Create smarter systems that scale

Extend the power of your design by managing multiple controllers and devices in one place.
January 12, 2024 by
Pedro Jr.

Today's automation system designers face an astonishing array of responsibilities that must be addressed to ensure the success of each project. They are expected to deliver systems that are easy to understand and maintain for others, all while staying on time and within budget. The growing complexity of automation systems can make it challenging to manage all the involved devices. Generating and incorporating useful data from these devices can be a challenge, providing a clear picture of all this to operations and maintenance teams.

While these teams tackle unplanned downtime, investigate efficiency upgrades, or start learning a new system, they interact with data primarily generated by the control system. The amount of data aggregated across systems with multiple controllers and devices can quickly become overwhelming unless meaningful context is provided. With the new FactoryTalk® Design Studio™, understanding all this data is easier than ever.

FactoryTalk Design Studio makes this possible by allowing designers to:

  • Create more logical and intuitive system models.
  • Program systems independently of hardware.
  • Manage multiple controllers and devices in one place.
  • Model Your System Based on Its Purpose.

How do we enable your users to shift their focus from controllers to what is being controlled?

Traditionally, systems have been designed to "fit" around the controllers where the code runs. This approach can be limiting because it does not provide information on how different components of the system truly behave and interact in the real world! FactoryTalk Design Studio allows you to provide this necessary context to users in an easy and intuitive way by building a system model.

Of course, not all production systems are built the same way, so the creation of the system model must be flexible. FactoryTalk Design Studio allows you to build your model the way you want, in any industry. Is it better to model your data by location, by function, or according to a specific industry standard? It's up to you! With your model in place, you have established the context of your data at the core of your system, at the control level. Defined here, any software that leverages your control system data can benefit from the built-in context, without the need to rebuild separate models for historians, analytic dashboards, etc.

There are even more benefits with the system model approach. In FactoryTalk Design Studio, the logical content you create is abstracted from the hardware, meaning you can write code for all functions of your system before deciding which controllers it will run on and what I/O hardware it will be linked to. This not only provides flexibility in your project timelines but greatly reduces the risk introduced if your customers rewrite their hardware requirements or need to make a last-minute module change.

Reducing the power system design complexity

Creating your system based on what it is doing, not on what hardware is running, and having the flexibility to make those hardware and execution decisions when it is most convenient for you sounds great, but what happens when your systems start to grow?

You don't want to split that contextualized data across multiple projects! That's why FactoryTalk Design Studio gives you the ability to manage all your controllers and devices in one place. And with all your controllers in the same project and aware of each other's data, you'll be able to set up communications and share data more easily.

As you scale the number of controllers and devices in a system, managing software and firmware revisions can be a burden. FactoryTalk Design Studio is designed to be managed and delivered in the cloud, so you'll never have to worry about installing or updating versions. But what about compatibility with your device's firmware and plugin profiles? We've got that covered too! FactoryTalk Design Studio will support multiple firmware revisions, starting with versions 34 and later of ControlLogix® and CompactLogix™. And you'll never have to download a missing plugin profile for a Rockwell Automation device again.

FactoryTalk Design Studio is being built from the ground up to allow you to manage all your controllers and devices in a single automation project and to give you the flexibility to design logical system models so you can deliver systems that are easy to build and easy to maintain.

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