All the big or small data in the world won't do anyone any good if it can't be organized into usable information that improves operational decisions, efficiencies—and profits.

To achieve this ultimate goal of making its customers' information available to them in every way, shape and form, Rockwell Automation has been expanding its Information Solutions organization to support these users on their quests for digital transformation and to realize their own versions of The Connected Enterprise.

All of the offerings demonstrated in the Information Solutions exhibit at the 2016 Automation Fair event in Atlanta are designed to help manufacturers connect, manage, validate and optimize production with manufacturing execution systems (MES), manufacturing intelligence and analytics applications, and information-driven services.

"We're joining information and technologies across regular business lines, connecting services, and enabling users to adopt the single information strategy that will be most useful to them," said Paula Puess, global market development manager, Rockwell Software. "These solutions include FactoryTalk Cloud, FactoryTalk Analytics and our upcoming FactoryTalk TeamONE app for IOS and Android smart phones."

Puess added that under the company’s FactoryTalk MES umbrella are several other new applications, including FactoryTalk Productivity, FactoryTalk Quality and FactoryTalk Performance.

"These are fit-for-purpose applications," added Puess. "Where the typical MES starts with a full platform, our MES solutions let users start with the right amount of MES they need to work on specific problems immediately. These tasks can include quality-related issues, such as workforce allocation, adherence to production steps and documentation, or they can include production issues, such as work orders from the enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems."

Wherever its customers are the on the road to The Connected Enterprise, Rockwell Automation Information Solutions provide domain expertise to help manage production at every stage from design and planning through to execution and optimization. Scheduled to launch over the next several months, expanded and coordinated Information Solutions capabilities include:

  • Scalable analytics is a FactoryTalk-based tool that computes data closest to the source on a variety of new appliances and edge devices onsite, or off-site on the Rockwell Automation cloud platform. Remote monitoring, machine performance, device heath and diagnostics, and predictive maintenance solutions enable users to derive value from their data more quickly, easily and incrementally. At the enterprise level, these solutions offer more powerful ways to integrate plant-floor data into business intelligence strategies.
  • Innovative operations management solutions that encourage workflow adherence, collaboration and scale from focused applications for quality or performance, to industry-specific suites of applications or full-blown MES for multi-plant rollouts.
  • Connected Services help train or supplement in-house teams from the design of smart manufacturing systems through implementation and optimization, so they can make the most of production data in ongoing continuous improvement initiatives.
  • Collaboration tools that empower teams to make better decisions by seamlessly sharing and collecting knowledge. Teams can discuss incidents, device information, alarms, trends and other details for improved performance.

"FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines is a Microsoft Azure cloud-hosted solution for OEMs on FactoryTalk Cloud, which lets machine builders put a FactoryTalk Cloud Gateway module on their machines, which sends data to us, and then we display it for them and their users," explained Puess. "Meanwhile, FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices is a hardened industrial application, which crawls control networks, finds edge devices, brings back diagnostics and machine health data, and then allows visualization and dashboard creation. FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices even has a chatbox appliance, called Shelby, which lets users ask it questions like Apple's Siri. "

To help the Information Solutions group expand and reach its own potential, its many applications and services take advantage of the scale and openness of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform, Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, Cortana Intelligence, and mobility services. “These expanded offerings give users access to analytics capabilities that best fit their operation, within a device, throughout a system or across the enterprise,” Puess said. “At every level, these solutions contextualize data, and enable collaboration between people, processes and technology, as well as drive value with new outcomes.”

This article was originally published on ControlGlobal.com.