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What is a FactoryTalk?

1/28/20  |  Joe Amorese, Rexel Technical Consultant

Please quote me a FactoryTalk®. I get that request from time to time, so I thought I would take this opportunity to explain what it is and isn’t. First off, FactoryTalk is not a product with a catalog number. Looking at the portfolio of Rockwell Automation® software, there are products with catalog numbers like FactoryTalk View, FactoryTalk Historian, FactoryTalk Metrix, FactoryTalk VantagePoint and etc. etc. etc. Notice the common denominator? 

So, just suppose there was a FactoryTalk product you could purchase, what would you get? Well, looking at the naming pattern of the Rockwell Automation software offering products with FactoryTalk as the prefix, they all have a common set of services that allow the suite of FactoryTalk-enabled products to efficiently share resources. 

Understanding FactoryTalk Services

The following will help you understand the various FactoryTalk services. 

  • FactoryTalk Directory can be “local” where all the FactoryTalk enabled products reside on a single computer or “network” where the products can be distributed across multiple computers in a domain or workgroup. The directory is like a phonebook for the system directing resources and managing user and group security policies. 
  • FactoryTalk Security defines who can do what from where policies.
  • FactoryTalk Activation allows central management of software licenses as well as license borrowing and tracking.
  • FactoryTalk Diagnostics and FactoryTalk Audit are central repositories that record system messages and errors as well as communication errors. They tag, read, and write activity along with operator comments and actions. 
  • FactoryTalk Live Data is the data transport via FactoryTalk Linx. FactoryTalk Linx can be the central data server for all FactoryTalk-enabled products, thus eliminating multiple requests and connections to processors. It is included in all products for no additional charge and easily configurable for redundancy for a fault-tolerant system. 
  • FactoryTalk Alarms and Events allows alarm management across a distributed visualization architecture, and you can also make alarms published instead of polled by each device. 

All FactoryTalk-enabled products share these services, allowing for central management.

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Hopefully, this glimpse under the hood of a FactoryTalk system will give you an understanding of how all the pieces and parts interact. If you have more questions or need advice, contact us today!