Rockwell Automation has unveiled updates to its midrange control and information platform that streamline and enhance the design environment for machine and equipment builders, making it more efficient and on par with its high-end platform, the company said.
Rockwell -- one of the leaders in the industrial automation sector -- demonstrated the additions to its CompactLogix platform at the Pack Expo 2012 conference. CompactlLogix, unveiled last year, is a smaller, less expensive control platform to Rockwell's ControlLogix system aimed at offering similar features as the larger platform but in a more cost-effective way due in part to tight integration between the programming software and controller modules, the company said.
Rockwell Automation’s CompactLogix platform uses a common control engine and development environment to offer machine and equipment builders a compact, less expensive design environment. The company bolstered the platform with a range of new modules, including an integrated drive-motor system, servo drive and motor, managed switch, programmable controllers, and a virtual monitoring solution. (Source: Rockwell Automation)
Rockwell has now filled out the platform with a new integrated drive-motor system, servo drive and motor, managed switch, programmable controllers, and a virtual monitoring solution -- additions that will be joined by others in the future as the company continues to build out its mid-range offering, Paul Whitney, commercial program manager at Rockwell, told us.
Specifically, Rockwell has bolstered its midrange platform with the following additions:
The Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6000M integrated drive-motor, which combines the Allen-Bradley food-grade servo motor and Kinetix 6000 multi-axis servo drive into one on-machine package. The integration of these elements helps machine builders in a number of ways, allowing them to reduce the time it takes to wire a system, as well as simplify cabling, according to the company.
Allen-Bradley's CompactLogix 5370 programmable automation controller, which provides a integrated motion control system by using Rockwell's common design and networking environment.
The Kinetix 5500 servo drive and VP low-inertia servo motor, an integrated, compact EtherNet/IP solution that helps to simplify system wiring. The product is targeted toward packaging, material handling, or converting systems with more than six axes, and does not require separate power rails or other accessories, allowing for machine scalability, according to Rockwell. The drive and motor combo also uses half the energy of similar solutions and can lower the cost of cables because it provides transmission and feedback over a single cable, the company said.
The Allen-Bradley Stratix 5700 layer 2 managed Ethernet switch, which is based on Cisco technology and allows machine and equipment builders to manage data from the IT and controls environment.
The component-class programmable logic controllers to simplify selection, installation, and commissioning of machines and equipment.
The Connected Components Workbench, a freely downloadable software package to program the Micro800 family of controllers and configure other system devices.
The Virtual Support Engineer, a virtual monitoring solution that provides secure, remote access to customer locations. The solution allows for, among other things, event and alarm notifications to operators via SMS, as well as other forms of communication.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.