Rockwell Automation strengthens integrated architecture platform for the long haul in process industries

Rockwell Automation has long been known for its strength in discrete manufacturing control, but recently has increased its focus on the process industries as well. “We think Rockwell Automation is doing an effective job in the process market, and consider them a player in the space—just like ABB, Invensys, and others,” says Craig Resnick, research director for Dedham, Mass.

08/01/2007


Rockwell Automation has long been known for its strength in discrete manufacturing control, but recently has increased its focus on the process industries as well.

“We think Rockwell Automation is doing an effective job in the process market, and consider them a player in the space—just like ABB, Invensys, and others,” says Craig Resnick, research director for Dedham, Mass.-based ARC Advisory Group .

Rockwell got its foothold when it took over Honeywell 's Plantscape DCS system when Honeywell wanted to get out of that line of business. Rockwell renamed the product ControlLogics and quickly sold several hundred systems—many to existing customers with hybrid production control needs.

“After we sold 400 systems, we said this is a market we should be in,” says Rick Dolezal, Rockwell Automation marketing development manager. “It didn't meet all of our needs, so in early 2000, we started to develop our own. It came together for us three years ago.”

Rockwell's new Integrated Architecture for Process platform sold well the first year, followed by 40-percent growth the next—then 46 percent last year, and 16 percent so far this year.



Rick Dolezal
, marketing development manager for Rockwell Automation, says the trend toward unifying control architectures to reduce complexity in managing operations bodes well for Rockwell’s expansion into the process industries.

Key markets include industries with hybrid production processes, both discrete and batch—e.g, food & beverage, pulp & paper, and pharmaceuticals. “We did $382 million last year,” Dolezal says. “We're currently tenth in world market share, but our goal now is to become sixth with a 10-percent share.”

Dolezal says the trend toward unifying control architectures to reduce complexity in managing operations bodes well for Rockwell.

“With multiple systems, when something goes wrong, you have to figure out which system was responsible,” he says. “Every plant I go into, I always hear the same thing: They will have less people next year to manage things, yet they are being asked to increase throughput with the same equipment. They're trying to be more efficient with fewer resources.”

The Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture for Process sits as a master control system that easily integrates with other systems and a homogenous mix of equipment underneath.

Renewable Energy Group (REG), Rawlston, Iowa, turned to Rockwell in the 1990s to deliver process control throughout REG's biofuel production facility. An outgrowth of a farmers' coop looking to augment services for its members, REG expanded into the business of turnkey plants for others who want to get into the business.

“We had a soybean-crushing facility and were looking for ways to add value,” says Scott Kingergy, process energy manager. “Soy oil was a by-product. We built the first plant in Rawlston, and then started building turnkey plants for customers.”

REG has three plants of its own, and several others under construction for customers—and more in the design stage. It uses ControlLogics in the management and design of all facilities.

“It made sense to stay with one system,” he says. “It means less labor and less hardware, and by less hardware, it also means less panel space, so a smaller footprint.”

In this era of software vendor consolidation, Rockwell is investigating complementary technologies to strengthen its process portfolio.

“Rockwell just acquired ICS Triplex , which makes triple redundant safety systems,” says ARC's Resnick. “That was bold statement on their part, that they're in process for the long haul. We expect them to continue to expand their footprint and presence in the industry.”





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.