Tips for a Successful ControlNet System

Aug 19, 2016 9:30:00 AM | Posted by John Boyd

Even though industrial Ethernet networks are becoming more common, some users still need to maintain and install ControlNet systems.

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How Information Provides Insights and Changes Behaviors

Jun 25, 2015 12:43:00 PM | Posted by John Boyd

The challenge of gathering historical and real-time data is to provide that data back to the user in a way that provides insights. This can be accomplished by providing thought-out dashboards and reports to key operational personnel and managers.

We tend to put a lot of effort into gathering historical and real-time data in the industrial process environment. The challenge is to provide that data back to the user in a way that provides useful performance data. This can be accomplished by providing thoroughly thought-out dashboards and reports to key operational personnel and managers. It is amazing what behaviors that can be changed in a processing environment if everyone is given the right information.

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Managing CIP Connections

Dec 2, 2014 8:34:00 AM | Posted by John Boyd

Properly managing your control system CIP connections can help avoid confusion and other complications within a process automation project.

Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) is used on industrial automation application networks—such as Ethernet/IP, DeviceNet, and ControlNet—and is supported by ODVA. A CIP connection is a connection between two devices on a CIP-enabled network. This could be between two programmable automation controllers (PACs), between a PAC and a communication module, or between a remote rack communication module and an analog card in its rack (see Figure 1).

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Choosing to virtualize your control systems

Feb 26, 2014 7:12:09 AM | Posted by John Boyd

As we review our current facility control systems status we contemplate whether virtualizing part of or all of our control server/workstation environment is possible.

As we review our current facility control systems status we contemplate whether virtualizing part of or all of our control server/workstation environment is possible. With the looming concern of the retirement of Windows XP and the discontinued support from Microsoft after April 2014, virtualization of those legacy workstations will allow a more controlled migration to new operating systems and software platforms.

I’ve seen an uptick in requests from customers on whether to virtualize or continue with a physical server environment in their new control systems. A lot of the drive behind the customer’s request is the increased interaction with the customer’s IT organizations and their control system organizations. IT organizations have embraced virtualized environments and have deployed them for many years in the business environment. One note of caution is to not approach a virtualized environment from a business environment perspective and apply it to your control system. The reason being business systems typically do not have a 24/7 high-availability requirement, which is common for all manufacturing and process control systems.

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What is FactoryTalk?

Nov 13, 2013 10:29:42 AM | Posted by John Boyd

This platform turns up in many places, and can do many things, but there aren't many that really understand it. Here is a quick guide to explain the basics.

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Studio 5000 - The New Rockwell ControlLogix Programming Software

Jul 22, 2013 4:06:44 AM | Posted by John Boyd

You will be surprised when you install the latest version (v21) of the Rockwell Automation ControlLogix programming software and see you can’t find RSLogix 5000 icon anymore. If you look under the Rockwell Software program folder you will see a new program “Studio 5000”. New icon, splash screen and the Studio 5000 Logix Designer, but in version 21 once you select your project you are ported over to our old familiar friend RSLogix 5000. Studio 5000 is the product. Logix Designer is the first capability of the product.

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Should You Be An Early Adopter Of Microsoft Server 2012 For Today’s Control Systems?

May 21, 2013 4:05:00 AM | Posted by John Boyd

A call came in the other day from a customer asking about replacing some legacy operator workstations and a primary domain controller server. He wanted to know if it would be possible to use Microsoft Windows 8 Professional or Server 2012 as the operating systems with the new workstations and primary domain controller, so he can get the most out of the longevity of the new software.

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