At the 11th annual ARC Forum in Orlando, Rockwell Automation (www.rockwellautomation.com) and Endress+Hauser (www.endress.com) demonstrated next-generation process control technology, which the two companies have been working together on since forming a strategic alliance in December 2004. The alliance was established to provide plant engineering, operations, and management to customers with a mix of process and discrete automation tasks, using Endress+Hauser’s measurement devices and Rockwell Automation’s integrated control and information architecture.

Since joining forces, the companies have focused on three key strategic initiatives: technology innovation, integrated asset management, and coordinated engineering services. The alliance initiatives are expected to help manufacturers more tightly coordinate the process and discrete portions of their plants, and also increased understanding of the importance of open standards such as field device tool (FDT) in industrial automation. Through the alliance, Rockwell Automation and Endress+Hauser have been promoting field device tool/device type manager (FDT/DTM) technology that provides a single interface to devices residing on multiple field and control networks. The two companies also support a range of standard bus technologies and have several board level positions, including the HART Communication Foundation, Fieldbus Foundation, FDT Group and ODVA.

Rockwell Automation and Endress+Hauser recently worked together to assist two renewable energy customers, Integrity Biofuels, and Archer Daniels Midland to meet timelines on the implementation of control systems for their biodiesel facilities in Morristown, Ind., and Mexico, Mo. The customer received a system that optimizes output, resources and assets using Endress+Hauser level, flow, pressure, and temperature instruments in conjunction with the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture.

The two companies also worked with Red Gold, a food manufacturer, to develop a control system for a “cookroom” used to make tomato products, such as ketchup and canned tomatoes. Incorporating Endress+Hauser instruments and automated valves with Allen Bradley Programmable Automation Controllers, the customer was able to take advantage of a common software architecture and local supply.

Knauf Fiberglass, a privately-owned global fiberglass manufacturing company, has also employed solutions from the partnership at its Indiana and Alabama-based facilities. Representatives from Endress+Hauser and Rockwell Automation showed the company how to support multiple bus protocols in one process controller, using the Integrated Architecture platform and Endress+Hauser’s “bus neutral” instrumentation. Using FDT/DTM technology, the manufacturer was able to manage its devices using the same network, without adding significant amounts of wiring or hardware, and also replace devices without re-configuring or experiencing down time.

For more information on the Endress+Hauser and Rockwell Automation alliance, visit www.rockwellautomation.com/solutions/process.