Rockwell Automation, Inc. will be showcasing a range of new cloud offerings in the Microsoft demonstration space at Hannover Messe 2022. These offerings enable new value creation across the industrial systems lifecycle continuum from design, operations, and maintenance.
There will be three significant offerings on display in the form of the FactoryTalk Design Hub, Plex Manufacturing Execution System (MES), and a preview of FactoryTalk Edge. All three solutions focus on industry relevant solutions that provide best-in-class user experience, assist with improving industrial productivity, and leverage the power and scale provided by Azure to enable faster time-to-value.
Delivering a next generation control systems design environment
One of the offerings is the FactoryTalk Design Hub, which is a next generation control systems design environment that utilises the power of Azure to enable new forms of collaboration when designing, simulating, testing, and remotely accessing control systems.
Historically, capital investments in plant and equipment, come with a complex ecosystem of partners across the entire range of disciplines, but the design tasks often have serial interdependencies.
“FactoryTalk Design Hub enables information centralization and stakeholder accessibility to systems standards, programs, as-built configurations, along with control system and Digital Twins that enable outcomes such as virtual commissioning to reduce start-up risk,” said Leo Kilfoy, Director SaaS and digital design, Rockwell Automation.
After physical commissioning, FactoryTalk Design Hub’s capabilities provide additional value for operations and maintenance stakeholders by supporting change management and enabling secure remote access for partners such as Machine Builders.
“We are proud of our partnership with Rockwell Automation and pleased to welcome them to our booth at Hannover Messe. Their exciting showcases will demonstrate how together, our companies are advancing the connected enterprise with Rockwell’s deep OT and industrial expertise and Microsoft’s rich and secure cloud offerings,” says Çağlayan Arkan, Vice President, Global Strategy and Sales Lead, Manufacturing and Supply Chain at Microsoft.
Flexible software solution to optimise manufacturing performance
Manufacturers face a variety of pressures and require technology solutions to create greater agility and productivity improvements. Plex Systems, a recent acquisition by Rockwell Automation, provides flexible software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that address the needs of manufacturing operations, including Production Monitoring, Asset Performance Management (APM), Quality Management (QMS), and Manufacturing Execution System (MES).
Customers will recognize the benefits from SaaS-based operations management capabilities with greater modularity, faster deployment, and a lower total cost of ownership than traditional approaches. Rockwell Automation is pleased to announce the availability of Plex on Azure to support customers in EMEA that require localised data residency.
“This milestone illustrates the ongoing commitment by Rockwell Automation and Microsoft to bring industry relevant solutions to empower our customers to deliver trusted and integrated manufacturing capabilities and solutions,” said Brian Shepherd, Senior Vice President, software and control at Rockwell Automation.
Using SaaS to support edge deployed applications
Manufacturers looking to apply Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and advanced analytics in a consistent manner to achieve tangible business value often struggle to find a consistent approach. The installed base of operations technology (OT) in manufacturing environments is heterogeneous and often includes a combination of legacy and modern technologies. At Hannover Messe, Rockwell Automation will preview FactoryTalk Edge to address these challenges.
“Our investments in edge management and orchestration highlight our commitment to addressing customer needs while maximising the potential value presented from IT/OT convergence,” Shepherd said.
FactoryTalk Edge marries pre-validated hardware with SaaS designed to support edge deployed applications using containers or for applications with legacy dependencies, virtual machines, both combined with orchestration from Azure.
One of the initial applications will include FactoryTalk Edge Gateway software that enables an OT professional to rapidly access control systems data sources, contextualise, and egress to multiple endpoints including Azure IoT Hub. The objective is to enable scale ranging from a device such as a module in a control system chassis to a data centre residing in the plant. FactoryTalk Edge will become the means to support and manage OT applications along with providing the consistent conduit of OT data to the cloud, where it can be stored in data lake, accessed with advanced services to create/train predictive models, have resulting models operationalised at the edge, and provide the ability to close loop with the control system.
Attendees will have an opportunity to experience the future of manufacturing and see how Rockwell Automation and partners, together, are driving digital transformation.