Last updateSun, 04 Feb 2024 4am

Rockwell Automation secures Preferred Partner Agreement

The Michelin Group has awarded a four-year contract to Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) that designates the industrial automation and information company as the preferred provider to all the Michelin Group’s factories worldwide.

The agreement extends to the Rockwell Automation industrial automation, power, control, industrial software and services offerings. The Michelin Group will use these solutions to gradually leverage performance of their industrial assets, and to design next-generation machines.

“Innovation in mobility is at the heart of growth and urban well-being, and Rockwell Automation’s winning technologies make this a reality for Michelin,” said the vice president of capex procurement for The Michelin Group. “We are pleased to designate Rockwell Automation as a preferred partner, resulting from our long, successful partnership. We look forward to Rockwell Automation providing us with the innovative products and high-value solutions that we’ve come to expect.”

“We’re honored to receive this preferred partner agreement,” said Thomas Donato, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Rockwell Automation. “It caps a 35-year relationship with Michelin marked by innovative collaboration. Thank you to Michelin for being a great customer and partner.”

The Rockwell Automation global resource network includes a global account team near Michelin headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France and offices near Michelin plants in Greenville, South Carolina, and Shanghai. They support day-to-day operations and service to Michelin’s manufacturing facilities.
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Industrial network market shares 2016 according to HMS

Industrial Ethernet is growing faster than before and now accounts for 38% of the market. EtherNet/IP is in first place within industrial Ethernet globally, followed by PROFINET. However, classic fieldbuses are still dominating the fragmented world of industrial networks with 58% and PROFIBUS is still the most widely used industrial network. Furthermore, the Internet of Things is driving wireless technologies which are now on the chart for the first time.

HMS Industrial Networks now presents their annual analysis of the industrial network market. As an independent supplier of products and services for industrial communication and the Internet of Things, HMS has a substantial insight into the industrial network market. Here are some of the trends they see within industrial communication in 2016.

Fieldbus is still growing:
Looking at new installed nodes within factory automation globally, fieldbuses are still the most widely used type of networks with 58% of the market. Fieldbuses are still growing by approximately 7% per year as users ask for simplicity, tradition and reliability.

The dominant fieldbus is PROFIBUS (17% of the total world market including industrial Ethernet) followed by Modbus (7%), and CC-Link (6%).

Industrial Ethernet is growing faster than before:
According to HMS, industrial Ethernet is growing faster than previous years and taking more market shares. At a growth rate of 20%, Ethernet now makes up for 38% of the global market compared to 34% last year. EtherNet/IP is the number one Ethernet network with 9% followed by PROFINET (8%). Runners-up are EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and Ethernet POWERLINK.

“We see evidence of an accelerated transition towards industrial Ethernet when it comes to new installed nodes,” says Anders Hansson, Marketing Director at HMS. “However, industrial automation is a conservative market and it will take time before industrial Ethernet outgrows fieldbuses.”

Wireless is coming:
For the first time, wireless technologies are on the chart with 4% of the worldwide industrial network market. WLAN is most popular, followed by Bluetooth.

“We see the Internet of Things as a big driver for wireless technologies,” says Anders Hansson. “Wireless opens up for new automation architectures and is increasingly being considered for machine connectivity and control, including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions via tablets or smartphones.”

Regional facts:
In Europe and the Middle East, PROFIBUS is the leading network while PROFINET has the fastest growth rate. Runners up are EtherCAT, Modbus-TCP and POWERLINK.

The US market is dominated by the CIP networks where EtherNet/IP is overtaking DeviceNet in terms of market shares.

In Asia, no network stands out as truly market-leading – PROFIBUS, PROFINET, Ethernet/IP, Modbus and CC-Link are widely used. EtherCAT continues to establish itself as a significant network, and there are early signs of CC-Link IE Field being adopted.

More and more devices are getting connected:
“The presented figures represent our consolidated view, taking into account insights from colleagues in the industry, our own sales statistics and overall perception of the market,” says Anders Hansson.

“It is interesting to see that industrial Ethernet is now growing faster and that wireless technologies are gaining foothold. What is completely clear, however, is that the network market remains fragmented as customers continue to ask for connectivity to fieldbus, industrial Ethernet as well as wireless networks. All in all, industrial devices are getting increasingly connected, boosted by trends such as Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. With our long-term motto ‘Connecting Devices,’ HMS is well-suited to grow with these trends.”

 Courtsey HMS - Industrial Networks



Schneider Electric Software BPM customer Fujirebio selected as WfMC 2015 Award Winner

Schneider Electric Software, a global leader in industrial software and part of Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, announces that customer Fujirebio Diagnostics, Inc. was placed in the Top 10 of the 2015 Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC) Global Awards for Excellence in Business Process Management (BPM).

The 2015 WfMC are Global Awards for Excellence in BPM and Workflow. The Workflow Management Coalition and BPM.com jointly sponsor the annual Global Awards for Excellence in BPM and Workflow. They recognize user organizations that have demonstrably excelled in implementing innovative business process solutions to meet strategic business objectives.

