The Roadmap to the Future of Discrete Automation

by , , | Mar 31, 2021 | Control & Safety Systems, Industrial IoT, Machine Automation, Remote Automation, Technologies

Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

The next generation of discrete automation is here, and the future is even more exciting. At the Emerson Users Exchange Live 2021 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Emerson’s Derek Thomas and Vibhoosh Gupta provided an overview of Emerson’s PACSystems™ controllers and industrial PC solutions, outlining recent developments and what to expect in the near future. Here’s how they described their exciting Roadmap presentation:

PACSystems PLC and Industrial PC’s reach beyond conventional standards to reimagine the intersection of control, software and intelligent devices to deliver open connectivity that meets the demands of Industry 4.0. In this session, Emerson experts will cover the PACSystems product strategy and portfolio roadmap and how the new direction and investments provide a scalable platform for high-performance control, analytics and visualization, including the new PACEdge, PACMotion and PACSafe product families, to further establish leadership in discrete, hybrid and process applications.

While the comprehensive portfolio is too extensive to cover in any single blog, here are a few highlights:

Data Management
As the above image shows, the portfolio includes a “one stop shop” of data management, control, and field devices, all designed to optimize automation from the machine level to the enterprise. In terms of data management, Emerson can now offer advanced visualization and analytics software, with scalable platforms for `edge to enterprise’ applications. Vibhoosh Gupta explains, “Emerson’s PACEdge™ IoT Platform incorporates a scalable IIoT stack based on modern, open-source solutions to simplify application development. This creates an `out of the box’ IIoT and edge platform for faster and easier deployment of IIoT.”



At the control level, Emerson’s complete portfolio includes logic, motion and safety controllers. These all offer scalability, cybersecurity across all layers with Achilles and IEC 62443 security certifications, and edge-enabled connectivity. As part of that expanded offering, Derek highlighted the forthcoming launch of a range of compact controllers based on the PACSystems RSTi-EP family, that would also offer those capabilities. All machine safety control needs, in terms of performance and flexibility, can also be met by scalable solutions, with options from single relays to distributed SIL-3 machine safety systems with up to 4,096 safety I/O points, and tools to simplify configuration, programming, commissioning and troubleshooting.

Emerson’s powerful, compact industrial computing and operator interfaces offer increased analytics and graphics capability for edge applications and reduced footprints. This is typified by the PACSystems RXi2-BP DIN-rail mounted industrial computer, which has a very compact ruggedized design that provides high performance and reliability in challenging applications such as those with high levels of shock and vibration. This forms part of a broad range of industrial computing devices that can support every type of edge application, from gateway-supporting small applications through to full powerful computing devices providing intensive analytics and modeling.



Field Devices
Vibhoosh described some significant developments at the field device level: “Adding to our existing PACMotion VFD integrated modular AC variable frequency drive, which offers high performance reliability and safety, we have recently launched the PACMotion servo motion control portfolio, which includes a motion controller, servo motors and drives, and configuration software. The motion controller connects directly to the PACSystems RX3i PLC backplane to enable high-speed precision synchronized motion for up to 40 coordinated axes. We’re looking to redefine the user experience, with fully integrated devices and simplification of configuration and programming using PAC Machine Edition programming software. We intend to provide a complete package of smart field devices including variable frequency drives, indication lights and displays, supporting machine builders and manufacturers with increased capabilities from intelligent devices.”



Based upon this exciting Roadmap, expect a future of open automation with self-configuring systems and software, cybersecurity at the individual device and systems level, and embedded IIoT functionality at every level. So many of the major challenges of industrial plants are being met at the new industrial edge. Learn more about Emerson’s industrial edge technologies.

What’s your roadmap to the future?

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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