Speedier production management application development

The application development capabilities of Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk ProductionCentre have been updated and now include a service-oriented architecture (SOA) for improved plant-wide integration.
By Control Engineering Staff July 10, 2008

The application development capabilities of Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk ProductionCentre have been updated and expanded to help users save time and money when building and deploying manufacturing production applications across multiple sites. It leverages the FactoryTalk , a service-oriented architecture (SOA) for improved plant-wide integration.

The production management software helps manufacturers track and control production, reduce cycle times and excess inventory, analyze root cause and failures, and manage factory or field repair orders. The expanded capabilities include a new work-flow engine that helps users build and configure applications based on reusable modules, and create tasks and workflows using simple visual tools. This addition helps operations staff to determine how information should be presented in the user interface, and makes it possible to configure business logic for specific tasks without the need to write software code.

The FactoryTalk ProductionCentre workflow engine provides a new framework for developing, extending and deploying applications. “Many of today’s customized manufacturing systems lack the flexibility to integrate and collaborate between applications,” said Greg Gorbach, vice president for collaborative manufacturing with ARC Advisory Group . “FactoryTalk

This new version of FactoryTalk ProductionCentre also supports the latest J2EE infrastructure from IBM, the IBM WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus built on WebSphere Application Server for an integrated SOA platform.

According to Kevin Roach, vice present of software for Rockwell Software, “The Rockwell Automation relationship with IBM in support of this technology helps strengthen the alignment of FactoryTalk ProductionCentre around the enterprise SOA for manufacturing.”

Allowing FactoryTalk ProductionCentre users to “own” the business process descriptions helps reduce development costs and speeds application deployment, said Roach. “The need for greater agility and responsiveness in manufacturing execution is driving manufacturers away from complex legacy systems to more standardized, commercial, off-the-shelf technology,” he added.

Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk software covers six production disciplines common to most manufacturing operations. FactoryTalk ProductionCentre is part of the production management discipline.

–Edited by Renee Robbins, Senior editor, renee.robbins@reedbusiness.com ,
Control Engineering Information Control eNewsletter
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of free eNewsletters .