Modernizing industrial automation system design

Harness the power of the cloud to work more efficiently with our modern design solution.
January 12, 2024 by
Pedro Jr.

Does your company have a plan to modernize its development platform and collaboration tools for industrial automation applications? Companies worldwide are on a digital transformation journey to improve efficiency and reduce costs, investing in a variety of new and relevant manufacturing design technology solutions. Around 88% of manufacturing companies have a plan to modernize their development platforms, with 49% of companies already underway and 39% planning to start modernizing their systems within two years.

The software used to design and develop control systems is an area where designers recognize that innovation is crucial to adapting to changing demands. Forward-thinking companies have been among the first to shift towards cloud-based and software-defined solutions. The drive towards the cloud is often motivated by the desire to:

  • Spend less time managing software and infrastructure versions and more time delivering projects.
  • Improve project development efficiency using modern software development principles.
  • Standardize development efforts with reusable content libraries that can be deployed and updated easily.

Rockwell Automation is creating software that makes achieving these goals a reality with FactoryTalk® Design Studio™ software. Delivered as part of the FactoryTalk® Hub™ suite, FactoryTalk Design Studio is a native cloud software product focused on system design, built from the ground up to be available anytime, anywhere. Starting with controller development, FactoryTalk Design Studio is advancing towards integrating modern software development practices with proven industrial automation workflows, enabling teams to work more efficiently and create the next generation of automation systems.

How does incorporating modern software development practices into FactoryTalk Design Studio improve design efficiency?

We begin with object-oriented principles to drive modularity and increase the effectiveness of your efforts. Modular design simplifies complex projects by organizing content into code blocks that can be designed and maintained independently. Now, you can scale your development practices from connecting very small and routine content objects to multifunctional objects that can contain multiple routines and programs, and even other objects! Imagine a world where you build your applications based on what your encapsulated objects are doing, rather than coding line by line.

Now that you've entered the world of modularity and object-oriented programming, you'll need modern tools to manage the instantiation of those objects. How can you write the smartest code that can be reused from project to project, and how can that reuse be optimized? With FactoryTalk Design Studio, we are solving that problem by providing integrated library management.

Using integrated libraries, you no longer need to leave your design environment to define reusable content, and you don't have to copy and paste from a template project that doesn't update automatically. Now you can reference and manage your object library from the same software environment where you are building your project. You can reference these content libraries from multiple projects, allowing you to inherit updates automatically and standardize your development efforts. Of course, library updates will all be version-controlled, allowing you to choose which projects will receive updates and when those updates will occur. Nobody likes unplanned downtime due to an unexpected project update.

Cloud technology is the key to delivering modern design solutions. That's why we built FactoryTalk Design Studio to be cloud-native. This means that all services run directly on our cloud platform, and there is nothing to download, install, or manage. Managing software versions to ensure everyone updates simultaneously with the latest security patches can be a time-consuming and costly process. By running entirely in the cloud, FactoryTalk Design Studio software eliminates these concerns to allow your team to better focus on designing and delivering innovative products. Just open your browser and start working with the latest and most advanced software.

As companies face new challenges to be more agile and productive in their design processes, Rockwell Automation is providing a clear path to better software management and increased workforce productivity.

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