Automation Fair 2003: Rockwell touts growth in 2003

Milwaukee, WI – Beginning with a full day of presentations and panel discussions for media representatives from around the world, Rockwell Automation began its 12th annual Allen-Bradley Automation Fair event with optimism for growth, during its 6th annual Global Media Summit on Monday, Nov. 17.


Milwaukee, WI —Beginning with a full day of presentations and panel discussions for media representatives from around the world, Rockwell Automation began its 12th annual Allen-Bradley Automation Fair event with optimism for growth, during its 6th annual Global Media Summit on Monday, Nov. 17.

Following a keynote address from Steven Niedelman, assistant commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Don Davis, Chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation gave his perspective on the state of Rockwell Automation amid the economic changes sweeping manufacturing worldwide. According to Davis, Rockwell Automation’s total sales for fiscal year 2003 totaled $4.1 billion. Sales in the fourth quarter 2003 were up 4%, 5% over Q4 2002. Earnings per share were up 27% in Q4 2003, 19% over Q4 2002. 2003 marked the strongest year of growth for the company in three years, says Davis.

Target areas for corporate growth initiatives are: safety, process solutions, asset management, and information solutions. Davis says opportunities to grow these areas within Rockwell’s current customer base could generate $1 billion in revenue for the company over the next three to five years. Davis points out that when he refers to ''process solutions,'' he is not referring to solutions for the process market as a whole. ''Process [for Rockwell] primarily means the hybrid industries,'' such as food and beverage and pharmaceuticals, not continuous process such as oil and gas, electric power, and water/waste,een growing at a 60% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from 1999-2003. Davis contends that this is particularly impressive considering that, in 1999, Rockwell had little existing business in this segment.

During his presentation, Davis also made particular note of a ''megatrend'' currently impacting industrial automation: integration of the control and information systems of manufacturers, customers, and suppliers. Davis says Rockwell is positioned to compete in this field with Logix, which Davis says is ''a control platform, not just a PLC, because the user can program an entire automation system from one set of software. It can be used to integrate multiple plant floor systems with each other and into enterprise systems.'' In addition to Logix in the information management space, Rockwell will be focusing its FactoryTalk manufacturing execution system product on the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and automotive markets.

Davis says Rockwell business in the manufacturing information systems market grew 25% a year from 2001-2003 and he expects continued growth in the 20% to 30% range per year for the next few years. ''The Logix architecture will be our growth catalyst for gaining market share,'' he says.

On Monday evening following the Global Media Summit, the new Allen-Bradley exhibit was unveiled at the Milwaukee Public Museum, marking the company’s 100th anniversary. Members of the Allen and Bradley families were in attendance for the exhibit’s ribbon cutting ceremony, as was Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. Allen-Bradley Automation Fair, which is free and open to the public, begins Tuesday, Nov. 18, and runs through Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Midwest Airlines Center in Milwaukee, WI. The Fair features more than 90 control, instrumentation, and automation exhibitors.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
David Greenfield, editorial director

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