Rockwell Automation & Microsoft unveil key tech integrations at Hannover Messe 2024

Rockwell Automation, dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation, is working with Microsoft on three significant technology innovations that will be on display at Hannover Messe. 

“Rockwell’s partnership with Microsoft is a shared vision of creating and delivering the best solutions to empower the future of industrial operations,” said Nicole Denil, global vice president, market access, Rockwell Automation. “We simplify complexity in how manufacturers design, operate, and maintain their enterprises and empower their people. Visitors to the Rockwell stand in the Microsoft booth at Hannover Messe will see how Rockwell Automation helps empower leading manufacturers globally to reduce waste in their operations and achieve sustainability goals through streamlined industry solutions.”

With Rockwell’s FactoryTalk edge and cloud solutions, manufacturers bring together artificial intelligence, IoT, and automation solutions to allow people, processes, and technology to operate seamlessly between physical and digital environments. With Microsoft Azure’s adaptive cloud approach, manufacturers can unify and streamline siloed teams, sites and systems while scaling applications and insights. Together, Rockwell and Microsoft will provide cutting-edge industrial transformation solutions across the value chain, rapidly and at scale, with AI-assisted design, connected data, and agile production optimization.

Additionally, the recently announced partnership between NVIDIA, Rockwell and Microsoft allows the creation, real-time management, and simulation of digital twins that will be accelerated with the use of Microsoft’s AI assisted tools and cloud technology.

Finally, with the integration of Rockwell Automation’s Plex manufacturing execution system (MES) with FactoryTalk® DataMosaix™ and Microsoft’s Cloud for Manufacturing, manufacturers benefit from transformative artificial intelligence (AI) tools that help drive productivity, safety, and quality. These tools focus on resolving quality issues with corrective actions and root cause analysis.

The exhibits showcase integrated digital twins and generative AI solutions that expedite time-to-market and scale organizational systems effectively. One exhibit demonstrates the seamless connection between digital and physical assets for autonomous intelligent factories, employing digital design, twin simulation, and AI through FactoryTalk Design Studio Copilot for enhanced operational efficiency.

Another exhibit features a digital twin simulation of a quality inspection process, inspired by Nestlé, complemented by physical installations for product sorting and autonomous material handling. The production line sorting is mirrored through a factory digital twin, offering insights into Nestlé’s manufacturing processes.

An OTTO 100, an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) from OTTO Motors by Rockwell Automation, will demonstrate the movement of packaged materials through the factory, showcasing how automated material movement can help improve production throughput and employee resources. The final section of the system displays analytical production dashboards in Microsoft Azure, highlighting real-time, contextualized data egress to the cloud.

“Manufacturers are always looking for ways to drive modernization, optimize efficiency, and reduce costs,” said Dominik Wee, corporate vice president, manufacturing and mobility, Microsoft. “By combining Microsoft’s AI capabilities and trusted cloud platform with Rockwell’s industrial automation solutions, manufacturers will have the tools they need to speed up these objectives and create smart factories of the future.”

Rockwell is also an integral part of Microsoft’s flagship Hannover Messe display, where attendees will step into a design, operate, and maintain environment for factories of the future. Here, manufacturers will experience how to unlock agile production optimization, AI-enhanced decision making, and repeatable cutting-edge transformation at scale, using an adaptive cloud approach to unify people, data, and systems. Microsoft is using several Rockwell Automation hardware and software solutions, along with technologies from the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork™ ecosystem in bringing this vision to reality.

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