A Modern DCS?
On January 25th, Rumsey and Rockwell Automation hosted a PlantPAx Workshop for Integrators at the Process Training Unit (PTU) within Eastern Controls’ facility in Edgemont, PA. The PTU made the perfect backdrop to train System Integrators on Rockwell Automation’s modern Distributed Control System (DCS), PlantPAx.
Fred Capanna, Process and Information Solution Consultant for Rumsey, welcomed integrators from throughout the Tri-State Area and kicked things off by explaining the four main points that make a PlantPAx system the Modern DCS:
Fred went on to explain a major part of what makes a system a PlantPAx System is the characterized performance. Characterization is the operation and collection of performance data for a representative process system to determine scalability, stability, and usability of a specific system configuration. These guidelines are published in the PlantPAx Selection Guide and Reference Manual. Going well beyond product testing typically employed by other vendors, Rockwell Automation’s characterization effort helps ensure users of PlantPAx system, no matter the size of their application or facility, will have a stable system delivered with minimal risk and minimal effort.
Next, we reviewed key sections of the PlantPAx Selection Guide before introducing attendees to the PlantPAx System Estimator (PSE) tool. The PSE tool, built into Rockwell’s free Integrated Architecture Builder software, allows you to take the project information and estimate the loading on the controllers, networks and servers. The tool verifies that all the loadings are within the limits defined during characterization. Once the PlantPAx architecture has passed this loading check, the project can be opened in the general IAB tool to add details which are not included in the PSE. The resulting project can then generate reports and be imported into proposal works to generate a proposal. Attendees then worked through several “real world” scenarios in PlantPAx System Estimator hands-on lab.
A Modern DCS system is only as good as the network it is built upon and so David Kang, Rumsey’s Network, Security & Information Solutions Specialist, reviewed the networking infrastructure necessary to support a PlantPAx system. The information enabled, open network, EtherNet/IP, builds the backbone of the PlantPAx system, but the Modern DCS also uses ControlNet, DeviceNet, Hart, Foundation Fieldbus and Profibus PA to complete the infrastructure. Switch management, high availability and redundancy were all discussed as they relate to the PlantPAx system infrastructure.
After lunch, attendees took a tour of the PTU led by Lex Kasacavage, Rockwell Automation’s Solutions Architect for Philadelphia. Fred Capanna then introduced Rockwell Automation’s Process Objects Library. The Process Objects Library is a collection of nearly 200 pre-engineered process objects and strategies. Objects consist of add-on instructions for your ControlLogix controller and associated FactoryTalk View display elements that link to them. From these display elements, faceplates are opened which can be used by operators for control or information, by engineers to configure some of the functionality and by maintenance personnel to perform maintenance functions.
After reviewing several PlantPAx Tools offered by Rockwell to reduce engineering time, attendees used Studio 5000 Architect to build their own PlantPAx applications in a lab session.
Lex Kasacavage presented the PlantPAx System Checklist. The PlantPAx System Checklist is a spreadsheet of documented checklists and tools to verify Critical to Quality Attributes of a PlantPAx System against characterized limits. The Checklist ensures proper design before commissioning, helps customers verify quality of delivery and provides a method to identify root cause of system performance issues.
After a brief wrap up from Fred Capanna, the attendees completed the workshop and were ready to go out and start implementing PlantPAx systems.
Did you miss this class? Be sure to check our training page for more upcoming sessions like this one.