Bringing Technologies to Life Online: Rockwell Automation Offers Industry a Smart Way to Learn About Smart Manufacturing

Bringing Technologies to Life Online: Rockwell Automation Offers Industry a Smart Way to Learn About Smart Manufacturing

Rockwell Automation successfully hosted its second VirtualConnect event, offering real-time access to technical specialists and interactive video presentations with the latest news in smart manufacturing.

Embracing the new norm of online events, Rockwell Automation ran its second international online technology event on 23 June. VirtualConnect has once again succeeded in providing the industrial automation sector with the latest news and information on technologies enabling digital transformation in the process industry. 

The event featured three tracks of video presentations, all with live Q&A from the speakers. Jan Van Den Bossche, director of product business units EMEA at Rockwell Automation, opened the event in the virtual ‘welcome hall’. “Building on the success of our previous event, we are excited to bring you another virtual experience with new and different technology,” he began. “With a focus on how technology enables smart manufacturing, we are here to help you on your road to digital transformation. However, we know that it isn’t all about technology. Successful transformation also relies on the people using the technology – you. We hope that his event provides you with some inspiration on how to successfully achieve digital transformation in your plant.”

Spoilt for choice with a jam-packed agenda

There was no shortage of insight to be gained throughout the event, with three informative tracks: the smart machine journey, the smart operations journey, and the digital transformation journey. Attendees learned how augmented reality, digital twins, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are creating new opportunities for manufacturers to increase their performance by leveraging smart devices to expand their current operations. 

A highlight of the event was presented by Alain Hermans, Process Program Manager EMEA for Rockwell Automation, who introduced the latest version of the company’s flagship PlantPAx® distributed control system (DCS). He explained how the PlantPAx 5.0 DCS – to be launched in September 2020 – will meet the latest trends and challenges faced in the process industry. “Adopting new technology is always a challenge. It means you must revisit all the complex procedures you already have in your plant. Most plants have customised interfaces to support their specific operations, and the idea of changing something brings with it many concerns.” He said that Rockwell Automation is well-aware of these concerns thanks to their customer advisory board. “Our consultation with customers just like you means that we understand your challenges and have pivoted PlantPAx to address those challenges.” 

The PlantPAx DCS is scalable to any sized operation and will assist users to achieve a more compact system architecture and streamlined workflows, improving plant efficiency and consistency. Further, the company has placed increased emphasis on cybersecurity. 

A show floor with all the bells and whistles

Pulling out all the stops, Rockwell Automation’s fully virtualised show floor provided access to experts and specialists from across the industry with booths from seventeen major partners including Bihl+Wiedemann, Cisco, Claroty, Grace Technologies, Posital Fraba, ProSoft Technology, Softing, Spectrum Controls, and Stratus.

Attendees were able to chat in real time with automation specialists to gain a deeper understanding of the products and solutions featured in the VirtualConnect presentations. The platform functionality went above and beyond, with a virtual briefcase to fill with your choice of spec sheets, technical articles, and information packs available at each booth. 

If you missed this new-age interactive event, you can still access the on-demand videos and presentations by registering online.

About Rockwell Automation 

Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK), is a global leader in industrial automation and digital transformation. We connect the imaginations of people with the potential of technology to expand what is humanly possible, making the world more productive and more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rockwell Automation employs approximately 23,000 problem solvers dedicated to our customers in more than 100 countries. To learn more about how we are making Smart Manufacturing more productive, visit