On the surface, Rockwell’s PlantPAx may look like a basic library of AOI and graphic templates; however, there's much more to it than that.
PlantPAx is a comprehensive approach to building a process control system. A successful PlantPAx implementation utilizes a series of tools and guides from project initiation to project completion.
Advantages of PlantPAx:
- Flexible implementation
- Reduced programming overhead when utilizing PlantPAx’s process library
- Scalability (ability to add on future plant and process expansion)
- Easily upgradeable (if library objects are not modified)
- Designed to maximize performance with Allen-Bradley products
- Well documented user guides
The initial steps of building a PlantPAx project include figuring out the proper size for your application. Rockwell developed a tool to aid in this process called the PlantPAx System Estimator.
The PlantPAx System Estimator ensures that your system is optimized for performance and reliability. At this step, a list of I/O is required, as well as a general understanding of what the process requirements are (execution rates, network configurations, HMI numbers, and locations). Based on this information, the estimator provides a recommended list of equipment for use in your application.
Next, server and security policies must be specified. Establishing these policies early on simplifies the later stages of development. The document “SECURE-UM001” provides a guide on configuring security.
The Process Automation System Server (PASS) should be configured next. Based on the size of your application, the PASS or PASS-C (Process Automation Systems Server - Consolidated) will be utilized. If using virtual templates for a larger system, refer to the PlantPAx Visualization User Manual here: 9528-UM001.
Next, the network infrastructure and architecture must be specified. The following network configurations are recommended: Redundant PRP, Resilient DLR, and Simplex-Star topologies. Configure any switches at this stage.
At this stage, you will build the now Process Applications. This includes building the HMI displays, Controller Logic, and Alarms. The bulk of the custom programming is done at this point. After this, you can configure any remaining additional servers based on the application.
Finally, the application can be distributed to clients.
DMC is a Rockwell Automation Gold System Integrator. Reach out to us if you are considering implementing PlantPAx on your next project.