Product Day At Rockwell Automation TechED

Second day Rockwell Automation TechED keynote speakers drilled down into the weeds a little to flesh out the High Performance Architecture and Connected Enterprise themes from day one. Unusual for a second day general session, the room was about as packed as for day one.

There is little mention of Internet of Things at this conference—it’s sort of assumed as part of the Connected Enterprise. However, speakers went from one “standard, unmodified Ethernet” comment yesterday to many mentions today.

Product group vice presidents Fran Wlodarczyk (Control & Visualization), John Genovesi (Information & Process), and Scott Lapcewich (Customer Support & Maintenance) showed how their groups supported the company vision.

Wlodarczyk discussed controllers getting faster (leading to added yield for an automotive assembly plant), improved workflows and tighter integration with control in the visualization portfolio, and how the latest motion control products are self-aware (auto-tuning) and system-aware.

Genovesi, who has learned the languages of process automation and information systems well in his time leading the area, spoke to both.

“Rockwell Automation is uniquely positioned to drive value-based outcomes”:

  • Integrated Architecture that includes integrated software
  • Intelligent Motor Control (smart, connected assets)
  • Domain Expertise (Solution delivery)

When Rockwell finally made a real commitment to entering the process automation business, it specifically avoided the term “DCS” and used its “PAC” (programmable automation controller) terminology. A couple of years ago spokespeople made a point of saying they have a DCS. Genovesi said the Rockwell DCS brings a modern approach that established competitors cannot match. Plus, the Rockwell approach can be less expensive.

The Rockwell DCS (built on the Logix platform, but not a PLC) advantage is that it can integrate with other plant automation and control assets such as motor control.

On the Information Services side, he emphasized the partnership with OSIsoft—a company now saying it has moved from just a historian company to providing a “real-time infrastructure.” We’ve been in the Industrial Internet of Things for 35 years, the OSIsoft spokesman proclaimed.

Lapcewich listed five sets of services his group provides:

  • networks & security
  • product & application lifecycle
  • remote monitoring & cloud analytics
  • asset management & reliability
  • people & asset safety

[Note: when Rockwell discusses asset management, it refers to the types of electrical and automation assets/products it provides.]

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