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October 25, 2006

Headlines from Today's Activities
- Rockwell, OSIsoft to Jointly Build Historian Modules
- Biotech Innovations Target Scalability, Speed to Market
- Batch Standard 'Revolutionizes' Brewhouse Operations

Automation Fair® Info:
Tech Session Schedule
Hands-on Labs
Technology Workshops

Rockwell, OSIsoft to Jointly Build Historian Modules
How would you like to deploy and implement a data historian in a few minutes instead of a few days? Well, if your historian was contained in a 16-bit discrete module, and you didn't need a traditional PC to host it, then it might be possible to save this much time.

This dramatic improvement soon will be available thanks to a joint development agreement announced today by Rockwell Automation and OSIsoft on the first day of Automation Fair 2006. Rockwell will incorporate OSIsoft's PI System and related components into its FactoryTalk integrated and performance suite, and use FactoryTalk's service-oriented architecture (SOA) to further include PI in Rockwell's overall integrated architecture.

For example, the two companies will collaborate on a module that can be plugged into Rockwell's Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 1756 I/O rack. This module will have OSIsoft's data historian embedded in it, and will be able to be plugged into the I/O rack's backplane. This means users will no longer have to devote an entire traditional PC to hosting their data historians, which Rockwell projects will save them huge amounts of engineering time.

Further in the future, Rockwell plans to make modules and/or embed OSIsoft's historian in many of its other product lines. These are most likely to include its nano controllers, pico controllers, drives and other devices.

In addition, the joint development agreement will serve as the platform for a tiered, distributed historian strategy, which will integrate with a variety of other applications. Rockwell says this approach represents a scalable, affordable alternative for manufacturers seeking to improve insight at each level of their manufacturing system, including embedded controls, machine and work cells, entire plants, or across their enterprises.

"This alliance accelerates the depth and breadth of our historian-based offerings," said Kevin Roach, Rockwell's vice president of software. "Combining PI System with FactoryTalk services and connectivity to our integrated architecture gives our customers access to world-class distributed historian capabilities that deliver seamless integration to Rockwell's control systems, as well as connectivity to third-party platforms."

Pat Kennedy, OSIsoft's CEO, added, "This partnership realizes our long-term vision of extending the scope of the PI System through a relationship that takes full advantage of its capabilities, and brings our technology platform to new markets."

An estimated throng of more than 10,000 industrial automation professionals were scheduled to descend on the Baltimore Convention Center for Rockwell Automation's 16th annual Automation Fair as the two-day event kicked off this morning.

Highlight: Tomorrow's Global Machine Builder Forum

Biotech Innovations Target Scalability, Speed to Market
It's been a scant 30 years since the advent of recombinant DNA and the birth of the biotechnology industry. And while vigorous activity continues on the research and patent front, manufacturing innovation is poised to help biotech to grow into a dominant commercial sector over the next 10 years, said Mark Lester, founder and managing director of Forge Partners, to industry professionals assembled for the Life Sciences Industry Forum held today in conjunction with Automation Fair 2006.

"The real challenge is to move past Phase II trials to commercialization," Lester said. To do that, cadres of small biotech start-up firms need processing and automation systems that can quickly and economically satisfy Phase II materials requirements, yet be fully scalable for commercial scale production.

Biotech start-ups should to be looking at automation platforms that bundle fundamental control capabilities, together with the MES functionality required for the FDA's traceability and record-keeping demands. "The most effective automation strategies require engagement earlier, when scale-up and manufacturing decisions originate," Lester said. Further, these systems need to readily integrate into higher-level business systems via standard methodologies as these start-ups grow—or are acquired by larger biotech or pharmaceutical companies.

Innovation in processing systems also is helping capital-strapped start-ups get to market more quickly. Lester cited new manufacturing methodologies from companies such as Xcellerex, that have "reduced start-up time and capital cost by 50%." In short, the company's modular systems are based on sterile disposable bags, up to 1,000 liters, that feature magnetically-coupled impellers for agitation. Modular enclosures on wheels reduce clean-room requirements and eliminate the need to physically separate cell culture, purification and form-fill areas. Disposable technology also renders clean-in-place and steam-in-place systems unnecessary.

Another innovation streamlining biotech facility design and start-up is the increasing use of a common control platform for both process automation and building automation. Environmental conditions often are part of the batch record, explained Steve Pflautz, instrumentation, control and electrical engineer for engineering firm CRB. "It's always easier to purchase an integrated solution rather than build connectivity yourself," he said. "Especially when you have highly interactive unit operations, there are fewer hardware systems to interface and fewer software entities to manage," he added.

Pflautz also questioned the common objection that building automation systems are less expensive than using your process automation system to also do environmental control. "You'll pay more for a cheaper, separate building automation system in the long run," he said. The big-picture advantages include enhanced functionality, easier implementation as well as improved modularity and flexibility for the future.

Visit for more information on Rockwell Automation's life sciences offering.

"The most effective automation strategies require engagement earlier, when scale-up and manufacturing decisions originate." Forge Partners' Mark Lester, on the automation needs of biotech start-ups.

The exhibition floor at the Automation Fair® event includes displays from more than
100 exhibitors showcasing solutions for a wide variety of automation needs. Our online Product Showcase highlights new Rockwell Automation offerings that are on display.

Optimize your time at the Automation Fair® event using our Ideal Day Planner Tools to customize your visit by industry, job function and technical interest.

Batch Standard 'Revolutionizes' Brewhouse Operations
"Automation investment is a key competitive strategy," began Francisco Kellerhoff, corporate automation manager for Venezuela's Polar Brewery, in summarizing his company's RSBatch implementation of ISA's S88 batch management standard to "facilitate and homogenize control of our batch processes." Kellerhoff's address kicked off the Food & Beverage Industry Forum today at Automation Fair 2006.

Systematically abstracting recipe development from process-equipment specifics has proved no less than "revolutionary," Kellerhoff said. "The brew master can now create all products demanded by the market." Formerly, extensive engineering time was required for any recipe change. And with rapidly changing consumer demands spurring an increased diversity of products, "the ability to anticipate and market changes is critical," Kellerhoff said.

Other unanticipated benefits of S88 implementation cited by Kellerhoff include improved throughput (from 20 to 22 batches per day) as well as better product quality as measured by dramatic improvements in turbidity.

Visit for more information on Rockwell Automation's offerings for the food and beverage industry.

"Food and beverage manufacturers need increasingly flexible and agile production systems." Rockwell's Charley Rastle reviewed how the company is helping food and beverage manufacturers respond to an increasingly competitive global market.

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