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Automation portfolio targets OEM machine-builders

04 February, 2009

Rockwell Automation is targeting the £4.1bn UK OEM machine-building market with a co-ordinated range of components, including PLCs, drives, HMIs, software and peripheral devices. Rockwell says that the offering – which it is promoting under the Connected Components banner – will make it easier and less costly to implement sophisticated control systems for stand-alone machines, especially for smaller OEMs.

“We recognise that machine-builders at this end of the market are under pressure from their customers to add sophistication to their machines, whilst helping reduce costs and shortening the time to market,” says Steve Pethick, Rockwell’s EMEA director of components and power control. “Connected Components allows them to concentrate on machine design and performance, rather than the necessary, but time-consuming, preparation work and structural details such as gathering documents and drawing diagrams.”

The offering is centred on Rockwell’s MicroLogix PLCs, PowerFlex 4 drives and its new PanelView Component HMIs. It also includes “building blocks” – tools that make it quicker and easier to implement common control tasks, such as pre-written blocks of PLC application code that can be modified to meet the needs of a specific machine, pre-written HMI programs to help set up operator interfaces, and pre-configured drive parameter files that take the strain out of implementing speed control tasks. The building blocks also help to select products, to create wiring diagrams, to design panels and to generate bills of materials.

The offering also extends to motors, starters, pushbuttons, sensors, safety products, power supplies and other components.  There is also a Quick Start guide and application briefs

At the heart of the Connected Components portfolio is the MicroLogix 1400 PLC, which supports 32–144 I/O and is available in the UK at prices starting at less than £500. Software prices start at £82, while the PanelView Component HMIs cost from £120–1,700.

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