Industrial companies that want to use IIoT data to make better business decisions must first make sure workers can access that data when and where they need it. New scalable compute offerings from Rockwell Automation give decision makers access to real time data to solve analytical challenges and adapt to changes at every level of an organisation. This helps improve productivity and efficiency in a Connected Enterprise.
At the device level
Rockwell Automation is introducing three compute offerings at the device level to help operators make faster, more informed decisions closer to the source of information. Each offering allows users to run applications in a Windows 10 IoT Enterprise environment to gain better insight into machines and equipment. The variety of platforms also gives users flexibility to meet individual application needs.
First, the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix compute module allows users to add Windows 10 IoT directly into the Logix system in existing applications and provides high speed access to ControlLogix data across the backplane. As a result, users can combine Windows applications as close to the point of decision-making as possible.
Second, the Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 5480 controller combines Allen-Bradley Logix5000 control and Windows-based computing in one controller. The controller supports Windows applications, such as data collection, analytics and predictive computations. It is suitable for meeting the demands of high performance production lines and information-driven smart machines.
Third, the Allen-Bradley VersaView 5000 industrial computers provide modern visualisation and data aggregation for smart manufacturing. The computers use an open architecture design, allowing users to install software specific to their applications. They are specifically designed to withstand the conditions of industrial environments. Rockwell Automation and partner applications run directly on the device while allowing users to visualise this data on an integrated or external industrial monitor.
“Time is of the essence in industrial operations, so it’s critical that workers be able to consume data as close as possible to where it’s produced,” said Greg Gernert, Global Business Manager, Rockwell Automation. “These new device-level compute offerings provide real time, close-to-the-source data access to help drive productivity in any industry.”
Rockwell Automation is also building IIoT and analytics into these compute offerings. For example, the recently released FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices software from Rockwell Automation delivers real time asset health and diagnostic information to the VersaView 5000 industrial computers.
At the system level
Companies can use the system- and plant-level computing capabilities of the VersaView industrial computers. In addition, the Rockwell Automation Industrial Data Center (IDC) tracks productivity and downtime data, and provides predictive maintenance. The scalable, pre-engineered IDC provides all the hardware needed to run multiple operating systems and applications from virtualised servers. Rockwell Automation can install, configure and manage the IDC as part of its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering.
At the enterprise level
At the enterprise level, companies can use the IDC as an IaaS offering or as a private, on-premises cloud platform. Rockwell Automation also provides the FactoryTalk Cloud, a public, remotely administered cloud platform powered by Windows Azure. The FactoryTalk Cloud platform can help industrial companies monitor remote assets, track historical data and analyse multisite performance. It also can help OEMs better monitor and support machines after they are deployed with customers.
“Azure provides a trusted and global-scale platform to develop and power advanced IoT solutions from the edge to the cloud,” said Sam George, Director, Microsoft Azure IoT, Microsoft Corporation. “Rockwell Automation is taking full advantage of Microsoft’s comprehensive IoT platform, from integrating Windows 10 IoT Enterprise at the device level, to managing advanced data workloads at the edge and in the cloud with Azure IoT, to centralising operations monitoring and production performance across time zones. This results in better business outcomes and improved worker safety.”