Activities from November 10, 2009
- Rockwell Automation Eyes Converging Trends
- Rockwell Automation Remains Bullish on Process Business
- Delivering on the Promise of Plant-wide Optimization
- Functional Safety Sweetens Ice Cream Machines
- Functionality, Integration, Productivity Guide PlantPAx Roadmap
- A Day in the Life of a Process System
- Safety Offers Sustainability, Productivity Benefits

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Rockwell Automation Eyes Converging Trends
"Everything that rises must converge." Flannery O’Connor first said it, rather prophetically, in the title of her 1961 short story, but Keith Nosbusch, CEO and chairman of Rockwell Automation, demonstrated its applicability to machine– and process–automation trends occurring today.

"The convergence of control, power, communications and information technology is unfolding," said Nosbusch, who opened the company’s Manufacturing Perspectives international media gathering, held in conjunction with Automation Fair this week in Anaheim, Calif. "More than 60 nations are represented to find ideas here at Automation Fair, the world’s largest forum of automation and technology," he said. "Our goal is to help make the most of their investments and improve their competitiveness."

Nosbusch reported fiscal 2009 sales of around $4.3 billion for Rockwell Automation and its 19,000 employees, with approximately half of that coming from outside the U.S.

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"Transforming every factory into a smart node on the smart grid will enable them to be more environmentally friendly." CEO Keith Nosbusch offered his perspective on why Rockwell Automation is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the global shifts underway in the manufacturing and technology sectors.

Highlight: Tomorrow’s Industry Forums:
Food & Beverage | Oil & Gas | Water & Wastewater

Rockwell Automation Remains Bullish on Process Business
Despite a difficult economic climate in 2009, Rockwell Automation remains committed to continued investment in the process automation business, according to Steve Eisenbrown, senior vice president, architecture and software. "It’s still the company’s fastest growing area," Eisenbrown said, "and our number one opportunity for the future."

Eisenbrown kicked off this week’s Rockwell Automation Process Solutions User Group (PSUG) meeting on Monday, November 9, in Anaheim, Calif., in his executive keynote address. Revenue–wise, the company’s process business is down this year, but has still averaged 29% CAGR over the past five years, Eisenbrown noted. "Attendance at PSUG is up 10% over last year, and we have more than 180 companies and 29 countries represented at this year’s event."

We gauge success by revenue, but also by mindshare and share–of–market," he added. And, since the introduction of Rockwell Automation’s PlantPAx platform at the last year’s user group gathering, "We’ve put our time and effort into portfolio enhancements and expanded domain expertise," Eisenbrown continued.

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"Process is still the company’s fastest growing area and our number one opportunity for the future." Rockwell Automation’s Steve Eisenbrown affirmed the company’s continued commitment to the expansion and integration of the company’s process automation portfolio.

The exhibition floor at the Automation Fair® event includes more than 100 booths highlighting solutions for a wide variety of automation needs. Visit our online Partner Network Showcase for a preview of the offerings that are on display.

Delivering on the Promise of Plant-wide Optimization
Rockwell Automation’s Integrated Architecture can be used to deliver optimization–not just for machines or processes, but for manufacturing cells, process areas and entire plants and even assist in enterprise wide optimization. So began Frank Kulasziewicz, vice president for control and visualization for Rockwell Automation, as he teed–up a wide–ranging panel discussion on the topic at this week’s Manufacturing Perspectives press event at Automation Fair 2009 in Anaheim, Calif.

He pointed to four arenas in which sustainability is made possible by the company’s Integrated Architecture offering: process, information, safety and OEM machine performance. He showed how Rockwell Automation’s investments in core architecture are being leveraged into many different industries and verticals, as reflected in product offerings ranging from the company’s PlantPAx process automation platform to its FactoryTalk VantagePoint visualization tool.

He showed that Rockwell Automation’s acquisitions in the safety area have made them the number one provider of both discrete and process safety products and systems, and how integrated power and control has enormous implications for sustainability and energy savings.

» Read more

"Rockwell Automation’s Integrated Architecture and approach to multi–disciplined control makes real–time information practical, and using EtherNet/IP, easy to provide to any part of the plant." Rockwell Automation’s Frank Kulasziewicz explained how Rockwell Automation’s unified platform for communication and for multiple control disciplines can help manufacturers realize the benefits of plant–wide optimization.