The 2015 WfMC Global Award for Excellence was given to Wonderware customer Fujirebio Diagnostics for implementing an equipment monitoring system based on Skelta BPM software to ensure compliance, and to meet extensive reporting and documentation requirements from regulatory authorities. The Wonderware Skelta BPM solution enabled Fujirebio to use Process Modeling for electronic equipment monitoring, underscoring their automated production management system.

“Our Electronic Initiative, based on Wonderware Skelta BPM, has helped us improve compliance with 21 CFR Part 11 and has increased overall productivity, saving about 1,100 man hours per year,” said Ken Kovacs, Quality Business Systems Manager, Fujirebio Diagnostics. He adds, “The BPM solution provides us with a collaborative infrastructure for other electronic data capture projects going forward.”

Wonderware Skelta BPM is an advanced business process management and workflow software that manages all activity flows that include people and/or systems inside or outside an organization. The sophisticated Business Process Management (BPM) application enables companies to model, execute, analyze and improve operational processes to drive higher levels of productivity, collaboration and innovation. Ideal as a cross-industry platform, Wonderware Skelta BPM solves the challenges within the Life Sciences industry for collaboration, visibility, compliance, and standardization of processes—all necessary to meet and exceed the requirements of 21 CFR Part 11 good manufacturing practice regulations.


Rockwell Automation to acquire MagneMotion

Rockwell Automation has announced that it has agreed to purchase MagneMotion, a leading manufacturer of intelligent conveying systems. MagneMotion systems are used across a broad range of industrial applications including automotive and general assembly, packaging and material handling. This acquisition will complement Rockwell Automation’s iTRAK to create the broadest portfolio of independent cart solutions in this emerging technology area.

“This acquisition continues our strategy to build a portfolio of smart manufacturing technologies that brings next generation performance to our customers today,” said Marco Wishart, vice president and general manager of Rockwell Automation’s motion control business. “MagneMotion expands our existing capabilities in independent cart technology. Our recent acquisition of Jacobs Automation and its iTRAK technology is complementary to MagneMotion’s portfolio. We see a future where the transportation of products within the factory, whether inside of a particular machine or between machines, will be fully controlled to optimize the productivity and flexibility of the entire process.”

“This deal is the logical next step in the evolution of our business, and a welcome development for MagneMotion,” said Todd Weber, president and CEO of MagneMotion. “Rockwell Automation’s leading position in plant-wide controls and industrial automation gives us the best opportunity to introduce this technology to customers. As the market continues to realize the benefits of applying independent cart technology, Rockwell Automation’s global organization will be a tremendous asset.”

MagneMotion, based in Devens, Mass., will be integrated into Rockwell Automation’s motion business, within its Architecture & Software segment. The acquisition is expected to close this quarter.


Rockwell Automation Teams up to Bring Industrial IoT Training to Wider Audiences

Information technology (IT) has permeated manufacturing infrastructure and operations, producing The Connected Enterprise and triggering questions about responsibility for plant-based networks and assets. IT and operations technology (OT) professionals are facing convergence in their duties and the skill set required to succeed. Rockwell Automation and Sunset Learning Institute (SLI) are teaming up to improve and increase access to continuing education and certifications surrounding the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

Rockwell Automation is increasing its investment in an IoT training curriculum. The company has rolled out several courses and a certification program over the last year with its Strategic Alliance Partner Cisco. New courses and certifications can help both IT and OT workers gain the skills needed to manage, administer, design and operate converged industrial networks. These include the Managing Industrial Networks with Cisco Networking Technologies (IMINS) training course; Managing Industrial Networks for Manufacturing with Cisco Technologies (IMINS2); and CCNA Industrial certification.

SLI specializes in delivering and developing authorized Cisco training. SLI has been a top-tier Authorized Cisco Learning Partner for 20 years. The courses and certifications supported by Rockwell Automation-SLI collaboration include:

  • Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1): A five-day course on how to install, operate, configure and verify basic IPv4 and IPv6 networks.
  • Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2): A five-day course on how to install, configure, operate and troubleshoot a small enterprise network.
  • Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Accelerated (CCNAX): An advanced, five-day course consisting of ICND1 and ICND2 content in its entirety.
  • Implementing Cisco Unified Wireless Networking Essentials: A five-day course designed to prepare for the CCNA wireless certification, an associate-level certification specializing in the wireless field.

Students can register for courses via the Rockwell Automation and SLI websites.

“Our customers are tasked with building and managing networks and information systems that are different from anything their predecessors confronted,” said Glenn Goldney, global business manager for training services, Rockwell Automation. “Pairing SLI’s qualifications with our own expertise in OT provides IT and OT professionals with premium quality IoT training. These are the skills workers need to take advantage of IoT to drive new opportunities, and unite traditionally disparate practices.”

“The convergence of IT and OT makes it critical that we partner with the very best in the OT space,” said Rick Morgan, CEO, Sunset Learning Institute. “Combining our in-depth knowledge of IT and Cisco markets with Rockwell Automation expertise in the OT space creates an unrivaled partnership in the emerging IoT marketplace.”

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