Daily Management Review

Rockwell and Microsoft Develops New Technology to Allow Seamless Wireless Communication in Industrial Settings


Rockwell and Microsoft Develops New Technology to Allow Seamless Wireless Communication in Industrial Settings
Rockwell Automation Inc. of Milwaukee and Seattle software developer Microsoft Corp are together developing a new technology that would allow workers and managers to communicate seamlessly, whether on the factory floor or upstairs.
The companies engaged in the development of the technology said that this new technology – being code named Project Stanton, is designed for industrial environments where a wireless network connection is not always reliable.
The Automation Fair that Rockwell will host next week in Chicago, would be place where the companies, along with Nubisa Inc., will debut the technology and a prototype for an app.
The primary technological investment in the project was the creation of tools for leveraging of computing power in mobile devices to enable access to critical information at any time and in any place and this is the reason that all the three companies involved in the project have made significant investments, said Sujeet Chand, Rockwell's chief technology officer.
 Rockwell is expecting record attendance at its customer-focused event next week as there would be announcements and introduction of new products that Rockwell hopes will power a rebound in sales next year said the company CEO Keith Nosbusch even as the company announced lower sales and a bearish outlook on Tuesday.
"There's no better time for our customers to focus on new technology than when their business is slowing and they have an opportunity to look at the new technology and integrate it into their strategies or their new machine lines as they come up," he said.
Rockwell is now positioned as a pioneer in software and technological innovations that help the "Internet of Things," or IoT, in industrial settings from the known field of robotics that the company was engaged in thanks to the efforts of Nosbusch.
"Microsoft has partnered with Rockwell Automation to look at some of the most difficult challenges in industrial IoT," John Shewchuk, a Microsoft technical fellow, said in a statement.
The Rockwell collaboration taps a Microsoft open-source software platform known as the Thali Project. Rockwell spokesman Keith Lester said that Thursday's announcement marks an expansion of Rockwell's collaboration in recent years with Microsoft.
He added that this was the first app for mobile devices that the companies have collaborated on. This is also being viewed as Microsoft’s efforts to shift its focus to development of technology and software that enables its technology to be tapped for Apple and Android devices instead of Windows-focused devices only, Lester added.
With an effort to improve productivity and collaboration, industrial workers are increasingly turning to mobile devices. But to enable seamless use of mobiles for communication in an industrial setting, interfaces need to be tailored to the specific device that is being used, especially to design, operate and maintain industrial automation systems.
This is being tipped as the prime reason for the development of the latest seamless communication technology in an industrial setting. by the three companies.
(Source: www.jsonline.com & www.businesswire.com)