By 2020, the industrial sector will be producing nearly 15 trillion gigabytes of data. With increasing amounts of data, manufacturers must find more effective and efficient ways to put this data to use. Rockwell Automation is releasing expanded and scalable analytics offerings to help customers more quickly and easily gain insight from their investments in automation technology.
John Genovesi, vice president of Information Software and Process Business, Rockwell Automation says: “Our Connected Enterprise vision has always had analytics and collaboration at its core. As we expand our Information Solutions offerings, a primary goal is to make analytics more approachable and right-sized for the customer. New analytics solutions help our customers move ahead on their Connected Enterprise journey, no matter where they are today.”
The new Rockwell Automation offerings expand capabilities for analytics across the plant floor for devices, machines and systems, as well as throughout the enterprise. In this approach, analytics are computed and gain context closest to the source of decision at the appropriate level in the architecture to return high value – from edge devices to the cloud on a variety of new appliances, devices, and on- or off-premise cloud platforms.
New products cover remote monitoring, machine performance, device heath and diagnostics, and predictive maintenance to enable companies to derive value from their data more quickly, easily and incrementally. At the enterprise level, these products offer more powerful ways to integrate plant-floor data into business intelligence strategies.
Genovesi adds: “For any manufacturer or industrial company, control systems are the birthplace of data. As the provider of those systems, Rockwell Automation can help customers better understand, analyse and act on this data with several new products and services.”
Matthew Littlefield, president and principal analyst, LNS Research, notes: “We have watched Rockwell Automation move forward significantly in the analytics space, coming to play a role equal to that they serve in the MES/MOM and EMI arenas. Our research on IIoT and analytics adoption clearly shows a need for more flexibility and scalability in this space. It’s encouraging to see companies like Rockwell Automation walk the talk of industrial analytics.”
The new FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices appliance provides health and diagnostic analytics from industrial devices. It crawls your industrial network, discovers your assets and provides analytics by transforming the data generated into preconfigured health and diagnostic dashboards. The system also delivers ‘action cards’ to your smartphone or tablet if a device requires attention.
As the application uncovers information about how the devices are related to each other, such as their network topology or fault causality, it starts to understand the system on which it is deployed to make prescriptive recommendations. For example, with the appliance in place, it can send users an action card if an Allen-Bradley PowerFlex drive needs to be reconfigured to maintain optimal performance, helping prevent potential downtime and prescribing solutions to maintenance teams.
At the machine level, FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines cloud application provides equipment builders access to performance analytics from deployed systems to help support their customers via the FactoryTalk cloud. For manufacturers, this capability capitalises on connected technologies to help drive higher availability and output while reducing maintenance costs.
Expanding on the Rockwell Automation analytics capabilities, which already include historisation and visualisation capabilities, Rockwell Automation now provides a predictive maintenance system that can help reduce downtime and maintenance costs. Using machine learning algorithms, this system can predict failures before they happen and generate a maintenance work order to avoid costly downtime.
To further enterprise analytics services, the SaaS-based FactoryTalk cloud offering will use Microsoft Azure IoT technology to allow for remote monitoring of assets, historisation and dashboarding capabilities. Microsoft and Rockwell Automation are also collaborating to include Power BI business services for data discovery, mashups and visual analytics at the device level.
This expanded suite of analytics products is on display in Atlanta at the Automation Fair event from Rockwell Automation in the Information Solutions Booth 1041. Go to www.rockwellautomation.co.uk for more information.