Rockwell Automation Blog

Technology and Industry-related Trends

The Rockwell Automation Blog helps our employees and guest bloggers share technology and industry-related trends with you. Be sure to sign up for bimonthly updates with the latest posts.

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New Collaborations Solve New Problems

May 23, 2018

Advances in technology and connectivity foster new levels of innovation and collaboration between industry and academia. The benefactors: our next-gen workforce.

Sister Envy: The Unfortunate Plight of DC Drives

May 21, 2018

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. Remember how Jan Brady felt when her big sister got all the attention? The DC drive is often the overlooked sibling on the plant floor.

Responding to Changing Consumer Trends

May 18, 2018

The drive for digitalization is accelerating the need for digital manufacturing plants that offer the highest flexibility, combined with reduced production costs.

A New Driving Force: Automotive “Electric Dreams”

May 16, 2018

Market drivers and new technology are accelerating electric vehicle demand. To keep up, carmakers must adopt a more connected, data-intensive approach.

Make Skid Integration Smart from the Start

May 14, 2018

Life sciences companies that rely on multiple OEMs can help mitigate skid integration challenges with upfront planning – and a modern DCS.

Migrating Pharmaceutical Processes

May 11, 2018

Alfasigma decided to migrate its pharmaceutical production solution, but needed to find a suitable supplier.

Digital Twins: Creating Smarter Products On Time

May 9, 2018

To curb the increasing risks of advanced machine design, digital twins help engineers make informed design decisions that won’t break the budget.

Five Tips for Leaders Leading Through Change

May 7, 2018

The fourth industrial revolution is creating an era of exponential change. Here are five tips for leaders to help them guide their companies through it.

Cutting Costs with Contactors

May 2, 2018

Modern contactors are designed to offer cost savings that you should be considering when trying to cut cost for your panel.

How to Attack an Obsolescence Backlog

April 30, 2018

Now mining companies can deploy strategies that bolster the reliability of existing equipment – and take cost-effective steps toward modernization.

Don’t Fear Disruption: Change Propels Industry

April 23, 2018

Industrial disruptions are changing the way we do business. From big data to blockchain, the decisions you make now will influence your business success for years.

AI Can Improve Your Equipment Maintenance Strategy

April 18, 2018

Pipeline companies around the world are already taking advantage of artificial intelligence to improve operations. Do you have the information you need to stay competitive?

Digitalizing the Enterprise for Security

April 16, 2018

A digital transformation brings enhanced network and information security to manufacturers as well as performance improvements.

Scalable Analytics Delivers Value from IIoT

April 13, 2018

Users can now create value and actionable information from IIoT data sources, without the intervention of a data scientist.

Stemming the Next Pandemic

April 11, 2018

At the iBio plant in College Station, Texas, they are leveraging the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx DCS to make vaccine grade proteins from living plants.

Africa and the “Rise of the Machines”

April 9, 2018

Can digital technologies unlock new value in overcoming skills and infrastructure challenges in Africa?

Global Localisation: Vision 2030

April 9, 2018

Global localisation will benefit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy.

UK Industrial Businesses: Don’t Just Grow, Improve

April 9, 2018

What are the misconceptions around IIoT adoption for micro, small and medium sized enterprises in the UK?

Contain Security Threats With Network Segmentation

April 4, 2018

An open and unsegmented network is a gift to cyber attackers. By using network segmentation, you can restrict their access and limit potential damage.

Collaborative Applications: What You Need to Know

April 2, 2018

The way people and machinery interact in automotive plants is fundamentally changing. Collaborative technology makes functional safety more critical than ever.

Blockchain Can Transform Your Supply Chain

March 28, 2018

Blockchain has the potential to transform the supply chain with a secure and unchangeable record that can be viewed and verified by every stakeholder, at any time.

Inspiring Our Future Innovators

March 28, 2018

Engineers in every industry, from every discipline, are coming together for one purpose: to share their enthusiasm for engineering and make a difference in a young person's life.

When Did You Think of Your Motor Control Centres?

March 28, 2018

Motor Control Centres (MCCs) power just about every manufacturing facility in the world, but do these unsung heroes get the attention they deserve? And what is the cost of MCC failure?

Digitalizing the Enterprise

March 26, 2018

Many manufacturers are using digitalization to improve their operations, tap into new sources of revenue and boost profitability.

