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Manufacturing package pays for itself `in months`

01 February, 2003

Manufacturing package pays for itself `in months`

Rockwell Automation has come up with package that combines modules from its RSBizware suite of manufacturing management software with a powerful industrial computer. The "Plant Automation in a Box" package costs less than £20,000, including start-up and training. In many applications, it will pay for itself in a few months, predicts Mike Croot, the company`s software manager. "There is almost zero risk."

The package, which is aimed at systems integrators and end-users, comes pre-configured with:

• RSBizware Historian, for collecting, analysing, viewing and reporting data;

• RSSql, a bi-directional transaction manager for handling the flow of data to and from databases; and

• RSBizware PlantMetrics, a set of tools for analysing the performance of production equipment.

Together these give operators immediate feedback on plant efficiency, allowing them to take real-time corrective action. Reasons for any breakdowns are logged. The package also includes a Web-based reporting engine that allows users to access production information remotely via an Internet browser.

The aim is to provide users with "a cost-effective means of seeing for themselves the tangible gains in efficiency," that the software can offer, says Croot. "It is much more than a demonstration kit, and forms the basis for expansion into a full manufacturing management system covering the whole plant."

The system can be linked to non-Rockwell equipment and customers can choose from a range of communications options including Profibus, ControlNet, Modbus and Industrial Ethernet.

The RSBizware suite is designed to bridge the gap between factory level automation systems and business management systems. It consists of a series of modules that can be used either by themselves or linked to each other.




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