Rockwell Automation/Cisco Systems: Customer needs pave Ethernet's way from factory floor to executive suite

Listening to your customers is a skill to hone. That's why users of both Rockwell Automation and Cisco Systems solutions recently attended the Customer Innovation Council—a series of events hosted by the vendors—to make their views known. These particular users clearly expressed a desire for greater adoption of Ethernet network technology, calling for easier connectivity of industri...

08/01/2008


Listening to your customers is a skill to hone. That's why users of both Rockwell Automation and Cisco Systems solutions recently attended the Customer Innovation Council —a series of events hosted by the vendors—to make their views known.

 

These particular users clearly expressed a desire for greater adoption of Ethernet network technology, calling for easier connectivity of industrial devices and machines with the rest of the enterprise—where Ethernet reigns. They called for a single common infrastructure that can reduce costs, simplify the technology footprint, and enable broader collaboration from the factory floor to the executive suite.

 

Council participants from Kimberly-Clark, Owens Corning, General Mills, Goodyear, Kraft, Eli Lilly DuPont, GM, and Coca-Cola say the challenges behind this are as much technical as they are cultural, since manufacturing engineers and IT specialists often have different priorities: speed and uptime versus security and reliability, respectively.

 


The Stratix 8000 switch combines Cisco Catalyst Ethernet switch architecture and configuration tools with the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture.

 

“There was a clearly stated need for automation controls and IT to work more closely together,” says Brian Oulton, Rockwell Automation director of network business. “But there is a unique set of requirements for IT professionals applying networks to the enterprise, and another set for factory engineers who need to implement robust networks on the factory floor. We put that all together in a switch that communicates natively to Rockwell controllers, allowing the controllers to take action based on behavior of the network or the switch.”

 

Oulton is referring to the Stratix 8000 switch, which uses the Cisco Catalyst Ethernet switch architecture and feature set, and Cisco configuration tools that enable secure integration with the enterprise network. Stratix 8000 also blends the easy setup and comprehensive diagnostics of the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture.

 

Leveraging the openness and availability of standard, unmodified Ethernet brings cost-effective enterprise network technology securely into the plant automation domain. A removable compact flash card for one-step device replacement and default configurations also gives manufacturing engineering the comfort level and independence it needs without IT department assistance.

 

The Stratix 8000 scales from six to 26 ports with options for both copper and fiber to support a variety of applications.

 

“The switch monitors traffic for every port in the network. If it goes above a certain level, an alarm indicates action needs to be taken,” says Oulton.

 

Allen-Bradley RSLogix technology also prompts immediate remedial action, temporarily halting production, maintaining batches at a particular temperature, or shutting down the device entirely until people respond.

See all of the winners.

 



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
System integration: Best practices and technologies to help; Virtualization virtues; Cyber security advice; Motor system efficiency, savings; Product exclusives; Road to Hannover
Collaborative robotics: How to improve safety, return on investment; Industrial Internet of Things, Industrie 4.0: World views; High-performance HMI, Information Integration: OPC and OMG
9 tips: How to integrate a servo system; Process control mathematical models; Serial network grounding; Engineers' Choice Awards; Learn from cyber security mistakes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
click me