Programmable automation controller family fits applications smaller than 200 IO

Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture delivers new dimension of scalability, as applications with fewer than 200 I/O leverage Allen-Bradley CompactLogix controller for integrated motion, safety and standard control.


Rockwell Automation has significantly expanded its Integrated Architecture portfolio for smaller applications with a series of scalable, Allen-Bradley CompactLogix programmable automation controllers (PACs), servo drives, I/O, visualization and simplification tools. With high-performance features such as integrated motion, safety, EtherNet/IP connectivity and re-usable development tools, Rockwell Automation gives users the ability to standardize on a one control platform for small to large-scale applications.

Rockwell Automation Midrange System diagram; Courtesy: Rockwell Automation

“A scalable, right-sized control system helps machine builders and their customers cost-effectively match their application needs,” said Mike Burrows, director, Integrated Architecture, Rockwell Automation. “To gain this level of scale, users typically have to manage multiple designs, networks or visualization environments. The Rockwell Automation portfolio expansion gives the unprecedented ability to scale I/O using a single control platform and common user experience.”

The Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture features the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix and CompactLogix controller families. The ControlLogix PAC is ideally suited for applications that have up to 10,000 I/O and 100 axes of motion. The CompactLogix family, meanwhile, is ideal for applications with fewer than 200 I/O and up to 16 axes of motion. Featuring integrated motion on EtherNet/IP, the CompactLogix controller family can provide the same performance, flexibility, reduced development time and ease-of-use as larger scale systems from Rockwell Automation.

“In the past, machine builders and manufacturers who needed high-performance features, such as integrated motion, were faced with choosing a system that was oversized for their actual application needs,” said John Blanchard, research director, ARC Advisory Group. “By bringing the benefits of Integrated Architecture to smaller applications, users can now run motion and safety applications on a single control platform, using a single network – simplifying the design, operation and maintenance of equipment.”

The expanded portfolio includes:

• CompactLogix 5370 Series of PACs – Provides standard and integrated motion on EtherNet/IP in a single controller – using the same configuration, networking and visualization environment as ControlLogix-based systems. This provides scalable motion options for a wider range of machines.

• Allen-Bradley Kinetix 350 Single-Axis EtherNet/IP Servo Drive – Simplifies the network architecture by eliminating the need for a separate motion network, providing a high-performance, cost-effective solution for low-axis machines. This new drive will also feature a power range up to three kilowatts.

• PanelView Plus 6 and PanelView Plus Compact Human-Machine Interface – The cost-effective, operator interface provides advanced integration with Logix-based controllers.

• Rockwell Software RSLogix 5000 Design and Configuration Software – A single development that integrates Rockwell Automation control and information products on a single network. It’s designed to deliver world-class control capabilities for all disciplines including: process, batch, discrete, drives, safety and motion.

Other products and services that enhance the expanded offering:

• Motion Analyzer 6.0 Software – Helps machine builders obtain the full benefits of a mechatronic design approach by making it faster and easier to analyze, optimize, simulate and select motion control systems. In version 6.0 of Motion Analyzer, it is easy to evaluate design alternatives to facilitate a reduction in the size of the motor and drive with new enhancements in the workflow and additional products included in the selection menus.

• Drives and Motion Accelerator Toolkit – A collection of design tools which help customers reduce the time and cost of developing a new application using Rockwell Automation equipment. With the latest addition of the Allen-Bradley Kinetix 350 servo drive, these easy-to-use tools and templates assist customers with a wide variety of design tasks.

• AENTR Ethernet Adapter – Helps to reduce the time to migrate SLC programmable controllers to CompactLogix PACs by reusing existing I/O and field wiring.

• Allen-Bradley Stratix 2000 and Allen-Bradley Stratix 6000 switches – Like the other switches in the Stratix portfolio, the two new switches are powered by Cisco technology, providing high-performance switching capability with tools familiar to IT professionals to help simplify integration into your infrastructure.

• Allen-Bradley ArmorBlock Dual Port EtherNet/IP Quick Connect – A robot’s ability to change tools quickly improves the flexibility and efficiency of the manufacturing process. This means that the connection time between an I/O device and the controller on the robot is critical for productivity. Quick Connect is an added functionality of EtherNet/IP that allows for quick connection between the controller and ArmorBlock module (within 500 milliseconds).

• Global Solutions and Services – Suppliers best serve their customers by offering a scalable range of support options, allowing them to select the service level that best matches their corporate goals, internal technical capabilities and budgets. Rockwell Automation provides one of the most comprehensive service portfolios in the industry.

 Rockwell Automation said it is the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs about 21,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

PLC and PAC Channel

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering,   

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