Industrial workers can now more easily manage their hundreds or thousands of automation assets using the enhanced FactoryTalk AssetCentre software from Rockwell Automation.
The latest release provides firmware and software lifecycle information for all assets in one place. This saves time because workers no longer need to connect to control cabinets and manually record information for each device.
With the software’s enhanced asset inventory functionality, workers can quickly scan a network and see which devices are in a specific lifecycle state. Examples include devices running retired firmware or forecasted to be discontinued in the next six months. This helps identify products in the same lifecycle state and workers can better plan for replacements and upgrades.
This also helps industrial companies comply with the latest cybersecurity standards such as IEC 62443 because the latest versions of firmware and software will address many known security vulnerabilities.
The FactoryTalk AssetCentre software also has a new security feature called archive management of change, which automates the process of authorizing who can change files and what they can change. It requires workers to explain why files need to be changed and verifies that only necessary files are being checked out. It also locks a file until changes are approved and escalates approval requests when needed.
This helps enhance system security, which is particularly useful for some industries such as oil and gas, that require added levels of control over when changes are permitted. For example, one major food company reduced its downtime events from unknown or unauthorized changes by 7% using FactoryTalk AssetCentre software. It can also reduce downtime due to change management.
These updates add to the software’s existing ability to report discontinuation dates and the availability of replacement products. The enhanced software now also provides disaster-recovery support for more Rockwell Automation devices as well as third-party devices.