Rockwell Automation to Present New Hardware, Software, Services at Automation Fair

Rockwell invites Automation Fair attendees to 'discover what's possible.'

OTTO Motors

Rockwell Automation recently acquired OTTO Motors and parent Clearpath Robotics.
Rockwell Automation will show systems including robots from its new OTTO Motors acquisition at Automation Fair 2023.

Rockwell Automation Inc. has announced the latest services and systems, as well as the hardware and industrial software that it will show at Automation Fair next month. The annual innovation event will be at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center from Nov. 6 to 9, and organizers expect it to attract more than 10,000 participants from around the world.

“Rockwell Automation is taking a bold step into the future at Automation Fair 2023 by introducing a diverse range of services, systems, and solutions,” stated Lisa McGregor, director of portfolio marketing at Rockwell. “These innovative offerings will empower businesses to navigate the digital landscape with confidence. Join us at Automation Fair to embark on a journey of discovery, collaboration, and transformation.”

Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation claimed that it is “the world's largest company dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation.” The company, which recently acquired Clearpath Robotics and OTTO Motors, has about 28,000 employees and customers in more than 100 countries.

Rockwell to show industrial automation hardware

“We're thrilled to unveil the latest advancements in industrial automation hardware that are helping customers to achieve new possibilities in areas like uptime, efficiency and productivity,” said McGregor. “Our commitment to innovation is driving us to push the boundaries of what's possible.”

Rockwell Automation said it plans to exhibit products including the following hardware with members of its PartnerNetwork on the show floor:

  • OTTO Motors autonomous mobile robots (AMRs): “Built to deliver safer, more productive, and more fulfilling workplaces, OTTO Motors AMRs are transforming advanced material handling,” said Rockwell Automation.
  • 432ES GuardLink EtherNet/IP Adapter: Connect up to 96 safety devices via three independent safety channels. It also cascades power to additional interfaces to improve process efficiencies, according to Rockwell.
  • ArmorKinetix Distributed Servo Drives: Developers can combine this high-performance platform with a compact, On-Machine form factor to build more productive smart machines faster and with fewer parts.
  • ArmorBlock 5000 I/O​: This is designed to meet challenging application needs with minimal operation disruption and cost. It is also scalable to help reduce total installation time and cost and unplanned downtime.
  • CompactLogix Analog HART I/O: Reduce wiring, installation time, and enclosure costs, plus support HART communication through four-channel-density input and output, Rockwell said.
  • Embedded edge compute: Enable data processing and analysis at the edge of a network, empower Internet of Things (IoT) devices and other edge devices to perform real-time data analytics and decision-making tasks.
  • FLEX 5000 I/O: Mix and match standards and safety I/O on one platform, providing an integrated safety and control solution that meets demanding fail-safe requirements, asserted Rockwell.
  • FLEXHA 5000 I/O modules: Flexability allows users to choose the best I/O for their operational needs. Rockwell said it is easy to install and maintain, saving time and money on a plant's I/O infrastructure. 
  • GuardLogix 5580 XT controllers: These controllers have corrosive gas protection to reduce the threat of early equipment failure in corrosive gas environments. They can also reduce downtime related to premature equipment failure.
  • GuardLogix L85ES controller: Rockwell said its new controllers scale to meet machine safety needs with expanded memory for larger applications.
  • iTRAK 5750 Intelligent Track Systems: By increasing force capabilities in applications with higher payload requirements, Rockwell said it allows users to simplify their machines while making them smarter than ever.
  • Stratix 5200 fully managed switch: This managed industrial Ethernet switch simplifies configuration and monitoring and is suitable for for a wide range of industrial applications, said Rockwell.

Software to see at Automation Fair 2023

“At Automation Fair 2023, Rockwell is unveiling groundbreaking software innovations that will redefine industrial automation,” McGregor added. “From FactoryTalk DataMosaix, an Industrial DataOps platform that enables controlled access to relevant and contextualized data, to the FactoryTalk Optix portfolio, a new visualization platform that accelerates value and delivery with modern technology, we’re pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable.”

This year’s event has been expanded and “reimagined” to include more ways for attendees to delve into the latest technologies, such as tours, inspirational keynotes, and more learning and networking opportunities, noted Rockwell Automation. Attendees will be able to experience the newest industrial automation with 500,000-sq.-ft. Expo, with over 120 booths, virtual product lines, Discovery Theaters, and guided tours.

The company provided previews of its software:

