Rockwell Automation is poised to launch more compact, cost-effective electronics solutions that help manufacturers claw back lost downtime and save on space.
The firm was demonstrating its new Midrange machine control platform via touchscreen technology at Emballage 2012, the packaging materials and technology trade show, in Paris.
The platform delivers performance, scalability, integrated motion, integrated security and reduced costs to standardise all applications, Rockwell said.
Better performance, reduced price
The Midrange systems offer increased power processors, delivering better performance at a reduced price, and were available in three lines. These lines are designed in an ascending order of memory and ability to control axes of motion.
At Emballage, a spokesman for Rockwell told FoodProductionDaily.com its new drives and ethernet switches offered significant benefits.
New systems included the Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 525 AC Drive, the latest Kinetix Servo Drives and the Stratix 5700 Managed Industrial Ethernet Switches, he said.
“The capabilities for process and for motion include the smaller factor and greater horsepower. For the Stratix, we needed something that delivers on space requirements and has the price positioning.”
The switch could handle more motion control from the same space and cost as much as 50% less than previous equivalents, saving processors thousands of euros.
The new Stratix and PowerFlex models were more compact and easier to integrate into control cabinets, freeing up space for additional systems, he explained.
Stratix 5700 could alert operators and engineers to problems as they occurred, potentially automatically via text message, he added.
“One original equipment manufacturer who has implemented it delegates [the job as soon as the message is received]. It’s a faster way [of handling things].
“All the information the switch has is directly linked to our controller. People can send out warnings via SMS [to tell maintenance staff] that they have to go and fix that problem.”
The latest version of Rockwell's Kinetix drive divides the footprint needed for equivalent systems in half, he said. In addition, it uses a digital feedback system to enhance its capabilities to communicate information on operating performance.
Dual port ethernet connection at the front of the drive meant you could easily maintain operations even if other connections failed.
“One of the big benefits of ethernet and Kinetix is that you can break the chain in one area, but the system still works, so the machine doesn’t stop,” said the Rockwell spokesman. That dramatically reduced downtime in situations where there were connectivity issues, he added.
- (Register here for free access to the first ever online event devoted to Operational Efficiency in food and beverage processing, taking place on November 29, organized by our sister site FoodProductionDaily.com and William Reed Business Media.)