Rockwell Software-- it's looking like they're for real...

Oct. 26, 2006
I've told you before that Kevin Roach, Rick Dolezal, et al are really serious about making Rockwell Automation a player in Process Automation. Rockwell, I've noted, has finally realized that they already do about 20% of their automation revenue from process plants-- and not just the discrete and hybrid parts of those plants, either, but no-kidding process and batch process applications. I told you that earlier this year, Dolezal showed me a valid upgrade path for conventional DCS systems to the...
I've told you before that Kevin Roach, Rick Dolezal, et al are really serious about making Rockwell Automation a player in Process Automation. Rockwell, I've noted, has finally realized that they already do about 20% of their automation revenue from process plants-- and not just the discrete and hybrid parts of those plants, either, but no-kidding process and batch process applications. I told you that earlier this year, Dolezal showed me a valid upgrade path for conventional DCS systems to the new Rockwell FactoryTalk software and hardware systems. Now FactoryTalk is even more for real. If you like PI...Rockwell Automation today announced an agreement with OSIsoft Inc. to license and deliver OSIsoft technology within the FactoryTalk integrated production and performance suite. Under the agreement, Rockwell Automation will incorporate the OSIsoft PI System and related components into the FactoryTalk suite and leverage the FactoryTalk service-oriented architecture (SOA) to provide premier integration with the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture. The joint development and technology licensed through this agreement will serve as the platform for a tiered, distributed historian strategy that will leverage a rich set of industry-focused applications. This approach represents a highly scalable and cost-effective alternative for manufacturers that want to improve insight from each level of their manufacturing system - from embedded high-speed controls to machines and work cells - to an entire plant or across the enterprise. The rest of the press release is Kevin Roach of Rockwell and Pat Kennedy of OSIsoft saying nice things about each other, but here's what's jumping out at me: Rockwell is staking a claim to be where Siemens and ABB sit now: able to produce enterprise integration systems for both the discrete automation and machine control side AND the process and batch process part of the plant and the enterprise. Emerson, Honeywell, and Invensys are all plugged in primarily to process and batch process, and can't really say the same thing. Schneider is clearly working on being part of the three who can--- It remains to be seen how important a one-stop shop for ALL factory controls is going to be. I don't see Emerson or Honeywell hurting because a pharma plant or a chemical plant uses some PLCs or high-speed motion stuff they don't supply, and I DO see them having the capability to integrate it if it is necessary. Hmmm. I need to go see if I can find my old recipe for thickening a plot.

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