  • Fiix Asset Risk Predictor: Users can predict and prevent asset failure before it happens with a tool that uses machine learning to understand how equipment behaves under normal conditions. It uses built-in AI algorithms and can alert users when it detects risks.
  • FactoryTalk Analytics GuardianAI software: This monitors critical assets on the plant floor by establishing a baseline signature of an asset's behavior under normal operating conditions. It will alert the user of any deviation from the baseline.
  • FactoryTalk Analytics LogixAI Software Version 2.0: Rockwell asserted that its “out-of-the-box, no-code” machine learning option at the edge for soft or virtual sensors can help operational technology (OT) professionals predict hard-to-measure production values, reduce waste, and improve product consistency.
  • FactoryTalk DataMosaix Industrial DataOps Platform: An enhanced algorithm offers users configuration efficiencies by providing better model consistency and an improved user experience during data pre-processing.
  • FactoryTalk Design Studio: This software provides integrated tools to allow multiple people to work together at the same time, manage conflicting edits, and track project history.
  • FactoryTalk Optix Portfolio: This combination of a modern cloud-based software platform with flexible hardware options allows users to create an “end-to-end” human-machine interface (HMI) for “unmatched choice, innovation, and agility,” said Rockwell.
  • FactoryTalk MES Software: The coompany said it developed this manufacturing execution system (MES) for manufacturers. It provides role-based optimization for each lifecycle stage and drive time to results for all users. The PharmaSuite and CPGSuite versions include specialized workflows and functions designed for the pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods industries, respectively.
  • FactoryTalk Twin Studio: This software is intended to allow users to move quickly between platforms, accelerating a project through the design process with built-in change tracking and versioning.
  • FactoryTalk Vault Software: Rockwell said it provides a cloud-based central storage location with modern version and access control, with greater insights into designs through in-depth analysis of controller projects.
  • FactoryTalk View Software Version 14: Users can get a clear, consistent story from the standalone machine-level HMI to distributed visualizations covering the entire enterprise.
  • Plex Flexible Production Strategies: This supports various production strategies to meet specific customer production requirements.
  • Studio 5000 Logix Designer Software Version 36: Users can build modernized value by introducing a new level of support to their control systems and expand the ability to configure, program and maintain their devices.

Discover what’s possible in services and systems:

Rockwell Automation today listed the following services, systems, and solutions it plans to show in Boston:

  • OT cybersecurity risk assessment: This assessment is intened to help users understand risk posture and identify cybersecurity gaps. It can identify, evaluate, and prioritize risks and vulnerabilities in OT systems, “providing the foundation for a successful, proactive cybersecurity strategy,” said the company.
  • Penetration testing: Rockwell said its customers can improve visibility into OT environment vulnerabilities with such testing. The company said its cybersecurity specialists will launch a simulated cyber attack to assess the current risk profile, understand potential effects, prioritize vulnerabilities, and recommend remediation measures.
  • Threat-detection services: Users can monitor and detect threats across OT/ICS (integrated computer solutions) environments to reduce the risk of cyber attacks. To meet the needs for both physical and virtualized environments, Rockwell said it has partnered with Cisco, Claroty, and Dragos provide comprehensive threat detection.
  • Endpoint protection services: Mitigate risk from endpoint devices connected to the network with comprehensive endpoint protection powered by Rockwell Automation and CrowdStrike. The scalable CrowdStrike Falcon platform, combined with Rockwell Automation’s flexible deployment capabilities and support services, is intended to help enterprises of all sizes monitor, protect, investigate, and respond to incidents.
  • Microservices support services: Rockwell said its new services can accelerate time to value and user adoption of FactoryTalk InnovationSuite. Included with new software purchases, Microservices provide expert guidance from remote support technicians on how to install, start, and optimize InnovationSuite.
  • Learning+ Enhanced training subscription: An upgrade to Learning+ Enhanced offers an additional 50+ craft skills courses across eight different knowledge areas. These self-paced e-learning courses are designed for technicians but can benefit operators with equipment maintenance responsibilities in areas such as electrical, mechanical, and instrumentation/control, said Rockwell.
  • Inventory+ service agreement: Minimize downtime risk with access to critical spare parts without the upfront cost of ownership. With its Inventory+ service agreement, Rockwell Automation owns and manages the spare parts inventory at the customer site, eliminating large capital investments while providing priority inventory replenishment.
  • Repair+ service agreement: Rockwell said this can prolong the life of industrial automation and eliminate one-off repairs. This new agreement is designed to streamline the repair process for Allen‑Bradley products and other automation brands with one easy contract to help proactively plan and budget maintenance, repair, and operational (MRO) costs.
  • PlantPAx 5.3: This system is designed to elevate customers' process control experience and address evolving market demands. The latest release, PlantPAx 5.3, supports digital transformation and lifecycle management strategies, enabling increased productivity and profitability and minimized operational risk, asserted Rockwell.
  • Industry solutions: Asset Intelligence: This supports customers in improving the reliability and availability of physical assets while minimizing downtime, risk, and operating costs. This cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering uses FactoryTalk DataMosaix, contextualizes data by using pre-built industry-specific asset models, and surfaces insights in dashboards with notification management.
  • Industry solutions: Batch Performance Analytics: A new, purpose-built software application that is designed to provide comprehensive operational insights into batch system execution. It accelerates time to value by providing optimized process insights and enables improved productivity through data-driven decision-making. 
  • Industry solution: Digital Tech Transfer: This offering digitizes the process and orchestrates data transactions by converting Paper on Glass materials into S88 compliant datasets used by planning and execution systems across the network. “This solution will save time and money by speeding up the tech-transfer process,” said Rockwell.
  • Industry solutions: Plug and Produce: This feature allows a production system to automatically identify a new or modified component and integrate it into the running production process without manual effort.
  • Industry solution: RapidLaunch: With this release, Rockwell said it delivers a globally supported system to accelerate vehicle program launches and improve manufacturing flexibility. Rockwell said it applied its experience helping global automotive customers implement best practices to build RapidLaunch for virtual design and commissioning.

Rockwell Automation posted on its website a complete list of all of its new products and solutions at Automation Fair.

Rockwell Automation presents cybersecurity offerings at Automation Fair 2023.

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OTTO Motors

Rockwell Automation recently acquired OTTO Motors and parent Clearpath Robotics.

Robot Technologies