Nov 5, 2020

Rockwell Automation: Accelerating Digital Transformation

Rockwell Automation
Manufacturing
Digital Transformation
Sean Galea-Pace
3 min
Rockwell Automation: Accelerating Digital Transformation
Rockwell Automation has announced a set of new capabilities for FactoryTalk InnovationSuite powered by PTC to simplify and scale digital transformation...

The news follows the recent announcement that the two firms are extending and expanding the scope of their strategic alliance following strong market momentum and widespread industry recognition of InnovationSuite. 

Upon its original launch in 2018, InnovationSuite has successfully delivered a range of high-value solutions for the world’s largest automotive, consumer packaged goods, healthcare, oil and gas and pharmaceutical firms across 21 countries.

“The need for digital transformation has increased significantly as our customers accelerate innovation, maximize workforce productivity, and optimize operations,” said Arvind Rao, director of product management at Rockwell Automation. “These new capabilities combined with our industry-leading partner ecosystem helps us extend our technology and solutions leadership, meeting our customers' needs for simplicity, scale, and domain expertise.”

FactoryTalk InnovationSuite is the industry’s first comprehensive digital transformation software suite that provides fully integrated industrial internet of things (IIoT), edge-to-cloud analytics, manufacturing execution system (MES) and augmented reality (AR) capabilities required for the connected enterprise. InnovationSuite streamlines the process to quickly develop, operationalise and scale innovative solutions to operations globally. 

“We are pleased to be collaborating with the Rockwell Automation team on the next generation of our InnovationSuite offering,” said Don Busiek, senior vice president, strategic alliances, PTC. “As we help organisations realign their digital transformation goals to combat the current macroeconomic environment, we are confident that InnovationSuite offers the most comprehensive and effective way to optimize their people, products, and processes - empowering manufacturers to embrace their new normal.”

New enhancements to InnovationSuite were created to help customers across a number of digital transformation priorities, including: 

  • Accelerating IT/OT Integration

The recently confirmed FactoryTalk Edge Gateway enhances the fidelity of operational technology data through rich contextualisation using the Rockwell Automation unique FactoryTalk Smart Object capability and packages it to a configurable data model that can be mapped to upstream information technology applications to glean enterprise insights.

  • Simplifying Edge-to-Cloud Enterprise Analytics

FactoryTalk Analytics now provides a comprehensive array of simplified data science capabilities for multiple personas - process engineers, data scientists and citizen data scientists and reduce analytics data preparation effort by up to 70%.

  • Enabling Enterprise-Class Digital Thread

The Rockwell Automation Digital Thread uniquely allows a collaborative workflow across product designers, production engineers and OEM suppliers, which optimises the design process from the beginning. This approach shrinks new product development time to months from years. By validating and optimising performance in a virtual environment prior to physical implementation, commissioning time is reduced by half.

  • Delivering Value through World-Class Consulting and Professional Services 

Following the purchase of Kalypso, Rockwell Automation now provides a full suite of consulting, data science, technology, business process management and managed services that allow the transformation of the value chain, from product to plant to customers. With around 250 new InnovationSuite customers and a plethora of repeatable industrial use cases, the Rockwell Automation consulting and delivery services are a highly differentiated part of the InnovationSuite digital transformation journey to scale time to value.

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May 4, 2021

IHS Markit/CIPS: UK Manufacturing PMI near-record high

Supplychain
Manufacturing
IHSMarkit
CIPS
Georgia Wilson
3 min
Manufacturing UK | Smart Manufacturing | Industry Trends | Supply Chain | COVID-19 | IHS Markit | CIPS
Latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI statistics report a near-record high in April, despite the sector continuing to face supply chain disruption...

Riding on the momentum of March 2021 which saw the fastest output growth since late-2020, IHS Markit/CIPS reports a further acceleration in the rate of expansion in the UK manufacturing sector for April 2021.

UK manufacturing trends

For the UK manufacturing sector, growth of output and new orders were both reported by IHS Markit and CIPS as among the best seen over the past seven years, which in turn has led to a strong increase in employment. Despite this, the sector continues to face supply chain delays and input shortages, which resulted in increased purchasing costs and record selling price inflation.

UK Manufacturing IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®)

Seasonally adjusted, IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) rose to 60.9 in April, which was an increase compared to March (58.9) and above the estimated 60.7 for April. 

Increasing for the eleventh consecutive month, the latest readings are the highest since July 1994 (61.0). The output growth for April has been attributed to the loosening of lockdown restrictions, improving demands and a rise in backlogged work.

“The manufacturing sector was flooded with optimism in April as the PMI rose to its highest level since July 1994, bolstered by strong levels of new orders and the end of lockdown restrictions opened the gates to business. It was primarily the home market that fuelled this upsurge in activity though more work from the US, Europe and China demonstrated there were also improvements in the global economy. This boom largely benefited corporates as output growth at small-scale producers continued to lag behind,” said Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.

In addition to expanding production, total new orders rose for its third consecutive month, which was attributed to a revival of domestic market conditions, stronger client confidence, parts of the economy reopening and improving global market conditions.

While new exports rose in April, the rate was reported as weaker in comparison to new orders. “Companies reported improved new work intakes from several trading partners, including mainland Europe, the US, China and South-East Asia. Large-sized manufacturers saw a substantial expansion in new export order intakes, compared to only a marginal rise at small-sized firms,” said IHS Markit/CIPS.

UK Manufacturing’s outlook

Remaining positive at the start of the second quarter, 66% of companies forecast that output will be higher in a year's time, which is attributed to expectations for less disruption related to COVID-19 and Brexit, economic recovery, improved client confidence and new product launches.

“Further loosening of COVID-19 restrictions at home and abroad led to another marked growth spurt at UK factories. The headline PMI rose to a near 27-year high, as output and new orders expanded at increased rates. The outlook for the sector is also increasingly positive, with two-thirds of manufacturers expecting output to be higher in one year’s time. Export growth remains relatively subdued, however, as small manufacturers struggle to export,” said Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit.

Adding to comments from IHS Markit and CIPS, Sarah Banks, Managing Director of Freight and Logistics at Accenture Global said: “While today’s figures are positive overall, the worsening supply situation is still a concern, with rates of both input costs and selling price inflation running far above anything previously seen. Shipping delays and material shortages are driving huge backlogs of uncompleted work and the surge in manufacturing orders is leading to many firms struggling to boost operating capacity to keep up with demand. With business expectations becoming even more optimistic as the economy rebounds, the big question will be whether firms will be able to cope with the surging inflows of new orders.

“As ongoing supply chain issues are still at large, companies with wide international footprints should look to reassess their logistics strategies by running supply chain stress tests and simulations in order to respond quickly to upswings and variability in demand. A flexible and resilient supply chain will be a key way for businesses to remain both competitive and stable as we emerge from the pandemic” 

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