IT in Manufacturing


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Technews Industry Guide: Industrial Internet of Things & Industry 4.0 IT in Manufacturing

Industrial organisations must be able to identify ways to tighten production schedules and maximise revenue. Gaining insight into operations and production capabilities to make informed decisions has often involved time-intensive IT projects and a highly specialised skillset. Today, Rockwell Automation has expanded the FactoryTalk Analytics portfolio, a robust advanced analytics environment that empowers users with the ability to make informed decisions. These latest advancements were developed to reduce the complexity of the operations environment for manufacturers and producers and their employees who are driving operations.

FactoryTalk Analytics has been developed for scale, discovering and connecting data sources from the edge of the network up through the enterprise, and then intelligently fusing the information to resolve issues close to the source. At the edge or device level, this can result in near-immediate resolution of production issues. Empowered with machine learning capabilities, FactoryTalk Analytics learns the process and looks for trends in the data, proactively presenting users with insights before an issue arises.

FactoryTalk Analytics brings contemporary user experience capabilities, which are common for consumer experiences, to the production environment. Focused on driving ease of use and productivity, it features Internet-like search capabilities of production data, as well as self-serve drill-downs, allowing the user to make data-driven decisions quickly. Rockwell Automation has chosen the Microsoft Azure cloud as the preferred platform, to help develop and power advanced IIoT solutions.

In one pilot project, a manufacturer of solar panels used FactoryTalk Analytics to connect the data sources of legacy systems spread across multiple facilities. They are now able to more efficiently manage data both on premise and in the cloud, which minimises downtime and saves significantly on IT spend.

In another pilot, a global automotive manufacturer implemented FactoryTalk Analytics to help improve operational productivity. Purpose-driven applications brought data together from disparate systems, which had previously proven difficult to integrate and had limited workers’ ability to investigate production issues. The solution is giving production managers and executives new visibility into key areas of operations, and helping them more accurately forecast production targets.

“Smart manufacturing promises to remove blind spots between organisational silos, putting users directly in touch with information,” said Christo Buys, business manager control systems, Rockwell Automation Sub-Saharan Africa. “Our deep experience in production applications, coupled with technology that integrates control and information, provides outcomes of increased productivity for both existing and Greenfield sites. Importantly, our partners are taking advantage of these solutions to enhance the value of their own offerings.”

For more information contact Christo Buys, Rockwell Automation, +27 (0)11 654 9700, cbuys@ra.rockwell.com, www.rockwellautomation.co.za


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