EC: FactoryTalk Batch software from Rockwell Automation
Process control systems: FactoryTalk Batch software from Rockwell Automation. FactoryTalk Batch software helps users rapidly design and run batch applications to secure operator overrides, expand data collection and reporting, and improves material management capabilities. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) Honorable Mention.
The need for greater agility and responsiveness is driving manufacturers away from custom-engineered batch software applications to standardized, open technology. FactoryTalk Batch software, based on ISA-88 standards, is designed to meet that demand, while providing batch operators with more control during runtime. The software features new intelligent recipe capabilities, secure operator overrides, expanded data collection and reporting, and improved material management capabilities. Tightly integrated with the scalable PlantPAx Process Automation System from Rockwell Automation, the FactoryTalk Batch software provides solutions ranging from small, basic sequencing to large, complex batch applications. The new features include: Intelligent Recipe Features–When defining a product, recipe authors can now reference systemwide data, such as previous ingredient feed-actuals or material properties, to simplify recipe development. The use of expressions based on this historical data rather than entering specific defined values allows the system to adjust runtime setpoints to accommodate variable batch activity.
Improved Run-time User Control–Rockwell Automation has improved runtime user control by giving operators with security clearance the ability to advance a batch based on real-time conditions without time-intensive system engineering. Expanded Data Collection and Reporting–FactoryTalk Batch continues to expand the system data logged into the electronic batch record. This includes information on pumps and other shared equipment to help manufacturers meet track-and-trace compliance requirements. The software also adds context to data so system designers can associate a material setpoint with the actual amount delivered without relying on naming conventions or other complex association methods. This simplifies data analysis and enables more sophisticated, global reporting. Improved Material Management Capability–FactoryTalk Batch brings just-in-time material management to batch execution systems, allowing more effective management of materials and recipes. Allowing late binding to material inventory is critical for batch applications where some materials are in transit or not available at the start.
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