Now in its 27th year, Automation Fair has seen its share of significant announcements over the years. Blake Moret, chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation, wasted no time keeping the streak alive during the Perspectives media event this week in Chicago.
“This morning, we announced the signing of a new agreement with Accenture,” he said during his opening address. Rockwell Automation and Accenture’s Industry X.0 will team up to develop a digital offering to help industrial clients move beyond existing manufacturing solutions to transform their entire connected enterprises. The engagement is designed to capitalize on the expertise of both companies to deliver new capabilities for greater industrial supply-chain optimization.
“We love the open innovation approach,” explained Mike Sutcliff, group chief executive, Accenture Digital, who joined Moret on stage. “The collaboration will allow companies to look across supply chains in addition to in the plant. It enables optimization across the factory, the supply chain and the enterprise.”
The collaboration will enable clients to leverage the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and has already yielded, among other early-stage successes, a prototype for supply-chain management designed to deliver supplier cost optimization and an improved ability to track the exact movements of products.
Rockwell Automation will provide industrial automation technology and domain expertise, including FactoryTalk InnovationSuite IIoT software, and analytics solutions. It will also bring network services and operational technology security, as well as application development, installation, integration and support. Accenture will provide enterprise business and technical capabilities, including consulting, analytics, application development, systems integration, change management and support. “Our collaboration with Rockwell Automation will offer digital solutions and services that will go a long way in helping our clients achieve this enterprise transformation,” said Sutcliff.
Simplification drives productivity
“By teaming up, we reduce complexity, reduce risk and achieve better results with comprehensive, enterprise-wide expertise,” explained Moret. “Our approach is to bring the Connected Enterprise to life by understanding our customers. We’re combining technology and domain expertise to deliver the best possible outcomes. We’re applying technology to save time and money in industrial company processes. Simplification drives productivity.”
In addition to the new partnership with Accenture, Rockwell Automation also capped off the first month of its joint venture with Schlumberger, called Sensia, combining process control and petro-technical expertise with digital transformation to drive more efficiency from operations.
“We’re investing in the future,” confirmed Moret. “We recently acquired MESTECH, an Indian integrator, which has been a partner for a long time. It just became a formal part of the Rockwell family to deliver software-based solutions around the world. And Emulate3D is a UK-based software firm focused on simulation, giving customers the ability to digitalize an operation throughout the value chain with the simulation and improvement of processes without running the equipment.”
Rockwell Automation lives on innovation, unlocking the creative spirit in existing employees, new people and its partners, explained Moret. “At the heart of Automation Fair is the special, unmatched relationship we have with our partners,” he said.
Moret also acknowledged Rockwell’s partnerships with Microsoft and PTC. “We're about to see an acceleration in the application of these technologies,” he said.
This year’s Automation Fair is expected to host almost 20,000 attendees from more than 40 countries, offering more than 150 exhibits and more than 95 technology sessions. “This is fundamentally a learning event,” said Moret.