Drives & Controls Magazine November/December 2022

n TECHNOLOGY November/December 2022 26 ROCKWELL HAS LAUNCHED a suite of five cloud-based applications aimed at improving collaboration and productivity in automation design teams. The FactoryTalk Design Hub suite allows organisations to transform their design capabilities using simpler, more productive ways of working. Teams of all sizes, skill sets and locations, can enhance collaboration, improve lifecycle management, and obtain on-demand access to the cloud-based software. The benefits are said to include more productive designs, faster times to market, and systems that cost less to build and maintain. “In this new age of ‘work from anywhere,’ having centralised, on-demand design tools is critical for businesses to scale production and easily adapt to evolving customer needs,” says Brian Shepherd, senior vice- president for Software & Control at Rockwell. “FactoryTalk Design Hub gives manufacturing engineers access to the full breadth of Rockwell Automation tools and capabilities in a centralised nexus for successful design and collaboration across their team and the greater enterprise.” The hub adheres to the latest security standards and IT best practices. It allows teams to access designs from any Web browser using software that is always up-to- date, and scales users and computing capacity to meet project workloads. According to Rockwell, traditional software limits collaboration, scalability, and productivity. FactoryTalk Design Hub addresses these concerns. The hub’s five core applications are: n FactoryTalk Design Studio Cloud- native software aimed at boosting system design efficiency. Available via a Web browser, it avoids the need for downloads, installs or maintenance. It saves time using modern software practices and version control. Teams can share and merge changes, and project sizes can scale dynamically. Multiple controllers can be supported in one project. n FactoryTalk Optix This cloud-enabled HMI product allows users to design, test and deploy applications via Web browsers. Optional cloud-based connections support collaborative workflows that allow modifications to be made from anywhere at any time. n FactoryTalk Twin Studio This allows users to design, program, simulate, emulate and commission virtually in a single cloud environment. Users can develop projects better and faster, collaborating with their team-mates in real time. n FactoryTalk Vault This provides secure, cloud-based storage for design teams. With its modern version and access control, it improves insights into designs by analysing control projects. Teams can spend more time working on projects and less time searching for files or working from outdated versions. n FactoryTalk Remote Access This provides secure connections to equipment, allowing teams to respond faster and to resolve production issues. It connects domain experts to critical issues, no matter where each is located, speeding support response times and cutting travel and downtime costs. FactoryTalk Design Hub and its components will be available by the start of 2023. Software suite boosts collaboration and speeds time to market SICK HAS LAUNCHED what it describes as the world’s first 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) camera that has PL c safety certification in accordance with EN13849. It says that by opening up the third dimension, the safeVisionary2 camera will offer newmobile and stationary applications, including the automation of mobile robots and human-robot collaboration. Until now, 2D Lidar sensors have been used to protect two-dimensional hazardous areas. The new technology monitors 3D space, reducing the risk of collisions for mobile robots, and protecting a larger volume than laser scanners. It provides side guarding, improving protection when a vehicle is turning or rotating, for example. In cobot applications, safe 3D perception can reduce safety distances, because it detects people’s upper bodies reliably and therefore guards against dangers such as them reaching or leaning into a hazardous area. The new camera can also extend protection of robot working areas to human head heights. In the past, it was usually necessary to stop a robot when people were nearby. Sick argues that additional protection of the head, in particular, will allow real collaboration between humans and robots in many cases, because the robots can continue to work with reduced force and speed. The camera solves not only safety tasks, but also automation tasks such detecting empty pallets or measuring objects. It will work in dark or light environments. First 3DToF camera opens up a new dimension in safety Rockwell Automation says its cloud-based FactoryTalk Design Hub suite will result in more productive designs and faster times to market. Image: Business Wire