Aisles crowded at Automation Fair 2001

Atlanta, Ga. - Remember the last time it was difficult to move from booth to booth at a trade show? That's an old memory for some, but it's as recent as yesterday for visitors at Rockwell Automation's Automation Fair 2001.


Atlanta, Ga. - Remember the last time it was difficult to move from booth to booth at a trade show? That's an old memory for some, but it's as recent as yesterday for visitors at Rockwell Automation's Automation Fair 2001. An estimated 8,000 attendees packed the event's aisles and exhibits on Nov. 14-15 to learn about products and solutions and ask specific questions about how these could solve their manufacturing problems.

Don Davis, Rockwell Automation's ceo, in both prepared remarks and a follow up conversation with Control Engineering, reaffirmed that the company is holding its market share in these difficult times. He also extolled the growth and continued potential for the company's asset management programs. These are a group of initiatives that aim to help companies manage plant-floor maintenance inventory needs, from locating an inventory professional at a company to vendor-managed inventory and board repair.

In product news, the Logix engine continues to be expanded into new product areas of the company. This platform features a common integrated programming editor with a tag database that eliminates data re-entry for HMI uses. In motion control, Sercos connectivity has been added, with the unique Sercos configuration handled by programming in the Logix engine. This also enables components to 'talk' to each other, so that that the motor can identify itself to the drive.

Rockwell Software unveiled 'Factory Talk,' an extension of its 'RNA' platform built on the Microsoft DNA platform. Microsoft has since upgraded that platform to its current. Net strategy, and Rockwell is building on this latest technology. The objective of Factory Talk is to enable all factory devices to talk to each other, and eventually reach enterprise systems more easily. After years of enterprise and e-business products, RSMACC (maintenance control center) was introduced, along with the first two modules designed to provide increased support for true maintenance management. This is a return to the company's roots of support for the factory floor.

Enterprise Controls is an initiative designed to provide integrated software products that support control engineers throughout entire lifecycles. It provides an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), brings information from design, and follows through operations and maintenance functions.

ProcessLogix has added redundancy, FOUNDATION fieldbus and increased support for pharmaceutical applications.

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