PAC8000, high-availability PACSystems RX3i controllers available from GE Fanuc

Latest additions to GE Fanuc controller families deliver improved performance in DCS process applications, and reflective memory technology for high-speed data transfer.


Charlottesville, VA – GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, announced additions to its two families of controllers, the PAC8000 line and the PACSystems RX3i line. The high-end RX3i controllers handle process and discrete functions, including motion, and are adept at managing large numbersof remote I/O. They are particularly suited for hybrid operations such as food processing and packaging. The PAC8000 controller is optimized for controller-to-controller communications in harsh environments and, when combined with GE Fanuc’s Proficy software, creates effective DCSs targetingoil and gas, chemical and other process industries.
By combining essential processes and capabilities onto one platform, the PACSystems RX3i controller delivers multi-domain functionality (which includes logic, motion, HMI, and process control). PACSystems RX3i High Availability facilitates continuous uptime in essential applications through a synchronized hot-standby redundant architecture that connects two independent controllers using GE Fanuc's RMX reflective memory technology. This linkage provides up to 2 Mbytes of data synchronization, so if an event occurs with the primary controller, the control functionality is automatically switched over to the redundant controller for continuous operations.

PACSystems RX3i High Availability controller

PACSystems High Availability is designed to operate as a single, complete system, eliminating complex preparations typically associated with synchronizing and data transfer. PACSystems' high speed memory sharing enables CPUs to be synchronized at 2.12 Gbits/second and multiple devices to transfer large amounts of data over a fiber optic deterministic network at speeds up to 20 times faster than Ethernet. The use of fiber optic connections allows users to operate in high-noise areas and cover large distances in real time.

The system provides increased data integrity through advanced memory error checking and correction (ECC). GE Fanuc's unique, patented Redundant Memory Xchange (RMX) modules, based on reflective memory technology, synchronize the system at the beginning of the input scan and the end of each logic scan execution to keep the controllers in lock step. Furthermore, the redundant systems can be located up to 300 meters apart, so that any localized event affecting one does not affect the other.

In other news, Proficy Process Systems with PAC8000 controllers presents customers with a powerful and flexible Distributed Control System (DCS), according to the company. The PAC8000 controllers and Proficy software provide an integrated solution for both process automation and functional safety needs. The system enables peer-to-peer communications between controllers, the ability to handle program and I/O changes on the fly, HART pass through, and redundancy. A broad process control function block library targets applications in process industries such as oil & gas, petrochemical, biofuels, and electric power.

“When we launched Proficy Process Systems in 2007, we provided our customers with the ability to choose their visualization– iFix or Cimplicity, as well as the ability to choose their fieldbus – Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus, or HART, for example. Now we are allowing them to choose their controller,” said Steve Ryan, general manager for GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms’ Process Solutions. “They can choose among the PACSystems Rx3i or Rx7i, which are ideal for process industries that leverage multiple manufacturing disciplines such as food and beverage or the PAC8000 controllers which are ideal for continuous DCS process applications.”

PAC8000 controllers
can be field mounted and subjected to extreme environmental conditions s, including Class I, Division 2 and Zone 2 hazardous areas with field wiring extending into Division 1 and Zone 1/0 areas. Application availability is improved with controller redundancy, and redundant controllers are housed in the same carrier for a smaller footprint. The controller also has two high-speed Ethernet ports that use Fault Tolerant Ethernet for redundant communications. The PAC8000 Workbench provides an integrated project development environment coupled with development modules, tools, and a comprehensive set of diagnostic utilities. All five IEC 61131-3 programming languages plus Flow Chart are supported.

The PAC8000 controller is the result of GE Fanuc's acquisition of MOST in May 2008.offerings, the company is planning to roll an RTU for well-head and pipeline applications next month.

Also, Proficy Process Systems version 1.6 will be available in July 2009, Thorfland said, and it will support both the PAC8000 and PACSystems RX3i High Availability controllers.

– Edited by Renee Robbins , senior editor

Control Engineering News Desk

For more information on PLCs, PACs, and PC-based controllers

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