Rockwell’s New FactoryTalk Motion Analyzer and Expanded Threat Detection Managed Services
Rockwell has expanded its offering with the FactoryTalk Motion Analyzer software, a new automation simulator, and its expanded Threat Detection Managed Services for enhanced condition monitoring and cybersecurity.
Rockwell Automation has released two new products to improve automation simulation and security. The FactoryTalk Motion Analyzer is a software package designed to speed up the process of choosing machine components, while Threat Detection Managed Services provides real-time monitoring of security threats.
FactoryTalk Motion Analyzer
The FactoryTalk Motion Analyzer is a free download (for those with a Rockwell Automation account) designed to help engineers size and select motion control components for their automation systems. There is also a web-based version of FactoryTalk available for Rockwell Automation users where projects can be started or created from XML files.
The software package has an extensive library of user-defined and existing, commercial motion control products, such as components from Kinetix, PowerFlex, and other Rockwell Automation Technology Partners. Motors, drives, gearboxes, linear actuators, and iTRAK components are just a few examples of components that can be modeled in this package.
Rockwell's FactoryTalk Motion Analyzer helps users size and select motion control components for automation systems. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation
FactoryTalk Motion Analyzer can save time by modeling multi-stage systems, generating a parts list, and easing the export into ProposalWorks for procurement of these parts. Parts can be added quickly, simulated, and refined to find the optimal sizes for a specific application. The simulation will also calculate the forces and loads on the components, looking for weak spots or potential high-wear conditions, minimizing the downtime of the system once it is in use. Ultimately, the efficiency of the entire system will be optimized when it is assembled, using only the correct components required.
Sizing of motors, gearboxes, and other components should be optimized. In general, the majority of the dynamic range of a component should be in use, rather than using either a small portion or the entire range. If only a small part is used, the component is oversized and is perhaps using more energy than is necessary to actually perform the task. If the component uses all of its possible range, chances are it will wear out more quickly, as it is often carrying the maximum load.
Threat Detection Managed Services
Rockwell Automation also released an upgraded set of services for threat detection and security management. This set of enhancements include the ability to provide 24 hour, 7 day a week security alert and hardware health monitoring, software update administration, backup administration, system tuning, value reporting, and training services.
The improved suite of threat detection services meets Rockwell's goal of detecting threats before they become a bigger problem. Image used courtesy of Rockwell Automation
These services are cloud-based, making it easy and portable between a variety of hardware systems. They are backed and monitored by certified information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) experts, using both Cisco and Claroty platforms.
Cybersecurity will be an increasing area of growth as cyberattacks become more common. It is all too easy to install new automation hardware and use the default password, or some other shortcut for ease of configuration. These often have disastrous results once the system is running. Engineers should not think in terms of “why would anyone break into this?” but instead ask the question, “what could they do and how bad could it be if they did break into this?” Results could be as simple as losing key data, paying a ransom, losing control of industrial equipment, or as serious as a plant shutdown or safety excursion.
Global Industrial Solutions
Rockwell Automation has been an industry leader in all manner of automation, industrial, and motion control products. With their latest offerings, Rockwell continues to provide customers with cutting-edge hardware and software solutions.