Fully interconnected digital capabilities at every stage of a machine’s lifecycle turn you from a machine builder into a full-service solutions provider. The modern marketplace needs you more than ever - according to Rockwell Automation.

At interpack in 2017, while visiting the Rockwell Automation stand, the Global Director of Automation for one of the world’s largest confectionary companies was asked: “From a production and packaging perspective, what’s the panacea in terms of what automation can help you achieve?” His simple, immediate answer was: “An economical batch size of one!”

The idea of hyper personalisation is a fascinating goal and one that will certainly be with us sometime soon. But, as a senior engineer at a large-scale global manufacturer, what he was actually implying – by stating a batch size of one – was the immediate need for enabling technology that would deliver incredible levels of reconfigurability; resulting in the agility and flexibility required for high-throughput, small batch, mass-customisation capabilities.

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At every stage of a company’s digital transformation, Rockwell Automation can offer the capabilities of its LifeCycle Services. Whether a company – big or small – needs to design, build, sustain or improve operations, the Lifecycle Services group at Rockwell Automation provides fully scalable support every step of the way.

Deliverables include: professional services to help package and modernise equipment; connected services, which focus on the OT space to help a customer sustain growth – from single networks up to a full OT cybersecurity program rollout across the globe; and more traditional services, such as on-site maintenance and support or remote technical support and training.

All of these services are driven by data and analytics, which underpin a foundational element for increasing productivity and reducing risk: understanding what assets you have in your facility or across your enterprise. The team can then help with equipment assessments, network optimisation, cybersecurity and analytics, which takes us full circle back to FactoryTalk InnovationSuite.

The consumer is demanding more choice, this leads end users to create more variety, which means machine builders and OEMs have to deliver more flexibility! In order to stay flexible, stay ahead and stay relevant you have to have agility, and it is in the space where an automation supplier such as Rockwell Automation can help.