Choosing the Right Vendor for Your Repair

March 21, 2018

Consider these key things when deciding to repair your industrial automation equipment.

Converting Traditional Starters to Soft Starters

March 19, 2018

Using soft starters can be an easy way to reduce waste in your operation by minimizing the time and expense associated with servicing the equipment.

Connectivity and Digitization Transform Mining

March 14, 2018

Three insights into the future of mining based on broad market trends: data, analytics and safety and security.

Supermarket Insights Into F&B Manufacturing

March 12, 2018

How do you shop in a supermarket? Have you noticed how digitisation of manufacturing is changing the experience?

Managing Energy Use in Pipeline Operations

March 7, 2018

Energy is the largest operating cost for pipeline companies. Anything that can be done to reduce energy usage while maintaining throughput can directly impact your bottom line.

Holistic Approach for Power Plant Cyber Security

March 5, 2018

Follow these three key considerations for a holistic approach to cyber security in your power generation systems.

Is Your Smart Machine Plug-and-Play?

February 28, 2018

Smart machines help transform data into knowledge. For OEMs, easy machine integration is pivotal to success. Here’s what to consider before you start.

Chemical Producers: There’s a New Plant in Town

February 26, 2018

By prioritizing investments around smarter technologies, a connected chemical plant can help you monitor and improve production performance.

Supporting Minority Engineers Reflects Priorities

February 23, 2018

For new graduates and seasoned professionals, being among the minority can make job searching difficult. Questions to ask to pick the right company.

Innovations Improve Drilling Efficiency

February 21, 2018

Nabors Drilling is using Rockwell Automation technology to power innovative services, software and rigs.

Real-Time Insights Deliver Revolutionary Results

February 19, 2018

Digital transformation is driving improved productivity, quality, compliance, and profitability for manufacturers.

Increase Your Value with Certified Training

February 16, 2018

Specifically designed coursework can increase your value in the workforce and improve opportunities for hire or advancement.

The Key to Your Digital Transformation

February 14, 2018

As IIoT continues to drive growth, successful power generation operations will need to reconsider information and control methodologies, worker training and technology implementation.

Does Your Company Value Diversity and Inclusion?

February 12, 2018

When building your career, remember these three things: diversity and inclusion matter. Find leaders who listen (and act). Be patient and empathic.

STEM is Saving Lives

February 7, 2018

STEM is changing, and saving, lives. Bringing together invention and production is giving people new hope.

Why Gender Balance in Industry Matters to Me

February 5, 2018

Industry faces a big challenge to improve gender diversity. A challenge that leaders of industry must accept at a personal level, and companies at a company-culture level.

Helping an Aging Facility Find New Life

January 31, 2018

Aging systems at the Pettit National Ice Center meant skyrocketing energy costs. An upgrade would improve sustainability and ice conditions.

My Generation! Skills for IIoT Adoption

January 31, 2018

As we strive to unlock the power of IIoT, it’s important to unlock the potential of what we already have.

You Are as Strong as Your Weakest Link

January 29, 2018

To fully realize the benefits of smart manufacturing we must harmonize standards. It’s how we will address both interoperability and cybersecurity.

Driving on the Edge

January 24, 2018

Scalable analytics platform delivers insights tire manufacturers need to improve quality, performance and productivity – from the edge to the cloud.

Suffering from Data Overload? There’s a Cure

January 22, 2018

Pharmaceutical plants generate a staggering amount of data. See how scalable analytics can cut through clutter to accelerate innovation and improve quality assurance.

My Career in Automation: A Numbers Game

January 15, 2018

What defines Rockwell Automation for me? Our corporate ethics culture and customer intimacy.

UK Industry: Keep Calm and Carry On

January 15, 2018

In 2017, industry in the UK was exploring the potential of the Industrial Internet of Things. Now it is implementing it.

Ten Worker Safety and Productivity Tips for 2018

January 10, 2018

As we begin the new year, we’ve compiled a list of ten tips to help you improve safety and productivity.

Migrate or Modernize? How to Decide

January 8, 2018

If your plant is aging, you have a choice: migrate specific equipment, or modernize to realize the value of new technologies.

Our Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts in 2017

January 1, 2018

Our most popular blogs in 2017 were about drives, Logix, sensors, smart manufacturing and our company’s culture of diversity and inclusion.

