PlantPAx Continues Rockwell Automation’s Process Push

Nov. 20, 2008
The Next Generation of Process Control, Asset Optimization and Decision-Support Tools

Rockwell Automation has re-branded the company’s process industry offering as PlantPAx: systems and solutions for obtaining plant automation excellence. “This is the unification of all of our investments to date,” said Kevin Zaba, business director of process automation for Rockwell Automation, “and the integration of our core capabilities. It is the exemplification of the leadership of Rockwell Automation in process.”

“This is the next generation of process control, asset optimization and decision-support tools.” Rockwell Automation’s Kevin Zaba outlined the company’s rapidly developing solutions capability for process manufacturers.

“It strengthens our capability, gives us more steps toward end-to-end, higher availability, more fieldbus, better engineering,” Zaba said. “It allows Rockwell Automation to integrate very closely the Pavilion and Incuity acquisitions as part of PlantPAx and will allow us more easily, for example, to optimize energy management for sustainable manufacturing.”

Visitors to this week’s Automation Fair event in Nashville, Tenn., were able to see the current range of the PlantPAx offering to date. Further, attendees of the Process Solutions User Group (PSUG) meeting, held the two days prior to Automation Fair, got a glimpse into the future development plans for PlantPAx.

In 2008, Rockwell Automation made substantial gains in its process business, reaching 28% of revenues, Zaba said in his PSUG address. Contrast this with Rockwell Automation’s traditional business in the automotive sector, which has reached a new low of less than 10% of revenues. Clearly, Rockwell has made and continues to make a substantial strategic investment into the process industries.

“Our recent acquisition of companies, such as ProsCon Holdings, offers proven solutions,” said Rockwell Automation CEO Keith Nosbusch. “Pavilion Technologies, a world leader in model predictive and advanced process solutions, and ICS Triplex offering world-class safety and critical control solutions, plus our alliances with Endress+Hauser and development partner OSIsoft, demonstrate the level of our commitment to the process industries.”

The PlantPAx platform is intended to encompass engineered solutions for every process application. Using the tools Rockwell Automation acquired from Pavilion Technologies, PlantPAx can optimize operation with advanced process control and information. Using the SIL2-rated Logix platform, PlantPAx provides a high availability system for safety and critical control.

“Another process advance from the integration of Pavilion Technologies,” said Matt Bauer, director, commercial marketing for Rockwell Software, “is the ability to have advanced process control strategies in the system. Controllers can now do runtime imports, and there have been substantial improvements in library management, including serious growth in the reusable process library, which is linked with Engineering Workstation.”

Rockwell Automation also provides, through the PlantPAx solution, predictive services for asset utilization and reliability. And last, but certainly not least, PlantPAx has proven migration solutions for legacy DCS platforms. Rockwell Automation has performed more than 160 migrations from every major legacy DCS to the PlantPAx platform, Zaba said. “This is the next generation of process control, asset optimization and decision-support tools.”