Rockwell Automation’s Latest PlantPAx DCS Release Helps to Empower a Converged Workforce

By Craig Resnick

Company and Product News

Rockwell Automation released its latest version of its PlantPAx distributed control system (DCS), designed to help industrial producers create smarter, more productive and protected operations.  The new system capabilities include a more intuitive design and the ability to see contextualized information from plant assets.  These improvements are designed to further digitally transform process control operations, helping to enable a Connected Enterprise with further reduced time-to-market and a lower total cost of ownership.

This system release leverages enabling technologies to help eliminate a complexity barrier for small to mid-sized operations seeking to implement a DCS.  By consolidating servers into a single machine, applications can implement the functionality of a smarter, modern DCS.  This simplification, which can be used on virtual or physical machines, is designed to further reduce engineering time, licenses and system footprint by up to 75 percent.

The modern DCS also features an expanded library that supports electrical protection devices, leveraging both EtherNet/IP and IEC-61850 standards. Connecting electrical functions with control is designed to extend plant-wide integration, which can help to provide better plant control.  Also, new standard control panel offerings helps to ease implementation for a lower risk startup.

The system features an expanded library of process objects that helps to improve productivity and human interactions with the process, including the handling of alarms and abnormal situations.  A more simplified faceplate design provides a more intuitive user experience that is easier for training and support.  The library also features historian templates to further optimize the display of event information with real-time and historical data.

With the PlantPAx DCS, users can now define access rights both by role and area, providing a new level of protection and security through authentication and access privileges.  The system release also expands network availability for I/O communications and extends the benefits of converged plant-wide architectures.

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