Rockwell Expands Support and Features for Studio 5000
Rockwell Automation released a new version of Studio 5000 Logix Designer with process automation in the spotlight. Industry 4.0 and digital twin features have also been added.
Rockwell Automation is an international leader in industrial automation and the owner of Allen-Bradley automation components. The compact ControlLogix PLCs offered by Allen-Bradley are programmed with Studio 5000 Designer, a graphical PLC program editor. Before Studio 5000 Designer, the Allen-Bradley PLCs were programmed using RSLogix 5000.
Rockwell's Studio 5000 Logix Designer is used for their Allen-Bradley PLCs. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation
Studio 5000 Logix Designer
Studio 5000 is a programming suite that is capable of developing HMI applications as well as PLC programs. The software allows the use of standard IEC 61131 programming languages: ladder logic, function block diagram, structured text, and sequential function chart. Recently, Rockwell added additional hardware support and new productivity enhancements to the latest version of Studio 5000 Designer V35.
This version of Studio 5000 is seeing a big step forward for the process automation industry, with the support of FLEXHA 5000 I/O, GuardLink, and 1756-EN4TR enhancements. These devices are commonly used in process automation for distributed I/O or providing communications to safety devices and secure CIP Ethernet/IP communication. With Studio 5000 v35 now supporting these devices, controls engineers will be able to integrate these devices into their projects.
Virtual Motion Package
Using virtual PLCs and motion packages is a great way to debug programs before they hit the factory floor. With version 35, users will now be able to simulate motion for Kinetix, PowerFlex, 5730 CIP motion devices, and iTRAK. This virtual motion package will integrate with physical controllers and emulated controllers.
Studio 5000 Designer V35 users can now simulate motion for Kinetix, PowerFlex, 5730 motion devices, and iTRAK. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation
Process Automation Efficiency
Rockwell Automation is adding more functionality to Studio 5000 for the process automation industry with the addition of three new process instructions. P_SD, P_nPOS, and P_valveMP are the new additions and can be paired with PlanxPAx, which is a distributed control system (DCS) software designed for process automation. The process instructions promise to make the process automation programming more seamless, although Rockwell does not explain how these instructions will integrate or pair with PlanxPAx or how they will ease programming processes.
Studio 5000 Software Development Kit
Simulating your control logic programs is no longer an option but is a standard operating procedure for controls engineers. With the previous versions of Studio 5000, the CPU hardware needed to be emulated using Rockwell’s emulator software—no other devices could be in the project, and it was prone to many bugs. The process flow required maintaining two separate projects, but with version 35, Rockwell’s new FactoryTalk Logix Echo V2 will integrate with Studio 5000 and the 5580 control platform.
Version 35 will also come with the first publicly available Studio 5000 SDK which will allow users to develop C++ scripts for the use of a digital twin that will be able to communicate to the FactoryTalk Logix Echo software. The SDK utility will also allow developers to automate tasks using C++ programming languages within the Logix Designer environment.
With its latest updates, Rockwell's Studio 5000 Logix Designer V35 aims to more greatly benefit the process automation industry and Industry 4.0. Image used courtesy of Patrick Hendry
Process Manufacturing and Industry 4.0
The changes being made to Studio 5000 Designer are a welcome change for the process automation industry and Industry 4.0. With the new process automation features, users and programmers will find a more seamless design when building plant-wide automation.
Industry 4.0 and digital twin are gaining popularity every day, and Rockwell is stepping up to the plate with the new simulation software and the Studio 5000 SDK utility. Giving users the ability to script repetitive tasks is another step forward in combining the factory floor and the information technology world.