The Internet gets top billing in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), but it’s connecting and networking the actual things that enables digital transformation, provides operational advantages and drives up profits.
“Smart assets are critical to the connected enterprise,” says Blake Moret, senior vice president of control projects and solutions and incoming president and CEO of Rockwell Automation, during his opening keynote presentation at Rockwell Automation’s TechED in mid-June in Orlando. “These are the things in the IIoT, and we have home-field advantage.”
Moret stresses Rockwell Automation’s acumen in delivering value to varied enterprises by optimizing smart connectivity. “Pharmaceutical companies care about serialization,” adds Moret. “Auto manufacturers care about scheduling. Oil and gas industries care about optimal flow to extend the life of wells. We combine innovation and expertise through our Connected Enterprise offerings. Rockwell Automation takes advantage of a wide range of devices, understands changes in process, and applies reliability science to not only repair what breaks but to keep stuff from breaking.”
In other news at TechED:
• Rockwell Automation previewed its new App Platform for mobility, which defines smart phone use on the plant floor, makes workers more productive, and connects a company’s Connected Enterprise. Working on iOS or Android devices, App Platform includes a server, database and front end available in a 60-MB download. Its eight initial modules let users create and engage teams, resolve issues and connect to plant-floor devices.
• Andersen Corp. reported on its new extrusion facility for window and door manufacturing, and how it migrated Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk Production Centre software from discrete to process manufacturing; used Rockwell Software’s ERP Integration Gateway (EIG) tool and CPG Suite software; hid its MES software behind its controls and put MES data collection on its HMIs. Andersen also saves on materials, gives visibility into operations, reduces setup time, tightens control of key process variables, and improves quality.
• Cereal maker Post Consumer Brands (PCB) showed how it’s implementing a modern, high-performance HMI architecture leveraging VMware servers and about 50 virtualized machines (VMs), 175 thin-client HMIs and FactoryTalk View SE software and Open Virtual Format (OVF) templates from Rockwell Automation. The VMs can be operating systems or application environments that reside in software, mimic actual hardware, or reside on a single server.
• To give it a unified, real-time, 24/7 view of its 50-installation, 2,900-MW solar fleet, Duke Energy reports it combined elements of its OSIsoft PI software with FactoryTalk View SE platform from Rockwell Automation. The solution employs ControlLogix for site data acquisition and FactoryTalk Historian ME module for on-site data buffering and running OSI PI.