If we had to pick a theme song for lifecycle services, it would definitely be “Lean on Me,” by the late Bill Withers. As the song goes: “You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand/We all need somebody to lean on/I just might have a problem that you'll understand.”
With challenges like cybersecurity, digital transformation and workforce shortages, in addition to traditional OT obstacles, having the ability to lean on a partner is vital to plant operations leaders, engineers and maintenance teams. A collaborative partnership, such as LifecycleIQ™ Services from Rockwell Automation, offers expertise to customers at any stage of the plant or asset lifecycle. Much like the song says, with a simple phone call (or instant message) a customer can lean on Rockwell Automation for a wealth of resources and seek help with business challenges.
The simplest explanation of lifecycle services is that they help manufacturers get the most out of their machines so that they can work faster, smarter and with more agility. In other words, they help expand what’s possible. Not sold yet? Here are three more benefits to working with the right lifecycle partner.
Consult More Expertise
Our lifecycle services professionals are consultants who are loaded with technical and business expertise, industry knowledge and solution application experience. While the typical factory manager or engineer is familiar with plant issues, a lifecycle partner will allow you to call in a pinch hitter when you are facing any number of complicated scenarios. For example, our LifecycleIQ Services team provides comprehensive end-to-end consulting for every stage of operations. Whether you’re implementing drive systems, starting up a new operation line, optimizing your plant floor assets, or modernizing an entire system, a collaborative partnership can offer a second set of eyes on the problem, help you identify potential roadblocks and determine the best route to success.
A partnership can also provide advice and guidance for IT/OT convergence, including networks, infrastructure, and cybersecurity posture, along with understanding the challenges and opportunities of a wide variety of manufacturing domains and environments. This can help your team improve productivity and securely share data and information across your entire enterprise.
As a real-world example, one North American paper mill wanted to reduce obsolescence risk by modernizing their drive systems. By working with LifecycleIQ Services, the mill identified their goals and decided to build remote monitoring and network infrastructure design into the project, ultimately improving system performance response by 30%. Partnering with the lifecycle team expands your knowledge base and gives you access to new solutions and years of experience – all with a simple phone call, instant message or email.
One Quick Access Point
Whether it’s working with a local municipality, an IT partner or an automation subcontractor, outside support isn’t a foreign concept for most manufacturers. In fact, most companies require some form of outside support, especially as they encounter skills shortages, obsolescence risks and greater operational complexity. However, as synergy continues to boom and companies face increasingly complex, interconnected business environments, a lifecycle partnership can be a breath of fresh air in the form of simplicity. A collaborative partnership provides one point of access for assistance and accountability. Rather than spending precious time deciding where to ask for help or who to contact for support, bringing in a lifecycle partner will be your one-stop shop for outside help.
And the right collaboration should be a resource for the entire lifecycle of the plant or production environment, not just the automation assets. Additionally, the entire plant will more than likely have multiple products from multiple vendors. The right partner will be able to step in and provide value even when working with other brands and other machinery, and help you find the right solutions to any issue.
Access to Additional Team Resources
When you partner with Rockwell Automation LifecycleIQ Services, you not only gain access to support services, but you open a door to a broader ecosystem of partner companies through the robust Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork™ program.
With one call to your LifecycleIQ Services team, your request will be coordinated across multiple technology, application and market access partners. Working with the services team will bring you access to new possibilities and a variety of solutions you may not have had before. For example, take a global packing equipment manufacturer based in North America. They may not have the resources in other countries to support their end-customers, but by collaborating with a lifecycle team like Rockwell Automation they can access new connections that allow for increased distribution.
A Collaborative Partnership to Lean on
Manufacturers are facing more challenges than ever. Having a partner to lean on will provide you access to professional expertise, simplify your external communication and open the door to new connections. Whether you’re feeling strong about your operations or not – the right collaborative partner will only make you more efficient, more productive and more solutions driven.