If you have intelligent assets in your plants like sensors, devices, machines or other production assets, you have data. Lots of data. By the year 2020, more than 50 billion devices are expected to be connected to the internet. These devices are getting smarter and consequently, will help make manufacturing smarter. Now more than ever, manufacturers can readily take advantage of this growing intelligence through modern technology, such as cloud, mobile and converged plantwide EtherNet/IP.
To maximise value from this data, Rockwell Automation is expanding its Information Solutions capabilities to support manufacturers as they move through their own digital transformation and realise their version of the Connected Enterprise. New Information Solutions offerings are designed to help manufacturers connect, manage, validate and optimise production with manufacturing execution systems (MES), manufacturing intelligence and analytics applications, and information-driven services.
“Access to information is changing the face of industrial operations,” said John Genovesi, vice president of Information Software and Process Business at Rockwell Automation. “We are making significant investments in technology and resources that make operations smarter, and make the data from control systems more useful. At Rockwell Automation, we are the supplier of a large number of the smart ‘things’ that make up the industrial Internet of Things. And we’ve spent decades making them smarter and learning how to utilise the data they produce. Now we are taking it a step further, expanding our integrated control and information offerings to help customers drastically reduce production variability and risk, and optimise production.”
As plants and production processes modernise current and legacy systems, and plant networks converge with enterprise business systems, manufacturers are gaining access to a tremendous amount of data. However, most need help to maximise the benefits of their data and transform it into actionable information.
“The journey to smart manufacturing has heightened the reality that collaboration between OT and IT is not an option – it’s a necessity,” added Genovesi. “We’ve been working with Microsoft to focus our products and technology teams on a series of strategic initiatives to simplify and enable that collaboration.”
“The Rockwell Automation vision for The Connected Enterprise is aligned with Microsoft’s vision to integrate intelligence into all assets within a connected system,” said Çaglayan Arkan, general manager, Worldwide Manufacturing and Resources at Microsoft. “We’re bringing together domain expertise in a series of co-innovation projects, focused on enabling the convergence of OT and IT to create new value for their organisations. True enterprise intelligence requires coordination and compatibility from the edge device up through enterprise operations, applications and business decisions.”
The expansion of Rockwell Automation Information Solutions applications and services uses the scale and openness of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform, Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, Cortana Intelligence and mobility services. The expanded offerings give manufacturers access to analytics capabilities that best fit their operation – within a device, throughout a system and/or across the enterprise. At every level, the solutions contextualise data; enable collaboration between people, processes and technology; and drive value with new outcomes.
Regardless of where companies are in their journey to The Connected Enterprise, Rockwell Automation Information Solutions provide domain expertise to help manage production at each step, from planning and execution through optimisation.
Expanded Information Solutions capabilities from Rockwell Automation are rolling out over the next several months, including:
- Scalable analytics that compute data closest to the source on a variety of new appliances, edge devices, and on- or off-premise cloud platform. Remote monitoring, machine performance, device heath and diagnostics, and predictive maintenance solutions enable companies to derive value from their data more quickly, easily and incrementally. At the enterprise-level, these solutions offer more powerful ways to integrate plant-floor data into business intelligence strategies.
- Innovative operations management solutions that encourage workflow adherence, collaboration and scale from focused applications for quality or performance, to industry-specific suites of applications or full-blown MES for multiplant rollouts.
- Connected Services help train or supplement in-house teams from the design of smart manufacturing systems through implementation and optimisation, so they can make the most of production data in ongoing, continuous improvement initiatives.
- Collaboration tools that empower teams to make better decisions by seamlessly sharing and collecting knowledge. Teams can discuss incidents, device information, alarms, trends and other details for improved performance.
Rockwell Automation Information Solutions are built on more than a century of automation experience, over 1 million installations, and more than 5,000 companies in the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork program and developer ecosystem. These solutions bridge the gap between manufacturing data and IT, putting the power of production systems to work.
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Rockwell Automation are a global provider of industrial power, control and information solutions