to deploy a maintainable and modern system, and reduce life-cycle costs. Pre-built control strategies developed within the Rockwell Automation library of process objects provide a consistent user and maintenance experience. 

Leveraging network improvements and built-in mobility, the PlantPAx system delivers an improved, reliable user experience. Expanded industrial Ethernet switches support Layer 3 topologies, enhancing scalability for a variety of applications. Smaller control systems can now be integrated into larger enterprise networks with a common, fully supported network infrastructure. The network switches include embedded Cisco technology to integrate and translate operations technology and information technology. This makes it easier for process operators to configure and manage system networks.

The PlantPAx system also now includes a mobile component that enables users to create displays and interact with process data across any HTML5-compliant mobile platform. The software is responsive to the user’s specific device, allowing operators and plant managers to access and view performance metrics and data analytics in their preferred format.

New built-in control features-such as integrated PlantPAx model predictive control (MPC), alarm management, and batch management-now operate in a common environment, helping to improve plant efficiencies and operational performance. Control-based PlantPAx MPC provides the ability to predictably manage external and complex process disturbances and maximize process performance up to process constraints. This allows continuous improvements within the process while reducing waste and variability.

The updated system also leverages the recently introduced batch application toolkit to help reduce the risk, time, and cost of implementing batch control systems. Containing documentation, application examples, and sample code, the toolkit gives engineers a starting point to build and maintain a consistent batch control system. It also provides flexibility to customize system elements for increased functionality.

Source: Rockwell Automation