* Tool combats the largest cost element of most automation projects: software

New Berlin, WI, 30 May 2013 --- ABB has launched a new engineering

development tool-suite for industrial automation projects. Automation
Builder provides an integrated development environment for control and
motion systems based on PLCs, safety PLCs, robotics, motion control and
related automation components - reducing software complexity, and cutting
time to market and cost of ownership.

Combining all of the tools required for configuring, programming, debugging
and maintaining automation projects from a common intuitive interface,
Automation Builder addresses the largest single cost element of most of
today's industrial automation projects: software.

"Industrial automation projects are becoming much more complex, and it's
leading to spiraling software development costs and project timescales,"
says Soenke Kock of ABB. "Automation Builder addresses this imbalance by
giving automation developers and owners the means to simplify the control
engineering task and standardize on a single development platform for all
projects - regardless of scale. We believe it's a major milestone on the
path to fully integrated engineering solutions for industrial automation."

Automation Builder builds on the success of ABB's well-known Control Builder
Plus tool for programming PLCs. This provides powerful PLC development
resources in the form of the standards-compliant CoDeSys IEC 61131-3
development environment and the Panel Builder tool for creating HMIs. These
are now complemented by tools for configuring and programming the new
generation of safety PLCs, the RobotStudio tool for simulating and
programming industrial robot applications, and the Mint WorkBench tool and
pre-built and tested libraries for controlling drives, and other devices
connected via fieldbuses, networks or the web.

Automation Builder integrates all these capabilities into a single
environment served by common data and intuitive user interface. This
provides data consistency that eliminates the need to enter data multiple
times, and avoids the programming effort and potential problems associated
with exchanging data between the controller and all of the various devices
in the automation system such as servomotor drives, robot arms, operator
panels, and I/O. Third party devices can also be interfaced into the

By using ABB's new tool-suite, development teams with application experts
and software and hardware engineers can now focus their time and effort
purely on developing the application, and not waste time on the myriad of
interfacing issues that can arise when building systems using many different
types of automation devices. ABB estimates that the Automation Builder
environment can shorten development times substantially - by up to a third
for complex systems. This new level of efficiency addresses major emerging
problems in the industrial automation field, such as the trend to improve
performance with more dynamic and complex control algorithms, the fast
growing trend to incorporate much more sophisticated safety mechanisms, and
the demand for much larger factory-scale automation networks.

In addition, ABB's Automation Builder provides the means to lower the total
costs of ownership of automation systems, as it provides a common platform
for ongoing management throughout the lifecycle of systems from
commissioning to diagnostics, remote access and maintenance, to system
expansion and upgrades.

More information:

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