Rockwell Automation enhances PlantPAx System

July 20, 2009 — For manufacturers looking to better integrate process control and process safety applications, the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx Process Automation System has new capabilities, including integration of ICS Triplex Trusted SIL 3 triple modular redundant (TMR) technology and the scalable AADvance process safety systems. These capabilities help users avoid unplanned incidents and hazards that pose risk to personnel, assets and the environment.

The new integration allows process control and process safety systems to communicate directly with each other and share important data, such as diagnostic information, system status, alarms, events and other critical information. This helps improve productivity, minimize troubleshooting time and provides faster recovery from interruptions without compromising safety or security.

The Trusted system from ICS Triplex is an original TMR SIL 3-certified platform that provides a high level of availability and fault tolerance, and has been field proven for years as one of the foremost process safety solutions. Meanwhile, with its modular design, the AADvance system is a cost-effective solution for critical control applications requiring less I/O and can be used for simplex, duplex and triplex functions with SIL 1, 2 or 3 requirements.

The integration between ICS Triplex safety platforms (SIS, safety instrumented systems) and the PlantPAx process control system (BPCS, basic process control system) is ideal for petroleum, heavy chemical and other applications that require separation between process safety and process control, but also want to leverage the benefits of a single network, architecture and information platform.

The common data infrastructure allows the sharing of alarms and data over a single EtherNet/IP network while allowing for a common HMI to display the events and information across the enterprise. Based on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP), EtherNet/IP communicates with other CIP-based networks to provide a seamless data path from the plant floor to the IT level. With tighter integration on a common open network, EtherNet/IP helps reduce the typical network installation and support costs by up to 50 percent. In addition to reduced costs, the seamless CIP integration helps reduce the engineering time and effort it takes to integrate BPCS and SIS by up to two days when compared to traditional methods, such as OPC.

With the PlantPAx system software, customers have the additional benefit of device management for sensors, instruments, drives, valves and other assets, which can be configured in minutes. For those customers who desire more common solutions, Rockwell Automation also introduced new fault-tolerant I/O and configurable AOIs (add-on instructions) for its SIL 2 TÜV-certified Allen Bradley ControlLogix programmable automation controller (PAC). The configurable easy-to-use AOIs reduce application logic for both fail-safe and fault-tolerant SIL 2 application systems.

“The comprehensive PlantPAx solution is the result of significant investments Rockwell Automation has made in process technologies,” said Art Pietrzyk, critical process control and safety segment manager, Rockwell Automation. “This most recent expansion gives users more efficient choices to meet their safety requirements. They can choose the level of integration they want while using technology that precisely matches the SIL level and fault tolerances they need.” This unique scalability means customers can now choose between a range of affordable Rockwell Automation options that meet their application requirements.

“The level of integration between ICS Triplex platforms and the PlantPAx system alleviates the custom integration by the users and presents operational value for both control and visibility across systems,” said Larry O’Brien, research director, ARC Research. “The approach allows the systems to be ‘integrated’ while maintaining ‘separation’ – both are important to safety and process control customers. The possibility of common cause failure is also reduced.”

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs about 20,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.