Activities from November 11, 2009
- Legislative Uncertainties and New Sustainability Opportunities
- FactoryTalk Editions Reach Out and Coordinate Data Treasure
- Plant–Wide Optimization Relies on Multi-Disciplined Control
- Amazing Results Highlighted in Food & Beverage Forum
- Managing the Digital Oilfield of the Future
- Connected Components Speed Time to Market for OEMs

Automation Fair® Info:
Tech Session Schedule
Hands–On Labs
Demonstration Workshops

Legislative Uncertainties and New Sustainability Opportunities
Energy is a critical element in any attempt to realize a sustainable production environment. The influences on this issue are both the obvious substantial savings that can come from using less energy per unit of production output, as well as the necessities for energy conservation and carbon footprint reductions that might soon be either encouraged by incentives or punished via penalties for insufficient action.

At the Manufacturing Perspectives press event this week at Rockwell Automation’s Automation Fair, an experienced panel sought to define the actions that manufacturers need to take to better manage and reduce these costs, and to speculate on what new approaches might be available in the future.

Frank Peel, electrical support specialist at Owens Corning Canada, put the opportunities in perspective, saying of the Owens glass–melting process that the annual energy bill is on the order of $1 billion.

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"The utility bill for our glass–melting process is on the order of $1 billion." Frank Peel of Owens Corning Canada, along with other distinguished panelists, discussed the potential for improving the sustainability of manufacturing processes.

Highlight: Tomorrow’s Industry Forums:
Global Machine Builders | Life Sciences | Water & Wastewater | Theater Presentation Schedule

FactoryTalk Editions Reach Out and Coordinate Data Treasure
All the data in the world isn’t worth spit until you can find it, secure it and coordinate it to make useful decisions.

However, most control and automation users typically have many data values they can’t reach fast enough, humongous piles of unorganized information and numerous applications and facilities that can’t easily share and compare data between them.

To help lead users out of this wilderness, Rockwell Automation has launched new editions of its FactoryTalk Historian and FactoryTalk VantagePoint software that greatly enhance their existing capabilities and allow users to quickly find and gather the gems in their data, and then coordinate information sources between applications, sites and systems to enable far better decision making.

"FactoryTalk Historian ME is ported to run in a module on a Logix controller’s backplane," said Keith McPherson, Rockwell Software market development director. "And getting the historian as close as you can get to where the data is generated allows far higher–speed data access, including scan rates down to 10 to 25 milliseconds. This is especially useful for pharmaceutical and food and beverage users and other regulated applications and customers that must thoroughly document all of their operations."

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Rockwell Automation’s Jan Pingel described two new FactoryTalk applications: Historian ME (Machine Edition), which runs directly on the Logix backplane, and VantagePoint EMI (Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence), which facilitates the integration and visualization of enterprise–level information together with plant‐floor data sources.

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.

Plant–Wide Optimization Relies on Multi-Disciplined Control
In an interview with Control’s Walt Boyes at this week’s Automation Fair 2009, Som Chakraborti, Rockwell Automation’s business director for process automation, Lee Lane, business director for controllers, Victor Swint, vice president and general manager of Rockwell Automation’s motion control business, and Anne Vondrak, Integrated Architecture global market development manager, discussed multi–disciplined control and the concept of plant–wide control.

"The heart of it all is the Logix 5000," Lane said. "The concept of a single software platform with a single hardware platform is a game–changer. It brings down the automation life cycle to a robust design and architecture. Integrated Architecture is total plant control in a single control environment and a single software package from one end of the plant to the other."

Chakraborti said that he believed that the message that is resonating with end–user customers and OEMs alike is the operational simplicity that plant–wide control provides. "Instead of two or three or more control platforms, plus information management platforms, the ease and flexibility of working on a single multi–disciplined control and information system is breathtaking," Chakraborti said.

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"The Integrated Automation core is the real story. That’s where the magic happens." Rockwell Automation’s Lee Lane explained how the ability to perform all control disciplines in a single, integrated environment is fundamental to realizing the potential of plant–wide optimization.

Couldn’t attend the Automation Fair® event this year? Show your solidarity with genuine Automation Fair merchandise!

Amazing Results Highlighted in Food & Beverage Forum
"I closed my control room. All of my operators are out in the plant with portable HMIs," declared Tim Foster, vice president of engineering and joint founder of Green Planet Farms (GPF). "I’ve got 25% of the staff I had before, and they’re more qualified people," he said as he and Steve Schiedemeyer, vice president of engineering at Engineering Solutions Experts (ESE), discussed the results of the project GPF did with ESE, a major Wisconsin–based system integrator and Rockwell Automation Solution Provider.

"My partner and CEO went to see a plant that was producing soy protein isolates using water instead of hexane. She came back and told me that she wanted a plant that worked just like that one. So we got with ESE and did it," Foster explained. "After we had been in operation for a few months, I visited the other plant, and found out that they had no automation at all—it was entirely manual! If I had known that, we might not have the plant we have now."

The design involved cutting–edge technologies using the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx process automation system and systems and equipment from a range of Rockwell Automation’s Encompass Program partners.

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"Operators can be anywhere, and they can make changes to the system from their mobile HMIs." Green Planet Farms’ Tim Foster discussed the productivity improvements enabled by the company’s adoption of a plant–wide Logix architecture.

 

Managing the Digital Oilfield of the Future
When you drill an oil well today, you get a gusher of data along with the oil and gas. This is because exploration and other drilling equipment is increasingly wired with instruments and networked to monitoring and control systems. And, like the oil itself, that data also must be refined into a useful form that can help users make decisions.

"These days a single drill pipe may be wired and scanning 30,000 times per second to report on temperature, pressure and other variables," said Doug Johnson, production optimization product manager for Halliburton’s Landmark Software & Services division. "And the number one place that data goes to in our industries is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, but the main challenge is how to get that data into a representative context that we and our customers can use. Of course, there are many differences between data from asset to asset inside individual companies, their facilities and applications."

Johnson delivered his presentation, "The Digital Oilfield of the Future," as part of the Oil & Gas Industry Forum this week at Rockwell Automation’s Automation Fair 2009 in Anaheim, Calif.

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"The number one destination for data in the oil and gas industry is still the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet." Halliburton Landmark’s Doug Johnson explained how the company uses Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk VantagePoint and Pavilion8 software to manage oilfield data effectively.

 

Connected Components Speed Time to Market for OEMs
Rockwell Automation’s "Connected Components" booth at Rockwell Automation Fair 2009 in Anaheim, Calif., is all about simplicity. "Our job is to make things really simple for OEMs," explained Rockwell Automation business director Co Nguyen. "Simple to develop, simple to buy, simple to use and simple to maintain."

OEMs serving the small–machine market face economic and competitive pressures. With projects often awarded to the lowest–cost provider, machine builders must maximize manufacturing speed and efficiency by streamlining the design process. Control–system design is responsible for a large portion of a machine’s development time and budget. Reducing costs in this area can provide a critical competitive advantage.

The Connected Components Building Blocks (CCBB) toolset from Rockwell Automation is designed to make it faster and easier for machine builders to implement common control–design tasks. "The building blocks make it a lot easier to go through the wiring diagrams and codes," said Nguyen.

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"In a development environment, getting to market sooner is a big differentiator." Rockwell Automation’s Co Nguyen explained how the company’s Connected Components Building Blocks make it faster and easier for machine builders to implement common control–design tasks.

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