Get Smarter Automotive Manufacturing Faster

December 20, 2017

Scalable analytics closes the loop between big data and the plant floor to speed the impact of smart devices.

Creating a Modernization Plan That Works for You

December 18, 2017

Modernization can help companies increase output and productivity of their operations.

What’s Your Integration Strategy?

December 13, 2017

To create a “facility of the future” that pays dividends for years to come, biotech companies must first take a close look at automation and integration strategies.

Proactive Maintenance Can Help Fuel Profitability

December 11, 2017

Managing the maintenance tasks through specialized software and other tools can help reduce manual entry of device readings, and share vital information with other areas of production.

Design Your Safety System for Improved Uptime

December 6, 2017

Improving your lockout procedures by just one minute can save you $2.8 million annually. Find out how.

Prevent Downtime With Just Your Voice

December 4, 2017

Companies driven by fast-changing consumer demands soon won’t have a choice about connectivity; it will be essential to stay competitive.

Hour of Code: It’s for Everyone. Join Us

December 3, 2017

Join the Hour of Code and help a student experience the thrill of computer science. You don’t need to be an expert.

We Don’t Talk Product at Our Customer Centre

November 29, 2017

There is an often overlooked distinction between technology and innovation. True innovation is about much more than technology.

The Safe, Connected Enterprise

November 27, 2017

The Connected Enterprise helps manufacturers monitor and improve safety while boosting plant productivity.

Are You Measuring OEE?

November 22, 2017

Are you procrastinating when it comes to modernization? You are risking lost opportunity for greater productivity.

Manufacturing Finds Its Swagger

November 15, 2017

The lines between engineering disciplines blur in the fourth industrial revolution. New careers require new ways of looking at manufacturing. Find the right career fit.

What Does the IIoT Workforce Look Like?

November 13, 2017

For the future workforce, the ability to gain knowledge will be more important than knowledge itself.

Three Ways You Can Save With Paperless Operation

November 10, 2017

Modern MES can simplify quality challenges. Let’s take a look at how you can save in three areas: labor/people costs, quality/recall costs and downtime.

Women in FIRST: Inspiring Young Minds

November 8, 2017

We need women to get involved with FIRST so this generation of students is inspired to pursue STEM careers and be the next generation’s mentors, coaches, judges and referees.

Are You an Employer of Choice in the Digital Era?

November 6, 2017

Is your most vital asset, your staff, helping you enter the digital era? Here are three recommendations for becoming an employer of choice for tomorrow’s talent.

Modernize So You Can Know More – and Do More

October 30, 2017

Over the next five years nearly a third of maintenance staff will retire. The next generation expects a dashboard experience. Are you prepared?

Is Your Safety System’s Lifecycle Healthy?

October 25, 2017

Understanding and implementing a safety architecture, performance levels, integrity levels and reaction time calculations can improve the health of your safety system.

IIoT on the Plant Floor? There’s an App for That

October 23, 2017

Take a look at how commercial apps are revolutionising teamwork in industry and how young workers needed to meet the skills gap are changing industry from the inside.

Does Automation Take the Craft Out of Brewing?

October 20, 2017

Learn how craft brewers can automate an existing two to five barrel system to produce more – more consistently, and save money and time.

Better Safe (and Secure) Than Sorry

October 18, 2017

The Connected Enterprise helps manufacturers minimize the potential for employee safety and business security problems while improving productivity.

Bringing Smart Factories to Life

October 16, 2017

Packaging plants can become connected, flexible and responsive and bring smart factories to life.

Benefits of Soft Starters on Resistive Loads

October 9, 2017

Learn how soft starters utilize the phase angle control on resistive loads.

How IIoT Can Improve UK Industrial Productivity

October 9, 2017

What lessons can be learnt from the automotive sector following their adoption of IIoT?

The Road to IIoT Isn’t Always Costly

October 9, 2017

Although many companies realise the value of IIoT-compliant technologies to be profitable and competitive, there is still uncertainty about how upgrading should be achieved.

World Class Food & Beverage Manufacturing?

October 9, 2017

The rapidly growing food and beverage industry offers insight into the dramatic cultural and consumer changes happening in the Middle East.

Seven Steps to a Successful Digital Transformation

October 6, 2017

Creating a connected enterprise requires extreme cohesion. The digital journey of our customer highlights seven steps key to successful digital transformation.

