The new PlantPAx 5.0 includes new process controllers making this release the most advanced and easiest to implement. The new system reduces architecture requirements from improvements in the controller performance, making it much easier to migrate to newer versions when available. Additionally, the PlantPAx 5.0 works together with existing versions of the PlantPAx system.
The new PlantPAx consist of many new features, including:
The new system includes reduced architecture requirements from improvements in the controller performance by reducing the footprint of the AOI’s and the embedded instructions as well as the Process Server faceplates. The alarms take advantage of the tag-based system, as part of version 33 of Studio 5000. This also reduces the server alarm and event requirements.
One of the new features built into the firmware is the arbitration of control devices. In many applications there are control modules that are shared with other parts of the system. As a simple example, two different mixing tanks, may have a common pump and valve to send the product to a common storage area. If one of the tanks takes ownership of the common control modules, the other tank will automatically wait until it is released, and then it will take ownership of the pump and valve. There is no programming involved to achieve this and it is part of the process functions for the control modules.
There are new tools available for deploying a PlantPAx System. One of the first steps in deploying a PlantPAx System is using the PlantPAx Estimator built into the free IAB tool. This is now updated to include the new Process Controllers. Also, the controller development software will now give you warnings if you try to do something that will adversely affect the system performance.
Migration is also simplified in this new release. Upgrading to newer versions will be a matter of flashing the controller firmware. There are also tools for migrating the Library functions that are downloadable from the Rockwell website. The library is still a free download. The PlantPAx 5.0 processors and libraries will work together with existing versions of the PlantPAx system. As an example, version 4.6 and 5.0 can work together.
The 5780 and 5380 controllers will be able to run in parallel with the new controllers and will be supported into the future along with the new controllers.
If you want to learn more about the new Rockwell DCS, check out the links below. There are videos on applications and a lot of other information. Also, Automation Fair at Home and Process Solutions Users Group has many opportunities to learn more about PlantPAx.