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Functional Safety Sweetens Ice Cream Machines
There aren’t too many treats better than an ice cream bar enrobed in chocolate. However, if you’re a safety engineer in desperate need of a useful solution, then a workable and easy-to-use safety system may be even more delicious and satisfying.

Gram Equipment in Vojens, Denmark, has been building automatic machines for making ice cream bars for almost 80 years, and is presently the leading supplier of large–scale equipment to the ice cream industry. However, there are many temperature parameters in the relatively slow process of making ice cream, numerous potential pinch points on its machines and other maintenance hazards. These constraints and ever-increasing demand from its own end users are why Gram recently needed to upgrade from running safety I/O points via DeviceNet to a more efficient safety system, but it needed some help to do it.

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"Previously, we’d be faced with rewiring numerous relays like everyone else." Gram Equipment’s John Christiansen shared the company’s successful implementation of Rockwell Automation’s GuardLogix machine safety platform.

 

Functionality, Integration, Productivity Guide PlantPAx Roadmap
Since Rockwell Automation first announced its PlantPAx umbrella for process automation offering at last year’s Process Solutions Users Group (PSUG) meeting, the company continues to make strides toward delivering a unified solutions offering for process manufacturers.

"PlantPAx leverages the Logix integrated architecture," said Som Chakraborti, business director, process automation, addressing the 2009 PSUG gathering this week in Anaheim, Calif., in the days leading up to Automation Fair. "Through our systems characterization lab, we continue to tailor the Rockwell Automation architecture to the specific attributes required for process."

Recent efforts have focused on several key areas, Chakraborti explained, including operations and engineering productivity, field device integration, plant asset management, high availability and safety, and core process control capabilities.

» Read more

"We continue to tailor the Rockwell Automation architecture to the specific attributes required for process." Rockwell Automation’s Som Chakraborti enumerated the many PlantPAx enhancements being introduced at this year’s Automation Fair.

 

A Day in the Life of a Process System
One of the best ways to see and understand the features in an unfamiliar control system is to watch and, better yet, participate in a detailed demo. It is very easy to paint a billboard, and it is really easy to paint a car. But in order to get the car to go, all the elements under the hood have to work, and work together.

This week at Rockwell Automation’s Process Solutions User Group (PSUG) meeting in Anaheim, Calif., the company’s Dave Knowles, Andy Stump, Kris Dornan and Ric Snyder treated the audience to just such a detailed demo. Called "A Day in the Life of a Process System," it was designed to showcase how well the PlantPAx features worked together under the hood.

"PlantPAx," Knowles said, "is designed to integrate tools for resources management, equipment management, inventory integration, business intelligence, ERP, decision–making and energy optimization. That’s a big laundry list, so we decided to show you a set of production facility scenarios to illustrate how well and how easily the PlantPAx control system suite handles a typical process plant day."

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"My plant doesn’t work that way. We have stuff go wrong all the time. How do you handle that?" Andy Stump led a live demo of how Rockwell Automation’s PlantPAx platform can improve operations and productivity despite the inevitable bumps in the road.

 

Safety Offers Sustainability, Productivity Benefits
Safety is always critical, but it also can go beyond itself, securing a home within larger productivity and sustainability efforts. This is no coincidence because, as control and automation operations and networks come together into more closely integrated systems, they’re also drawing previously segregated safety capabilities into their orbit. In part, this is a result of National Fire Protection Association rules (NFPA–79) that now allow regular data and safety communications to occur on the same network, but it’s also because many international, regional and national safety standards are resolving their differences and harmonizing their requirements to help machine builders and users apply safety practices consistently.

Michael Douglas, senior manager for new technology and standards at General Motors, delivered his keynote presentation, "How Safety Impacts Sustainability," at the second annual Safety Automation Forum on Nov. 10, the day before the opening of Rockwell Automation’s Automation Fair 2009 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

» Read more

"Safety, sustainability and productivity are all weaving together." GM’s Michael Douglas explained how the company’s safety efforts have become an integral part of the company’s culture.

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