Once I was involved in the design, build, and installation of automated assembly machines. I have a feel for how much time and money could be saved through simulation of industrial automation systems. Further, I’ve observed Rockwell Automation’s attempts at partnership to bring simulation to fruition.

After many false starts, it has acquired a company—Emulate3D. The company’s products sit between CAD and controls design enabling a visual model of the system (the website shows conveyor and material handling systems, not the inner workings of a machine). It can integrate controls and look for interferences allowing engineers to “test” machine design before cutting iron.

I have not seen a demo, yet, but in theory this is a great advance for Rockwell’s customers.

“We are excited about the opportunities that Emulate3D’s software offers our customers,” said Fran Wlodarczyk, Rockwell Automation senior vice president for its architecture and software segment. “They will have the ability to improve their time to market and operational productivity through digital machine prototyping and virtual commissioning. It also marks another investment by Rockwell Automation to bring the Connected Enterprise to life.”

“As a former Rockwell Automation Encompass partner, we established great working relationships with Rockwell Automation and its customers,” said Ian McGregor, Emulate3D global sales and marketing director. “We look forward to building on those relationships under our new ownership. Rockwell Automation’s installed base and our engineering software provides a great opportunity to better address customer needs in today’s rapidly changing, technologically-advanced manufacturing environment.”

Rockwell Automation will add Emulate3D’s technology to its digital design portfolio to deliver solutions to automotive, logistics, material handling, and other industrial applications. Software will be sold as Emulate3D by Rockwell Automation, as part of Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk DesignSuite.

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