Digital Transformation

Rockwell, Microsoft announce major technology integrations

Alliance to enable intelligent factories by simplifying complexity and helping empower customers to achieve sustainability goals and operational excellence

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation, has announced it is working with Microsoft on three significant technology innovations that will be on display at Hannover Messe, 22-26 April. 

“Rockwell’s partnership with Microsoft is a shared vision of creating and delivering the best solutions to empower the future of industrial operations,” said Nicole Denil, global vice president, market access, Rockwell Automation. “We simplify complexity in how manufacturers design, operate, and maintain their enterprises and empower their people. Visitors to the Rockwell stand in the Microsoft booth at Hannover Messe will see how Rockwell Automation helps empower leading manufacturers globally to reduce waste in their operations and achieve sustainability goals through streamlined industry solutions.”

With Rockwell’s FactoryTalk edge and cloud solutions, manufacturers bring together artificial intelligence, IoT, and automation solutions to allow people, processes, and technology to operate seamlessly between physical and digital environments. With Microsoft Azure’s adaptive cloud approach, manufacturers can unify and streamline siloed teams, sites and systems while scaling applications and insights. Together, Rockwell and Microsoft will provide cutting-edge industrial transformation solutions across the value chain, rapidly and at scale, with AI-assisted design, connected data, and agile production optimization.

Additionally, the recently announced partnership between NVIDIA, Rockwell and Microsoft allows the creation, real-time management, and simulation of digital twins that will be accelerated with the use of Microsoft’s AI assisted tools and cloud technology.

Finally, with the integration of Rockwell Automation’s Plex manufacturing execution system (MES) with FactoryTalk® DataMosaix™ and Microsoft’s Cloud for Manufacturing, manufacturers benefit from transformative artificial intelligence (AI) tools that help drive productivity, safety, and quality. These tools focus on resolving quality issues with corrective actions and root cause analysis.

These key technologies and more will be on display at the Rockwell location within the Microsoft booth at Hannover Messe, Hall 17, Booth G06.

Bringing the intelligent factory to life

Innovative exhibits demonstrate how integrated digital twins and generative AI expedite time-to-market as organizations and systems scale. One exhibit shows how to connect digital and physical assets for autonomous intelligent factories. It utilizes digital design with differentiated digital twin simulation and artificial intelligence through FactoryTalk Design Studio Copilot for a simplified customer experience of industrial operations.

Also on display is a digital twin simulation of a quality inspection process, inspired by Rockwell’s customer Nestlé. The digital simulation is augmented by a physical installation of product sorting and autonomous material handling for packaging. Production line sorting is represented through a factory digital twin, imitating the manufacturing of one of Nestlé’s products.

An OTTO 100, an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) from OTTO Motors by Rockwell Automation, will demonstrate the movement of packaged materials through the factory, showcasing how automated material movement can help improve production throughput and employee resources. The final section of the system displays analytical production dashboards in Microsoft Azure, highlighting real-time, contextualized data egress to the cloud.

“Manufacturers are always looking for ways to drive modernization, optimize efficiency, and reduce costs,” said Dominik Wee, corporate vice president, manufacturing and mobility, Microsoft. “By combining Microsoft’s AI capabilities and trusted cloud platform with Rockwell’s industrial automation solutions, manufacturers will have the tools they need to speed up these objectives and create smart factories of the future.”

Highlighting the power of Azure’s adaptive cloud approach

Rockwell is also an integral part of Microsoft’s flagship Hannover Messe display, where attendees will step into a design, operate, and maintain environment for factories of the future. Here, manufacturers will experience how to unlock agile production optimization, AI-enhanced decision making, and repeatable cutting-edge transformation at scale, using an adaptive cloud approach to unify people, data, and systems. Microsoft is using several Rockwell Automation hardware and software solutions, along with technologies from the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork™ ecosystem in bringing this vision to reality.

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