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How a connected enterprise can turn marketplace challenges into advantages

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Rockwell Automation underlines the importance of connectivity for companies to remain competitive in a challenging marketplace.

Australia’s manufacturing industry continues to face the challenges of a relatively high Australian dollar together with slower productivity growth across the economy. The productivity and cost challenge facing Australia is something that industry is all too familiar with; so how can companies operate within the current economy to create and realise value in their operations?

According to Matthew Treeby, Commercial Marketing Manager at Rockwell Automation, connectivity through open standard networks together with innovative automation solutions can help manufacturers remain competitive in the current market.

The Rockwell Automation on the Move (RAOTM) event recently held in Melbourne provided companies with the latest information about industry trends, new technology developments and sharing of best practice. The event highlighted key technologies that can help companies establish a connected enterprise.

Solutions for the mining, oil and gas, food and beverage and water/wastewater industries were highlighted in a combination of tech talks, hands-on workshops and a large exhibition area that displayed the latest products with specialists on hand to discuss specific applications.

Innes Willox, Chief Executive Officer of the Ai Group delivered the official welcome at RAOTM. In his presentation, he highlighted the importance for businesses to reduce cost structures, lift productivity and improve competitiveness.

According to Willox, manufacturers need to invest, not only to make up for the very low levels of investment in recent years but also to help take their businesses to a new globally competitive level of performance.

Together with the company’s Strategic Alliance Partners - Cisco Systems, Endress+Hauser and Panduit Australia - the event showcased how automation, process control and power and safety solutions come together to provide an integrated system that optimises operations and leverages business investments.

Treeby said a key focus of this year’s event was the recent acceleration of the Internet of Things and how this applied to industry through the connected enterprise.

The ability to use standard unmodified Ethernet throughout, from the enterprise all the way down to individual field devices enables new levels in connectivity for people, processes, data and things, ultimately providing greater productivity, better utilisation of assets, and improved decision-making to industrial companies.

While providing improved connectivity between enterprise systems and the plant floor, technologies such as mobile devices, the cloud and big data also introduce security risks that require careful consideration and mitigation. System integrators and OEMs are asked to provide this connectivity while at the same time meeting the increasingly stringent security policies of their customers.

Rockwell Automation recently held a series of seminars titled ‘Industrial Security - from the Plant Floor to the Enterprise’ to help customers mitigate security risks within their operations.

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