FactoryTalk Network Manager simplifies network operations and maintenance

Plant-floor personnel have the difficult task of monitoring and maintaining a growing number of IoT devices on their networks. Rather than using complex or unfamiliar IT tools to do this, they can use the new FactoryTalk Network Manager software from Rockwell Automation. It allows them to monitor the health of their Allen-Bradley Stratix managed switches, troubleshoot switch issues and quickly configure new managed switches all from one easy-to-use software interface.

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‘Many plant-floor personnel struggle to piece together information about managed switches and devices from different sources,’ says Lorenzo Majewski, product manager, Rockwell Automation. ‘With the FactoryTalk Network Manager software, they can access this information in one collective spot. In addition, real-time alarms and events from network switches can help them conduct faster, more precise troubleshooting.’

With potentially hundreds if not thousands of devices in a large facility, users can get overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to manage. The FactoryTalk Network Manager software automatically discovers assets, their associated IP addresses, and creates a topology of these connected devices. The software’s intuitive interface offers grouping of equipment along with dashboard information, so users can organise devices into specific areas or analyse them individually.

The software also uses user-created configuration templates to get new switches up and running faster and more efficiently. These templates can be shared across an organisation, or with OEMs and system integrators to further ease network deployments, commissions and maintenance efforts.

The FactoryTalk Network Manager software provides role-based access control with auditing capabilities to help track user-specific activities and changes. The software supports multiple protocols, including Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Common Industrial Protocol (CIP), Modbus, BACnet and PROFINET. Access to the web-based platform is available via a personal computer in a control room or a mobile device on the plant floor.

As part of the Integrated Architecture system from Rockwell Automation, the FactoryTalk Network Manager software provides seamless integration with the Stratix family of industrial network switches.