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Rockwell Automation and Stratus power rapid deployment of Industry 4.0 process architectures with PlantPAx 5.0 running on ztC Edge

“Solution in a Box” enables operations teams and systems integrators to accelerate and scale multisite deployments at edge locations.

Johannesburg, 01 Dec 2020
Read time 4min 20sec

Stratus Technologies, a global leader in simplified, protected, autonomous edge computing platforms, has announced a “Solution in a Box” process control architecture for fast, easy deployment at edge locations that require 2 000 I/Os or less.

The solution runs Rockwell Automation PlantPAx 5.0 software on Stratus ztC Edge, performance tested, characterised and validated by Stratus and Rockwell Automation, to ensure reliable, rapid deployment by operations teams and systems integrators using a single industrial-grade, panel-mounted edge computing device.

Faster deployment in more locations with PlantPAx Solution in a Box

“Whether it’s control in water and wastewater management, machine builders innovating for their customers, or managing remote assets in oil and gas, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving operational excellence. Enterprises require plant-wide data and control solutions with high availability that can both scale up and scale down based on the use case and location, while being cost-effective and easy to implement,” said Dave Rapini, Business Manager for PlantPAx at Rockwell Automation.

The ability to bring mission-critical applications to where they’re needed most via edge computing delivers the scale and real-time data acquisition for operational excellence. Stratus’ simple, protected and automated platform with fault tolerance and zero-touch operation is powering the disaggregation of large process architectures, traditionally deployed at level 3 and 4 of the Purdue model. The combined Stratus and Rockwell Automation “Solution in a Box” architecture provides a flexible approach to scale Industry 4.0 capabilities across a range of environments that were not previously possible.

PlantPAx 5.0 and ztC Edge Solution in a Box architecture

PlantPAx is a plant wide distributed control system (DCS) that utilises a common automation platform to seamlessly integrate both process and discrete control as well as plant-wide information. Version 5.0 improves the availability of system assets that drive compliance in regulated industries and enables analytics at all enterprise levels. Intuitive workflows and the use of industry-leading cyber security standards help teams design, deploy and support a DCS infrastructure to get to market faster to improve performance and profitability.

ztC Edge is an industrial-grade edge computing platform that offers built-in redundancy to eliminate unplanned downtime and meets Class 1 Division 2 requirements to operate in hazardous environments. While meeting standard IT performance and security requirements, ztC Edge is simple to deploy, protected from interruptions and threats, and operates autonomously. The zero-touch edge computing platform can be quickly installed at a single location or across multiple locations without the need for specialised skills or IT support.

Scalable and plug-n-play for OT infrastructure

Craig Resnick, Vice-President, ARC Advisory Group, said: “Companies are looking increasingly for scalable edge solutions that adapt easily to their existing assets and OT infrastructure and help them achieve the flexibility, real-time visibility, operational excellence and operational resilience needed to sustain their businesses in a world where often the only certainty is uncertainty.

“From an implementation standpoint, the Stratus and Rockwell Automation ‘Solution in a Box’ process control architecture not only addresses those market demands for industries, such as food and beverage, pharmaceutical and life sciences, but also does so in plug-n-play fashion that is well suited for distributors and channel partners to effectively sell and support,” Resnick continued.

Frank Hill, Director of Rockwell Partnership at Stratus, said: “ztC Edge’s redundancy at the compute level matched with PlantPAx DCS redundancy at the control level is a formidable combination for downtime prevention for mission-critical applications. By partnering with Rockwell Automation to characterise this joint solution, we’re delivering a massive leap forward for operations and integrators.”

Hill added: “With ztC Edge’s industrial-grade design, teams can now install redundant, virtualised edge computing on the DIN rail in the same cabinet as the PlantPAx DCS controllers, even in harsh environments. In addition, ztC Edge’s built-in virtualisation allows users to integrate multiple solutions – PlantPAx applications and Rockwell’s ThinManager that previously required multiple computers – into a single platform, which delivers enormous savings for engineering, operations and maintenance.”

Architecture details

The tested Solution in a Box architecture includes:

  • Rockwell Automation PASS-Consolidated Image
  • PASS (Process Automation System Server) – FactoryTalk View
  • FactoryTalk AssetCentre
  • FactoryTalk Historian
  • FactoryTalk VantagePoint
  • Rockwell Automation Application Server -OWS – ThinManager remote desktop server (RDS) for remote, mobile, and tablet access
  • Stratus ztC Edge 110i (single system with a redundant option) – tested in fault-tolerant and high availability modes

Workload specifications

Based on the joint Stratus and Rockwell Automation characterisation, the solution supports environments up to:

  • 2 000 I/O points
  • Five Redundant Logix Controllers
  • 10 clients
  • 5 000 historian tags

For more information, view the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx Selection Guide

Pricing and availability

Stratus ztC Edge and Rockwell PlantPAx 5.0, including PASS-C, are available now globally. For pricing and Solution in a Box development, contact a Stratus distributor.

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