How are You Managing Stormwater Recovery?

October 4, 2017

As cities grow, so does interest in better managing stormwater. Local governments need a plan for effectively capturing, storing, and treating stormwater.

Visual Math for the Future of the STEM Workforce

October 2, 2017

If we want to close the skills gap and encourage students to pursue careers in STEM, it’s our responsibility to provide them with the tools and opportunities to reach those goals.

Keep Industrial-Security Threats in Check

September 27, 2017

Digitization and connectivity can transform pharma operations, but first require a robust industrial-security strategy.

Are You Sure it’s GMO-Free?

September 25, 2017

Trends – like gluten- and GMO-free recipes – affect the entire supply chain and require food companies to re-examine processes around traceability.

Company Culture Matters for Your Career

September 22, 2017

Looking to grow your career? Make an inclusive culture a priority when picking your next company.

Get in the IIoT Game with Current Equipment

September 20, 2017

Manufacturers must keep equipment and automation current to leverage the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as they build a Connected Enterprise.

Three Steps to Better WAGES Performance

September 15, 2017

Companies can reap the benefits of digital transformation with a strategy that unifies energy and industrial process information to support world-class production.

4 Ways to Improve Pipeline Data Quality

September 13, 2017

Too much data? Poor quality data? Here are four tips to help pipeline operators take data collection to the next level.

Greenfield Observations for Industry Leaders

September 11, 2017

Greenfield industrial projects in the age of IIoT require new, flexible and productive plant solutions.

Take the “Wait” Out of Powder Blender Drying

September 8, 2017

This new high-efficiency centrifugal blower system can dry powder blenders and tanks used in pharmaceutical manufacturing in 30 minutes or less.

Master the Balancing Act of Powertrain Assembly

September 4, 2017

A more distributed control architecture plus new design and configuration tools speed line load balancing in powertrain assembly – and enable more flexible manufacturing.

Turning Machine Data Into Operational Intelligence

August 30, 2017

Real-time information and analytics can help prevent production problems from occurring and drive improvement efforts, provided manufacturers have digitally enabled operations.

Four Tips for Bringing IoT to Your Modern Mine

August 25, 2017

For mining companies, IoT promises to help reduce maintenance costs, minimize downtime and enhance safety, but fully embracing IoT requires careful planning.

Women in Engineering? Women in Engineering!

August 25, 2017

Women are great at roles that are historically considered to be "male," therefore, young girls need to be educated about different opportunities where they can get involved.

Connecting Upstream Operations

August 23, 2017

Upstream oil and gas producers can connect operations and optimize production with Connected Enterprise solutions.

Are You Skilled Up for Digital Transformation?

August 21, 2017

Building the tech talent pipeline is about more than re-training current employees – it’s a combined effort that starts in K-12 and reaches beyond college.

Where Man Meets Machine, Potential Risk Follows

August 18, 2017

Know what to do (and what not to) when it comes to documenting product design changes, and understand the safety hierarchy so you can limit your company’s risk profile.

Where Should My Process Analytics Solution Run?

August 16, 2017

Producers in the process industries need to answer these three questions to arrive at a viable analytics solution.

What Industry Can Learn from Theme Parks

August 15, 2017

The challenges of providing amusement park thrills while keeping guests safe pushes the edge of technology. Lessons here are applied across industries improving uptime, security and safety.

Have We Lost Our Appetite for Exploration?

August 14, 2017

By supporting STEM-related education through mentors, financial and product support, we’re creating the explorers of tomorrow.

Is Your Network Meeting Your Performance Needs?

August 11, 2017

Choose the right industrial switch to optimize performance in your network infrastructure.

Cement Your Profits with Kiln Optimization

August 9, 2017

Modelling and controlling production with MPC technology can lead to improved kiln stability and overall production rate, reduced material loss, and energy costs.

F&B Companies Need to Address the Skills Shortage

August 7, 2017

We’re getting smarter, but the convergence of existing systems and the adoption of new technology is placing new burdens on workforces. Here’s how one company solved the problem.

Beat the Heat When Mounting AC Drives

August 4, 2017

Giving careful thought to thermal management when deciding where and how to mount VFDs can help protect the VFD and its performance, and reduce unexpected downtime.