In late 2022, we had the opportunity to travel to Rockwell Automation’s annual Automation Fair event in Chicago, IL. Joined by many Agilix Solutions customers, we experienced the latest technological advancements from Rockwell Automation and several of their partner companies. Many of the keynotes and breakout sessions we participated in are now available on-demand through the Rockwell Automation Fair Virtual Experience.
In this article, we’ll detail the products our team is most excited about and direct you to the Virtual Experience where you can participate in the leadership presentations, as well as a curated selection of Product and Technology sessions.
Automation Fair Product Highlights
Where do we start? Automation Fair is literally ground zero for industrial automation innovation, and an event our team looks forward to attending each year. Here’s a sampling of our favorite products highlighted at the event that are now available or coming soon from Rockwell Automation.
ArmorKinetix® Distributed Servo Drive
The ArmorKinetix® Distributed Servo Drive offers the high-performance of Rockwell Automation’s Kinetix® 5700 servo drive in a compact, On-Machine™ solution that enables production machines to become more efficient, flexible, and cost-effective than ever before. Armorkinetix Distributed Servo Drives provide a modular, expandable solution to your motor control needs. The drives are mounted outside the cabinet, dramatically reducing system complexity, lowering total system costs, and enabling a more productive workforce. It is slated for release Q1 2023.
FactoryTalk® Optix™ is a new visualization platform released in December 2022 that is designed to accelerate value delivery with modern technologies, innovative designs, and scalable deployment options. It can help with process improvement, efficiency, and deliverables in a single easy access tool. There are also new SaaS-enabled workflows to empower your team to collaborate any time, from anywhere, thanks to built-in change tracking and versioning that automatically keeps track of who did what and when. OptixPanel Graphic Terminals are slated for release in April and will allow users to create a hardware-software solution that provides the flexibility to deploy only the features your application requires.
When released, Guardlink® 2.0 will be the world’s most advanced serially connected safety input solution designed to reduce downtime and installation costs. It offers advanced diagnostics via the new Allen Bradley® 432ES Guardlink Ethernet/IP™ On-Machine™ Interface or a combination of their Dual GuardLink Relay and EtherNet/IP interface. Guardlink 2.0 protocol also enables safety-rated control device status reporting to an HMI using CIP Safety™ over EtherNet/IP.
Connected Components Workbench™ Version 21
The latest version of Rockwell Automation’s Connected Components Workbench has a variety of updates and capabilities designed to help you save engineering time and effort. Simplified configuration screens make programing easier when supporting additional drives and generic profile devices. Enhanced Ethernet diagnostics help increase system performance and reliability. And Version 21 enables seamless integration with direct access to pre-defined tags for PowerFlex® 520 and Kinetix® 5100 drives over Ethernet/IP.
FactoryTalk® Design Hub™
FactoryTalk® Design Hub™ allows automation design teams to collaborate with software and project content that is always up to date using powerful tools that scale as they’re needed. By harnessing the power of the cloud, your company can simplify software management while increasing productivity, speeding up your time to market and designing more cost-effective systems with a higher lifetime value.
Armor™ PowerFlex® Drives
This is a new generation of On-Machine™ motor control solutions that is suited to meet your most demanding applications. Armor™ PowerFlex® drives provide integrated gigabit dual-port EtherNet/IP™, a variety of motor control options, flexible mounting options, and hardware and network safety features. Integrated with Logix and Studio 5000® design software for exceptional performance, its innovative design reduces installation cost and time, as well as unplanned downtime.
This is a true plug and play power distribution system that provides flexibility in motor control and protection devices. The out-of-the-box system comes as one complete base unit. Components simply snap onto the CrossBoard without requiring any tools, meaning an automatic connection. Components can be easily removed and snapped back on to another section of the CrossBoard. The CrossBoard was designed with safety in mind and is completely covered and protected against contact at all times. It lets you realize power distribution systems in accordance with the IEC 61439 and UL 508 standards, including IP20 touch-safe protection. It is available today in 225 mm and 405mm widths, with larger sizes coming later this year.
FactoryTalk® Analytics™ DataView
Most OT personnel lack the tools to connect to industrial data sources and transform operational data into meaningful insights without relying on IT teams and expensive data warehouse infrastructures. FactoryTalk® Analytics™ DataView changes all of that. It empowers OT professionals to pull data of interest from virtually any point in their operation, including programable or distributed control systems, historians, MES, and enterprise applications. Its user-friendly browser makes it easy to get added context, mash up data sets, and quickly transform data into actionable information via storyboards.
Learning+ Enhanced is a new add-on to Rockwell Automation’s standard Learning+ classes. It covers fundamental (non-Rockwell focused) craft skill classes on Electrical, Mechanical, Instrumentation/Control, Maintenance Shop, Safety, Operational Excellence, Math and Science. A Learning+ Training Subscription allows you to empower your workforce with more than 800 lessons that combine interactive learning with valuable simulations and videos.
Automation Fair Virtual Experience
If you were unable to attend Automation Fair in person, or if you did attend and would like to share some of what you learned with your team, you’re in luck. Rockwell Automation has released virtual versions of some of the most in-demand content from Automation Fair 2022. The Automation Fair Virtual Experience features the Perspectives keynote leadership presentations, as well as a library of hand-selected Product and Technology sessions. There are also a variety of virtual tours, showcasing the innovative and exciting work Rockwell Automation is doing in the industry.
Agilix Solutions is Your Rockwell Automation Connection
As an authorized distributor, Agilix Solutions is your one-stop-shop for the latest technology and innovation from Rockwell Automation. In addition to automation sophistication and electrical supply chain management, you’ll get world class support from your local Rockwell Automation experts. Contact your Account Manager or reach out to your nearest Agilix Solutions branch to discuss putting the power of Rockwell Automation to work for your operation.