How to get Allen-Bradley (A-B) and Rockwell Software (RS) Manuals and Documentation: Part 2

SLC-500 Brochure Cover SmallGetting hard physical copies of manuals and documentation for Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Software products:

Click here to read part one of this article

Yesterday we discussed how to get electronic copies of Allen-Bradley (A-B) and Rockwell Software (RS) manuals and documentation. But what happens if you’re looking to get a physical copy of a manual? For this you’ll need to contact either your local Rockwell Automation office or your local RA authorized distributor.

Both RA offices and their distributors have access to a literature ordering system which allows them to order a limited number of complimentary printed copies of the most popular manuals.  Unfortunately not every manual is available, and occasionally certain manuals become unavailable as they are being updated. But the ability to get free physical copies of reference manuals, like the programming instruction reference and user’s manuals is a much appreciated service Rockwell Automation still provides its customers.

Major types of documentation available for Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Software products:

To round out this topic, I’ll list below the major types of documentation available for most RA products:

  • PLC-5 Selection GuideBrochure: Typically a glossy full color flyer about the product with pictures and highlights about the products features.
  • Product Profile: Usually shorter and more abridged version of a brochure, often times only on page.
  • Catalog: In years past all major RA products segments had their own catalog, but these days they are typically reserved for industrial components.
  • Selection Guide / System Overview: These documents replace the classic catalog and detail all the products and accessories for a particular product family. The selection guide is typically the document you’ll need to pick out components when building a system bill of materials.
  • Installation Instructions / Data: These small documents come in most hardware boxes and typically cover how to mount and wire the device.
  • Technical / Product Data: In the past these we short versions of manuals which also contained much of the information found in the installation instructions. More recently they have become collections of technical details of the product including certifications and specifications.
  • Getting Started Guides: These are typically short documents which come in some software packages and cover installation basics, but longer more in-depth versions on various products are also available.
  • PLC-5 User's ManualQuick Starts: Similar to Getting Stated Guides, quick start guides usually have step by step instructions on how to implement a product.
  • User’s Manual: These are often the one document you need to implement a product. Occasionally, important information is left out of the users manuals and can only be found in either the Installation Instructions, Technical Data, or online Knowledge Base.
  • Reference Manual: In-depth manuals popular in the Programmable Controller category detailing programming instruction sets.
  • Programming Manual: These documents exist for the older products and compliment the Hardware Manual for the same product. They covered how to connect to and program the product, typically minus details on the instruction set.
  • Hardware / Installation and Operation Manual: Another document for older products, they complimented the Programming Manual for the same product. They covered how to install sand troubleshoot the hardware.

Click here to read part one of this article

I hope this information about how to obtain a physical hard copy of documentation for Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Software was helpful. If you’re someone who prefers to have certain manuals in “physical” form, or have a “go to” manual you use on a regular basis, please consider sharing it with us using the “Leave a reply” form below.


Shawn Tierney
Automation Consultant
Insights In Automation

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Legacy Comments

  1. Hello Shawn
    i am Roger again, now with other question about of SLC 500 05/3.
    we have a press rotative for print newspaper, and the press has some impression units and this impression units has every one their splicer or in this particular case a RTP (Reel Tension Paster), and the control system of RTP works with one SLC 500 05/3, until here everything is ok but there are some thing that give me pain my head, because i can not find any information in the web, we have only the manufacturer’s information but it is limited. This pain of head is call CPM (counter processor Module) Cat.:PD-PN 834
    Serial No:40672 REVB6 (the serial number is of the module that i have now between my hands), it works in the slot 10 of the rack of the SLC and i know that it is a subsystem or a microcontroller with their inputs and outputs, it has a IC processor Siemens SAB 80C537-16-N, and of course it changes data with the SLC CPU.
    But I do not find how communicate with it and backup or edit their program.
    With RS Logix software (configure input – output) the CPM appears like a 1746-BAS-5/02 Basic Module M0-M1 capable, but when i look for in the web for this 1746-BAS, i find a different module.
    I do not know if you can help me with any idea about this.



    • Roger,

      Good morning!

      Back in the day vendors could buy the 1746-BAS module and modify it. This is how some of the original Prosoft modules worked if memory serves me correctly.

      So, I can only guess this is a custom non-Rockwell part, since it has no Rockwell PN#?

      Is there perhaps a company name and address on the side of the module? Like Prosoft or AMCI?


      Shawn Tierney

      Did you find my comment helpful? Why not become a Premium Member with a small donation, and in return I'll give you a coupon for $10 of my automation downloads! Find out more here

  2. hello Shawn

    Thanks for your answer.
    do you think that i can send you a pictures of this CPM module?
    where or how i send you this pictures.
    I look for this module in the web and i only find this:
    That is exactly the CPM card that we have
    The manufacturer of the press is Goss International (, the splicer is a RTP (Reel Tension Paster) Model: CT-50P.

    Thanks again


    • Roger,

      I’m sorry to say I’ve never seen this module before. I also can’t find any documentation on any of the Rockwell websites about it. It does appear to be made by Rockwell, but it could be a special part made just for Goss.

      To me it appears to be an Encoder “Counter Pulse Module” but I’m guessing.

      Sorry I’m not more help,

      Shawn Tierney

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