Smart Machines & Factories
Driving the digital transformation
Published:  23 March, 2018

Software-powered connected services are driving the digital transformation. Smart Machines & Factories reports. Many industrial companies are implementing digital technologies aimed at optimising operations. Whether targeting point solutions or undergoing a full digital transformation, most organisations need support to plan for, deploy, and maintain new solutions, or to help them reap the most value from digitalisation.

To meet the information infrastructure and security needs, Rockwell Automation says it uses its Connected Services offerings, which includes; industrial infrastructure assessment; design; implementation; support and monitoring capabilities including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), remote asset monitoring and predictive maintenance, cybersecurity threat detection and recovery, training and consulting.

These software-powered services build on existing application and product support services to help organisations access and use production data to improve asset utilisation and productivity, while reducing risk and time-to-market.

Sherman Joshua, global portfolio manager for Connected Services, Rockwell Automation, commented: “Industrial operators have been using cutting-edge technology since the Industrial Revolution.

“Our customers understand that digitising operations or building a Connected Enterprise is about much more than rolling out new technology. They need the right infrastructure, process and people in place to transform operations and capture the value new technology is unlocking. That value is huge. Our Connected Services are making it easier and faster for our customers to uncover it.”

For example, according to ARC Advisory Group, the cost of unscheduled downtime in industrial operations exceeds $20 billion. Through traditional means of detecting, diagnosing and fixing downtime, approximately 76% of downtime occurs before any corrective action is undertaken. Connected Services can help users detect and resolve issues quickly, reducing downtime by as much as 30%.

Connected Services start with building a secure information infrastructure. Network and cybersecurity services include assessments and design, technical support, IT/OT training, remote monitoring, threat detection and recovery, turnkey implementation, pre-engineered network solutions, and network monitoring and management. These services can speed the integration of new equipment and systems, vastly improve security and help reduce downtime with access to technical resources.

Remote support, monitoring and response services can prove especially valuable for critical processes through around-the-clock operations and remote operations. These can complement on-site maintenance teams, providing everything from continuous machine monitoring and incident response to 24/7 remote support and software/firmware updates. Deployments can make use of the FactoryTalk Cloud gateway, on-site Rockwell Automation Industrial Data Centre servers, or a hybrid model that combines both options to help improve productivity and reduce downtime.

Remote support, monitoring and response services can prove especially valuable for critical processes through around-the-clock operations and remote operations.

Data integration and contextualisation services can also help capture a wealth of data and convert it into actionable information. These services can provide new opportunities to help increase productivity.

Connected Services offerings are also scalable, allowing producers to build ROI as they go, and rely more on OPEX than CAPEX funding.