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Controller-PC allows operators to see machine data

06 February, 2019

Rockwell Automation has announced an industrial controller that combines its Logix control engine with the Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system, allowing users to view machine information at its source and make more informed operating decisions. The Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5480 controller can support applications with up to 150 axes of motion, making it ideal for large packaging and converting, printing and web applications that would benefit from a simplified architecture and smaller footprint. It also provides fast scan times and motion-loop updates to help improve machine throughput.

“The controller can collect raw machine data and reveal it to workers as useful information, right at the machine level,” says Jason Shaw, Rockwell’s global product manager for controllers. “Providing these insights close to where they’re produced allows workers to make smarter and faster operating decisions. As a result, they can better react to issues and ultimately increase productivity in a connected enterprise.”

The controller can reduce latency by performing real-time data collection at the machine level. Users can view control information at its source, while other information can be sent on to the enterprise or cloud. The ability to run Windows applications can also reduce the need for a separate PC on the plant floor and shrink machine footprints.

The controller incorporates multiple security functions, including user authentication and authorisation, role-based access and digitally-signed encryption. And because the Windows operating system runs independently from the control engine, any disruptions to the operating system will not affect machine or line control.

Rockwell Automation says that its new controller-PC will steer operators towards better production decisions

“Companies deploying industrial IoT technologies no longer have the luxury of choosing between cloud or on-premises architectures – they need both,” comments Matthew Littlefield, president and principal analyst of LNS Research, which specialises in the digital transformation of industry. “The ability to access control-system data at the machine level and access insights from the cloud can deliver the agile decision-making that many companies desire.”

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