Rockwell takes FactoryTalk to smaller manufacturers

Rockwell Automation has introduced a version of its factory automation and asset management software aimed at smaller manufacturers and machine builders.

The new version, called FactoryTalk AssetCentre Machine Edition, can gather, manage and secure data on up to 25 devices, such as control systems, drives and human-machine interface devices, using a single workstation.

The company claimed that the software will enable manufacturers to respond to new opportunities, production changes or problems through a set of asset-centric tools, all designed to help improve production system security, minimise risk, maximise uptime and improve operational efficiency. It also allows them to move into automated asset management without the need to buy additional Microsoft SQL Server database licences, it said.

"To thrive in today's global economy, even those manufacturers not heavily invested in automation must leverage manufacturing convergence to achieve higher levels of business performance," said Rockwell Automation product manager, Tad Palus.

"FactoryTalk AssetCentre Machine Edition was designed with those smaller manufacturers in mind," he added.

He said that the FactoryTalk integrated production and performance suite of plant-wide information software can help manufacturers reduce costs and extend the lifecycle of existing investments. Machine Edition expands that by helping manufacturers with small islands of automation securely and centrally manage production environments. 

The software offers version control and archiving of program files and documents, provides backup and recovery of operating asset configurations, tracks users' actions, and manages asset configuration files on Rockwell Automation devices. The new version also allows machine builders to cost-effectively provide electronic versions of archived files, prints and drawings for delivery to end users, Palus said. 

He added that Machine Edition's features include security and user authorisation, an audit trail, the ability to track file versions and provide check-out and check-in capabilities, and automatic backup of an asset's configuration for disaster recovery.

Rockwell Automation also announced a global agreement with ProLeiT AG, that will allow ProLeiT to more tightly integrate its Plant iT production control and data acquisition system with Rockwell's Logix control platform. The two companies said that the agreement would provide users in the brewing, dairy and related industries with "faster start-up and commissioning of applications in an open architecture development environment".

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