Digital manufacturing alliance: Rockwell and Dassault teaming on virtual design and production solutions 

Industrial automation, controls, and plant information solution provider Rockwell Automation and CAD/PLM vendor Dassault Systemes announced a strategic alliance to drive convergence of virtual design and production.


Industrial automation, controls, and plant information solution provider Rockwell Automation and CAD/PLM vendor Dassault Systemes announced a strategic alliance to drive convergence of virtual design and production.
What makes the alliance particularly powerful, say both sides, is the complementary bet the companies have made related to object technology, leading to immediate synergies between the “control engineering” function in Dassault’s Delmia digital manufacturing solution and “design and configuration” in Rockwell FactoryTalk, for concurrent and bidirectional exchange of mechanical, electrical, and production information.
This initial capability will allow virtual commissioning of new or refurbished production lines concurrent with product design, seen to be a particularly pressing need in the automotive industries. “Companies will be able to start equipment validation in the virtual world, with mechanical design and control engineering benefiting from the bidirectional data flow,” says Patrick Michel, VP, Delmia Solutions.
The complementary object technology, available in DELMIA Automation V5 and the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture, says Michel, “means we can supply these capabilities immediately.”
The alliance partners deny that this is a response to the Siemens acquisition of PLM vendor UGS. “We’re grateful to Siemens for increasing awareness of the benefits of this type of integration,” says Michel, “but Siemens can’t provide this bidirectional communication with its PLCs [programmable controllers] and it will take them longer to bring these capabilities to market.”
Jason Weber, product marketing manager, Rockwell Software , says this is only the start of a more wide-ranging alliance that will lead to a broad range of benefits related to digital manufacturing. The next step for these partners is creating packaged applications that combine their solutions.
Kevin Roach, VP of Rockwell Software, says
“We’re excited about the potential,” says Roach.
The initial customers for the combined Rockwell-Dassault solutions will be major OEM manufacturers, with joint sales proceeding through vertical industry teams from both vendors.

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