Rockwell Automation Where Process Meets Discrete | Automation.com

Rockwell Automation Where Process Meets Discrete

October 302004
October 2004-Automation Fair
Today, manufacturing’s hybrid industries — those that include both process and discrete applications — face a critical need: integrating the factory from beginning to end, bridging islands of automation and carrying information throughout the plant. This integration is essential for meeting today’s requirements, including tracking and tracing, security and efficient production.

Traditionally, process applications (such as batch management) and discrete applications (such as packaging) have worked separately, with little or no need for information-sharing. However, with new requirements for tracing a product all the way through the production process from “pasture to plate,” control systems must share information and turn that information into usable documentation. By combining its comprehensive discrete and process solutions and services, Rockwell Automation is helping hybrid industries – most common in industries like food and beverage, brewing, pharmaceutical, cement, glass, chemical and paper — meet the requirements for integration and reporting.

“With expertise in both process and discrete applications, Rockwell Automation is uniquely positioned to help hybrid manufacturers integrate their entire plant,” said Kevin Zaba, market development manager, Rockwell Automation. “This ability, enabled by Rockwell Automation® Integrated Architecture and its solutions and services, prepares end users for the future and gives them the ability to reap new benefits by moving information seamlessly through the plant from process to packaging and from shop-level control systems to top-level MES systems.”

Reaching the Goal
Control and information systems must meet certain requirements to integrate the plant. These often include establishing a common language and machine-state models throughout the plant, ensuring consistent operations protocols (e.g., giving process and discrete HMI screens a common look and feel), and complying with standards.

Rockwell Automation has solutions that help manufacturers comply with these requirements, including manufacturing consulting services, an unmatched integrated architecture, and tracking and tracing capabilities. Several new and upcoming products strengthen and broaden Rockwell Automation capabilities, including the new 1803-LAB solution, which integrates control systems and industrial heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to easily monitor and respond to changes in a room’s air pressure. Other areas in which Rockwell Automation is working to help manufacturers successfully integrate their discrete and process applications include:

Establishing a common language throughout the plant.
For discrete and process applications to work together, they must be able to communicate seamlessly. Toward this end, Rockwell Automation is able to leverage its integrated architecture to communicate information to and from all aspects of the plant. In addition, a soon-to-be-released version of Rockwell Software® RSLogix™ 5000 programming software for Logix controllers will feature PhaseManager™ — available in mid-2005 — which will help bridge discrete and process applications by providing a standardized language and framework for phase state logic. By providing close integration between ControlLogix® controllers and RSBizWare™ Batch software for process applications, PhaseManager will enable RSBizWare Batch to pull or push phase configuration through the ControlLogix controller, simplifying batch procedure creation. When included as part of the overall Rockwell Automation architecture, PhaseManager will further break down language and protocol barriers between process and discrete applications.

Ensuring consistent operation between discrete and process applications.
In a truly integrated plant, discrete and process applications look and feel the same. It is easy for operators to understand and operate all parts of the line because — beyond sharing the same internal language — they look and feel the same externally. New process extensions for Rockwell Software RSView® Supervisory Edition™ version 3.20 better address HMI requirements for process applications. Graphical interface faceplates for loop control, I/O modules, loop support and batch phase manager reduce system development costs and provide a more complete, consistent operator interface across both ControlLogix and ProcessLogix™ systems, easing operator transitions between process and discrete applications.

Maintaining compliance with standards.
Even as plants integrate their applications, they must comply with industry standards, and manufacturers with process operations must meet stringent requirements, which include tracking data and controlling the plant’s environment to ensure product safety. Rockwell Automation offers solutions and services that help meet those requirements. For example, the Rockwell Automation Tracking & Tracing solution leverages the datadriven architecture of Rockwell Automation to provide manufacturers the ability to track materials, people, and equipment from receiving through shipment.

As it establishes a common language for the entire plant, PhaseManager, discussed above, leverages the S88 standard from The Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society (ISA). Among other things, the S88 standard for batch control systems provides a standard structure for batch control language, which simplifies the programming, configuration tasks and communication between various components of a batch control system. By leveraging this standard, PhaseManager helps manufacturers optimize their batch production.

On the process side, enhanced security and audit capabilities in the latest version of RSBizWare Batch help users address regulatory compliance requirements for batch processes, specifically those necessary for 21 CFR Part 11. New features include configurable electronic signatures, signature templates, command verification, instruction archiving, step reactivation and event record timestamps. These features help users reduce compliance costs and improve batch-to-batch consistency, while decreasing time-to-market and increasing production throughput.

For additional information about Rockwell Automation process capabilities, visit the company’s Web site at www.rockwellautomation.com/process.
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