Rockwell Automation announced that it is adding the OPC UA standard into its FactoryTalk Linx communications software to further increase interoperability among its industrial IoT devices. Having OPC UA will help industrial companies achieve more seamless communication from the enterprise to IoT devices as they build a Connected Enterprise. Support for this vendor-neutral standard is provided through the FactoryTalk Linx software itself, which allows Rockwell Automation and third-party products to exchange data.
The FactoryTalk Linx software, formerly known as RSLinx Enterprise, is the central communication service in the FactoryTalk software portfolio. It acts as the center of a Connected Enterprise by pulling and sending data where it is needed. This includes pulling data from third-party OPC UA servers, delivering it to FactoryTalk software, and providing an OPC interface so third-party software can access data.
In addition to OPC UA support, FactoryTalk Linx software offers:
- Communication with attributes of the new Logix 5000 tag-based alarm, which enables the FactoryTalk View SE HMI software to animate screens using alarm states and perform alarm interactions directly from graphical content. Removing the duplication of alarm states to HMI tags can help to enhance development productivity. And interaction with graphical content instead of alarm summaries can help to improve operational productivity.
- Improved network redundancy by supporting two network paths to a single controller or to two controllers in a redundancy system based on the ControlLogix family. This can provide higher-speed failure detection and can automatically switch communications to a secondary path. It can also keep information flowing and help to reduce recovery times in high-availability systems.
- New energy-usage monitoring via its FactoryTalk Linx Gateway software that can help to enable insights into CIP Energy data from EtherNet/IP devices with embedded CIP Energy support. This allows users to track energy usage and compare usage across lines and factories.
The FactoryTalk Linx software is available, along with RSLinx Classic, in the latest version of the Studio 5000 integrated development environment. The software now allows users to configure Ethernet driver settings directly in a Studio 5000 browser instead of in a separate application, which can help for faster system changes. It also now provides a higher-bandwidth connection for wireless or remote controller communications, resulting in up to 40 percent faster controller download times.