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Controller-based batch and sequencing capability

07 September 2010

PlantPAx Logix Batch and Sequence Manager is said to help reduce engineering time for system integrators and process machine builders while providing key controller-based recipe management and control capability for end-users

Rockwell Automation has extended its PlantPAx Process Automation System with the new PlantPAx Logix Batch and Sequence Manager. The application is said to solve a range of local, controller-based batch and sequencing needs allowing users to configure sequences directly in the controller through the human-machine interface using a standard user interface.

For system integrators, this feature eliminates the need for engineering-intensive custom code, while OEMs can now design a common process control solution for end customers requiring local sequencing that can easily integrate into a larger plantwide solution.

The Logix Batch and Sequence Manager is ideal for stand-alone units like mixers, blenders and reactors that require flexibility in the sequence (procedures) of the process and the formulas (setpoints) for the recipe. It is also well suited for common continuous sequencing applications like process startup/shutdown, grade changes and cleaning skid control.

“Many applications require sequence management capabilities, but the complexity of the process may not be great enough to warrant a server-based batch software package,” said Andy Stump, manager, Batch Solutions, Rockwell Automation. “This solution allows the user to start small, but if at any point the requirements grow, users can simply migrate the Logix Batch and Sequence Manager into a comprehensive software solution like FactoryTalk Batch without costly re-engineering and testing.

Today, most custom controller-based recipe management solutions only allow for setpoint downloads to a fixed sequence. As a result, when the sequence must change, users are forced to change the code. This adds risk to the process and can add significant cost to re-test and validate the system.

Logix Batch and Sequence Manager gives these users the configuration tools needed to change both the sequence and formula through a standard tool. Additionally, the application comes with intuitive, pre-developed configuration and run-time human-machine interface screens for easier run-time control and maintenance.

“With the Logix Batch & Sequence Manager, Rockwell Automation provides a scalable batch solution that focuses on ease of use and reduced engineering,” said John Blanchard, research director, ARC Advisory Group. “This scalability is a distinct advantage for OEMs who deliver standalone, skid-based solutions that must integrate easily into an end user’s larger systems.”

The application is based on ISA-88 standards, which provide a consistent framework for the application. This consistency helps the end user troubleshoot problems faster, improve the run-time experience, and thus increase throughput and improve quality.

The Logix Batch and Sequence Manager leverages the Logix Control Platform and FactoryTalk View software for integrated control and visualisation. As part of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system, the application uses the same configuration, networking and visualisation environment as the company’s larger-scale systems, enabling local, single unit supervision and control, while supporting multiple, independent units in a single controller.

This helps provide system integrators, machine builders and end users with cost-effective integration into the plantwide control system.

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