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Rockwell aims to get factories talking

01 November, 2005

Rockwell aims to get factories talking

Rockwell has announced plans to extend its MES (manufacturing execution systems) offerings and to bring its software products together in a single suite called Rockwell Software FactoryTalk. It plans to invest "hundreds of millions of dollars" spread over several years to develop products that will tie factories` production and business systems together.

"The integration of the factory floor with information systems is no longer a luxury - it`s a strategic imperative," says Rockwell Software vice-president, Kevin Roach. The FactoryTalk suite will "bring together our current solutions for control, visualisation, information management and MES".

It will also provide "a foundation to develop and acquire additional highly scalable, modular and standards-based applications that give customers insight into manufacturing operations and help them to execute business strategies that optimise production," says Roach, who joined Rockwell last year from GE Fanuc..

The new suite will be integrated closely with Rockwell`s Logix control platform. Through this platform, Rockwell has "demonstrated its ability to bring together multiple control disciplines under a common architecture," Roach explains. "We intend to deliver that same value through the multiple production disciplines in FactoryTalk".

These disciplines will include: production management; quality and compliance; performance and visibility; asset management; design and configuration; and data management.

The applications will run on FactoryTalk SOA (service-oriented architecture) - a set of software services including security, diagnostics, auditing, licencing, real-time and historical data, configuration, and alarms.

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