Rockwell Automation Expands FactoryTalk Batch Capabilities, Gives Operators More Control

New version reduces system engineering and provides more data for reporting and analysis.

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Rockwell Automation has expanded the application development capabilities of its FactoryTalk Batch software to help users more rapidly design and run batch applications. The software features new intelligent recipe capabilities, secure operator overrides, expanded data collection and reporting, and improved material management capabilities. Tightly integrated with the scalable PlantPAx Process Automation System from Rockwell Automation, the FactoryTalk Batch software provides solutions ranging from small, basic sequencing to large, complex batch applications.

“The need for greater agility and responsiveness is driving manufacturers away from custom-engineered batch software applications to standardized, open technology,” said Andy Stump, FactoryTalk Batch product manager, Rockwell Automation. “FactoryTalk Batch software, based on ISA-88 standards, is designed to meet that demand, while providing batch operators with more control during runtime.”

The new features include:

Intelligent Recipe Features - When defining a product, recipe authors can now reference system-wide data, such as previous ingredient feed-actuals or material properties, to simplify recipe development. The use of expressions based on this historical data rather than entering specific defined values allows the system to adjust run-time setpoints to accommodate variable batch activity

Improved Run-time User Control - Rockwell Automation has improved run-time user control by giving operators with security clearance the ability to move a batch forward in the process. In the past, procedural flexibility had to be designed into the system. With the latest version of the FactoryTalk Batch software, operators now have more control to advance a batch based on real-time conditions - without time-intensive system engineering.

Expanded Data Collection and Reporting - This latest release continues to expand the system data logged into the electronic batch record. This includes information on shared equipment, like pumps and other processing equipment, to help manufacturers further meet track-and-trace compliance requirements.

Rockwell Automation is also adding context to data within the batch system. This means system designers can now associate a material setpoint with the actual amount delivered - without relying on naming conventions or other complex association methods. This simplifies data analysis and enables more sophisticated, global reporting.

Improved Material Management Capability - FactoryTalk Batch Material Manager brings just-in-time material management to batch execution systems, allowing more effective management of materials and recipes. The latest version of the FactoryTalk Batch software helps increase flexibility by allowing late binding to material inventory. This is critical for batch applications where some materials are in transit or not available at the start. In the past, batch applications required custom engineering to accommodate these situations.

The FactoryTalk Batch version 11 is now shipping as part of the PlantPAx Process Automation System.
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