Sustainable manufacturing and visualization themes predominate RSTechED

Improving production efficiencies based on multiple factors, including fluctuating materials and energy costs, and delivering business data to plant floor operators figure heavily in direction of Rockwell Software products.

06/24/2009


At Rockwell Software’s annual RSTechED event in Orlando, FL, many new faces were evident, but the company’s direction remained largely on the course set forth at last year's conference.
Leading his first RSTechED since taking over as Rockwell Software president,


Ralph Carter, Rockwell Software president

Ralph Carter (who came to Rockwell via the Pavilion acquisition last year) made it clear that bringing the various software acquisitions made by the company over the past few years into the Rockwell Software platform was of primary importance.
“All of our software is built using service-oriented architectures (SOA), so that eases integration issues,” said Donald Hart, vice president of RA Pavilion marketing. “And we’re continuing down the path of keeping our software platform agnostic, because our customers typically have hardware from multiple providers. Moving forward, we will have less focus on acquisitions and more focus on applications for industries.”
Considering the focus of presentations at this year’s RSTechED, those applications will largely be focused on two things:

  • Improving efficiencies based on multiple factors, including fluctuating materials and energy costs, to derive optimal production operations (this functionality is delivered primarily through Pavilion 8 predictive modeling capabilities); and

  • Delivering business data to plant floor operators (via FactoryTalk VantagePoint).

For years, the focus of most software applications has been to pull plant floo

RSTechED class

Classes at RSTechED continue to be a major draw for attendees. Source: Rockwell Automation.

r data up into the enterprise realm to give business leaders a better view of their business reality. Now that this has largely been achieved, the focus in shifting to driving that higher level business data back down to the plant floor where real-time decisions that affect a company’s financial performance can be made by plant managers and production operators.
“Operations people are usually focused on keeping production running at maximum capacity, but in some cases, when all factors are considered, it can be cheaper to run at, say, 80% or 85% capacity rather than 95%,” said Philip Kaufman, business manager, power and energy management for Rockwell Automation. “But most operations people have never been exposed to that data.”

Rockwell Software FactoryTalk Integrated Production & Performance Suite
FactoryTalk integrated production & Performance Suite of software adds value to plant floor and enterprise systems, says Rockwell Software.

“When operators know, for example, the energy cost per pound of product produced, we sometimes see a competition arising between shifts to see which one can be more efficient and save more money,” added Hart.
Hart also noted that western countries are not the only ones focused on energy management. “New plants in the Middle East, where energy is typically very cheap, are requesting software to better manage energy use. They know that when energy prices go back up, it will eat into their margins too heavily if they don’t become as energy efficient as possible,” he said.

Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk AssetCentre Machine Edition

Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk AssetCentre Machine Edition helps maximize asset investment and minimize downtime. The Scheduler is used to run periodic tasks or reports. These are assigned to FactoryTalk AssetCentre-designated computers, or agents, to leverage unused or under-utilized computing power.

By measuring energy use at each step of the manufacturing process, it impacts the plant floor engineer in the area where they’re most consistently needed—driving production efficiencies, said Kaufman. “Once engineers see how much energy they’re using on specific machines at specific times and understand how much that is costing the company, it causes a paradigm shift away from how many widgets did we make per hour, to how much energy did we use and how much emissions did we create per unit produced.”
Read other Control Engineering articles about Rockwell Software's Pavilion 8 and VantagePoint software.

- David Greenfield , editorial director

Control Engineering's Sustainable Engineering News Desk

Register here .





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.
Salary and career survey: Benchmarks and advice; Designing controls; Remote data collection, historians; Control valve advances; Hannover Messe; Control Engineering International
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
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.

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