Rockwell Automation continues its path of Connected Enterprise. In the grand scheme of RA products, I’ve never thought of software and networking as having a major impact on sales numbers. But the company continues to roll out some innovation. The “Shelby” bot and Project Scio analytics reveal some unexpected software advances for what has been a devotedly hardware-centric company.
To accompany software and networking and connectivity, Rockwell has beefed up its services offering. Its Connected Services offerings are designed to help customers plan for, deploy, and maintain new digital transformation solutions.
This is the last of my reports from interviews during Automation Fair in November in Houston. It seems the more work that I complete, the more that comes my way. I don’t think I’ll catch up in January either since it appears that my off-season soccer administrative responsibilities keep growing.
Back to Connected Services.
Connected Services offerings include industrial infrastructure assessment, design, implementation, support and monitoring capabilities including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), remote asset monitoring and predictive maintenance, cybersecurity threat detection and recovery, training and consulting offerings. These software-powered services build on existing application and product support services to help organizations access and use production data to improve asset utilization and productivity, while reducing risk and time-to-market.
“Industrial operators have been using cutting-edge technology since the Industrial Revolution,” said Sherman Joshua, global portfolio manager for Connected Services, Rockwell Automation. “Our customers understand that digitizing operations or building a Connected Enterprise is about much more than rolling out new technology. They need the right infrastructure, process and people in place to transform operations and capture the value new technology is unlocking. That value is huge. Our Connected Services are making it easier and faster for our customers to uncover it.”
For example, according to ARC Advisory Group, the cost of unscheduled downtime in industrial operations exceeds $20 billion. Through traditional means of detecting, diagnosing and fixing downtime, approximately 76 percent of downtime occurs before any corrective action is undertaken. Connected Services can help users detect and resolve issues quickly, reducing downtime by as much as 30 percent.
Connected Services offerings start with building a secure information infrastructure. Network and cybersecurity services include assessments and design, technical support, IT/OT training, remote monitoring, threat detection and recovery, turnkey implementation, pre-engineered network solutions, and network monitoring and management. These services can speed the integration of new equipment and systems, vastly improve security and help reduce downtime with access to technical resources.
Remote support, monitoring and response services can prove especially valuable for critical processes through around-the-clock operations and remote operations. These services can complement on-site maintenance teams, providing everything from continuous machine monitoring and incident response to 24/7 remote support and software/firmware updates. Deployments can make use of the FactoryTalk Cloud gateway, on-premise Rockwell Automation Industrial Data Center servers, or a hybrid model that combines both options to help improve productivity and reduce downtime.
Data integration and contextualization services can help capture a wealth of data and convert it into actionable information. These services can provide new opportunities to help increase productivity. Producers can reduce skills gap challenges by relying on Rockwell Automation to monitor, maintain and manage the network, equipment or entire applications. Additional digital transformation and data scientist consulting services will be available in 2018.
Connected Services offerings are also scalable, allowing producers to build ROI as they go, and rely more on OPEX than CAPEX funding. Rockwell Automation can deliver and execute Connected Services offerings globally, giving organizations consistent support across operations.