Here are two interesting announcements from Rockwell Automation this month. DataOps and asset management subscription service—both technologies for the future.

Edge-To-Cloud

IT companies have been touting edge-to-cloud architectures for several years. I’ve followed several of those companies until they decided there’s not enough revenue from the industrial market to satisfy them. Industrial technology suppliers have been notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. But the pace is picking up. 

In my next post after this one, I’ll discuss another industrial company who has discovered edge-to-cloud as a promising architecture of the future. Rockwell Automation beat them by few days. I have two announcements from Rockwell from last week revealing that company’s continued advance into software and IT-related technologies. Some executive sources in the industry have told me that Wall Street is driving much of this strategy by valuing software companies over hardware companies. 

Check out Rockwell’s investment in and subsequent partnership with PTC that enhanced its software connectivity of automation to IT. Then acquisitions of Plex and Fiix to get into the cloud. Now a partnership with Cognite for a data hub—yet another key component.

  • Strategic partnership to develop a unified, edge-to-cloud industrial data hub offering
  • Combines Rockwell’s FactoryTalk software with Cognite’s Industrial DataOps platform Data Fusion [Note: I’m on record somewhere predicting DataOps as a cool tool for the future.]

My Equipment Subscription

I always forget that often when Rockwell talks asset management, it’s not the same thing as when a process automation company discusses it. In Rockwell speak, this means keeping track of Rockwell assets in a manufacturing company.

  • My Equipment Digital enables digital collection and updating of industrial automation asset data through the use of network-based devices. 
  • The digital collection method includes firmware information and a one-time vulnerability assessment.
  • Customers can self-manage and track their installed base automation assets
  • The self-manage feature can be added to an Installed Base Evaluation (IBE service) and is included in the My Equipment Digital and My Equipment Managed offerings.
  • Mitigate network risks if legacy products and/or unmanaged switches are found
  • Review modernization potential to determine risks and productivity improvement opportunities by identifying which older products may be less expensive to repair than to buy new
  • Provide adequate remote support coverage by confirming that the most prevalent technical segments are covered
  • Reduce costs through the optimization of asset and spares strategies by comparing storeroom data to the installed base, and the identification of warranty savings
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