Rockwell unveils drive to reduce design complexity

By Daisy Phillipson

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Rockwell Automation
Picture: Rockwell Automation

Related tags: Rockwell automation, Better, Automation

Rockwell Automation has released the Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 527 AC drive, designed to work with its Logix-based programmable automation controllers (PAC).

The PowerFlex 527 is for use with machines using Allen-Bradley CompactLogix, ControlLogix or GuardLogix PACs and Allen-Bradley Kinetix servo drives.

The drive will be used in applications including conveyer systems, packaging machines, pumps, fans and mixers.

It uses the benefits of the controller capabilities and Rockwell Software Studio 5000 Logix Designer, to simplify machine development and operation.

Easier to set up system

Jonathan Smith, Field Business Leader – Drives at Rockwell Automation said this makes it easier for a programmer to set up the system.

“You won’t need to change the basic control code because you are controlling using the same set of instructions whether it be a drive or a motion controller,” ​hesaid.

“Additionally the use of CIP Motion instruction sets enables the drive to be used in applications requiring time based synchronization.”​ 

Rockwell 2
Pic: Rockwell Automation

The PowerFlex 527 is the first Rockwell Automation drive to incorporate Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) Safety.

This is a safety system defined through ODVA and can provide safety functionality of the drive across the network.

ODVA is a trade and standard development organization whose members are suppliers of devices for industrial automation application.

“This eliminates the need for additional safety contactors and so simplifies the installation through reduced level of components and wiring,”​ said Smith.

“From a configuration point of view, if there are changes in the future, those can be more easily accommodated because this is a network based system.”

Using data to boost productivity

Smith said companies are looking to use data to improve productivity.

“In terms of market trends, we are seeing that companies are continuing to invest in automation but are now looking not just to automate the plant for better control, but also to leverage the data that’s available from a highly networked system,” ​he said.

“More and more devices are becoming intelligent and have the capability of collecting data, data logging and reporting information back.

“Because businesses are always looking to improve productivity, it uses this data by monitoring and developing trending processes, so that within a plant it can make tangible improvements in efficiencies.”

Rockwell Automation creates such data collection systems to be able to collect and aggregate this information and present it to operators and management.

The PowerFlex 527 is one example, said Smith.

“It can provide a lot of data and when it is aggregated with other field devices it can provide an incredibly rich source of information,” ​he added.

“This enables a plant to be improved on in terms of its operation efficiency and output.

“What we are doing with the PowerFlex 527 is providing an enhanced control capability to a lot of companies we already work with​. 

“We are looking to continue to support their development by improving their processes and systems within the Connected Enterprise.”

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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