It is a great pleasure to be able to welcome Emulate3D to the Rockwell Automation family, as it becomes the second UK company to be acquired in the past 18 months following Edinburgh-based Odos Imaging in 2017.
It is, in my opinion, no accident that these two acquisitions by Rockwell Automation have been of UK companies. The UK has always been a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, and in the era of industry 4.0 it has all the ingredients to continue this fine tradition.
Emulate3D was formerly a part of our fantastic Encompass Partner Network, and we shared great working relationships, but it’s been great to sit with the team over the past few weeks to discuss the opportunities (and practicalities!) resulting from the acquisition. I am in no doubt that our customers will benefit from the fantastic British innovation that is being added to our portfolio.
When viewed alongside the strategic alliance with Microsoft and the 2018 investment into PTC which aligned respective smart factory technologies of PTC and Rockwell Automation, the acquisition of Emulate3D is a clear indicator of how important Digital Twin and associated technologies, such as the recently launched Hololens2, will be to industry in the coming years.
Leading research and advisory company Gartner recently stated that it estimates that hundreds of millions of “things” will have digital twins within five years. This technology trend enables industry to virtually test machine and system designs (and adaptions) before incurring manufacturing and automation costs and committing to a build. It also opens the way to mixed and augmented reality applications that will change the way people can interact with industrial machines and processes.
Emulate3D products will be part of our Control Visualisation Business (CVB) and ultimately be part of the FactoryTalk family. These solutions are at the forefront of this technology trend as they digitally simulate and emulate industrial automation systems. They use accurate simulation models to improve systems planning and decision-making, followed by emulation trials that test the control system before installation.
The seamless interoperability of complementary technologies from Microsoft, PTC, Emulate3D and Rockwell Automaton is a fantastic example of our commitment to expanding human possibility by bringing Connected Enterprise technologies and industry 4.0 to life for our customers. It is especially gratifying to know that British innovation is at the heart of many of these technologies, and further proof, I believe, of the UK’s unique potential as a leader in industry 4.0.
To find out more about how the strategic partnership with PTC is helping customers transform their physical operations with digital technology, read this article by Paula Puess, global market development manager for Rockwell Automation in our magazine, The Journal. The “single pane of glass” approach which offers a window into the future.