Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Rockwell Automation, EPLAN improve controls data exchange

November 6, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Rockwell Automation and EPLAN Software & Services announced the two companies will collaborate on a utility that merges hardware design with software programming to help improve efficiency and reliability of controls data exchange.

The new bi-directional interface available within the RSLogix Architect software will provide seamless integration with the EPLAN Electric P8 electrical design software by allowing electrical engineers, control hardware engineers and software programmers to automatically synchronize controls configuration data.
Manufacturers will benefit from the joint utility through accelerated time to production, quicker startup and improved quality of controls data, both companies said in a joint press release. The solution eliminates the need for manual entry of configuration information by allowing software programmers and design engineers to automatically update, synchronize and validate changes to model configuration information, including racks, I/O cards, I/O tags and descriptions.
“Manufacturers are operating in an environment that demands seamless flow of information across all disciplines in the manufacturing enterprise,” said Dick Slansky, Senior Analyst, PLM research director with the ARC Advisory Group. “Collaborative Digital Automation tools like the new utility from Rockwell Automation and EPLAN are especially critical at a time when accelerating time to production and improving efficiency are a top concern for manufacturers.”
The  RSLogix Architect software is a system management and configuration tool that integrates with projects configured using RSLogix 5000 programming software, helping make it easy for users to manage control systems  and network configurations, managing data and information across multiple controllers. EPLAN Electric P8 automates the design and documentation of controls hardware systems. Its PLC & Bus Extension module logically represents all devices connected throughout a bus topology and manages their relationships within an EPLAN project.
“To remain competitive in the marketplace, manufacturers must continually look for new ways to get their products to market faster and more efficienty,” said Jason Weber, strategic alliance manager with Rockwell Automation. “This technology gives companies an additional tool to help achieve these goals. Our partnership with EPLAN allows us to offer another cutting-edge Virtual Design & Production solution that synchronizes design tools from two industry-leading companies to create synergistic benefits for manufacturers.” 
Users of the E-CAE software can access the project’s entire PLC information via a dedicated Navigator to address, re-address, sort, import and export PLC data. The utility brings together the import and export function of EPLAN Electric P8 with the ability of RSLogix Architect to manage control system and communication configurations. The end result for customers is easier, more efficient and more accurate collaboration between hardware and software engineers.
The RSLogix Architect-EPLAN Electric P8 integration will be introduced at the annual Automation Fair event in Anaheim, Calif., Nov. 11 and 12 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

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