The Industrial Internet of Things FEATURE NEWS

Industrial Improvements: Rockwell Automation Supports Falcon Group via ThingWorx IIoT Platform

By Alex Passett January 25, 2023

Maybe it’s because the Back to the Future series was a staple when I was growing up, but to this day I still hear Doc Brown’s voice in my head shouting “1.21 gigawatts?!” when I come across huge figures. (You can blame the brilliant Christopher Lloyd for that, I suppose.)

But in regard to big numbers, a new and significant one has popped up in the world of industrial IoT: 162.5%.

(Cue the revved-up engine of the DeLorean.)

In all seriousness, this percentage relates to an announcement of note from provider of smart IIoT manufacturing, Rockwell Automation. On Monday, Rockwell announced it has helped multidisciplinary firm Falcon Group boost its machine utilization by 162.5%, a feat made accomplishable via the ThingWorx IIoT platform.

Let’s break this down. Falcon Group comprises of five major operational disciplines: engineering, architecture, energy consulting, forensics and drone services. Of the five, we’re focusing on its specialist precision engineering that caters to industries including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, defense, steel and more. At this operation’s core are 16 computer numerical control (CNC) machines, all of which are extremely vital to the company’s machining capabilities.

So, CNCs. Prior to Rockwell’s support, Falcon Group had considered purchasing more CNC machinery to match pace with the flow of customer demand. (This consideration also took into account maintenance downtime for said machines.)

But now, with Rockwell’s help and the ThingWorx platform, folks at Falcon Group need not worry about any of that. ThingWorx has allowed them plenty of room to grow, in terms of machine utilization, via its real-time, machine-level insights that highlighted machine inefficiencies and pointed to where changes were required. As part of its FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, powered by PTC, ThingWorx opens the road to digital transformation. It connects devices and applications, and provides a single source to collect, aggregate, and secure access to IIoT operational data. Connecting, monitoring, and managing myriad automation devices is simpler with ThingWorx’s intuitive user interface.

Prabhu Badrinathen, Falcon Group’s CEO, has been very impressed with ThingWorx’s capabilities. “We’ve grown our utilization quickly from 16% to 42%, and we expect to hit our next target of 75%. That’s incredible growth,” Badrinathen said. “ThingWorx brings together operational data in such a way that it offers immediate value in the form of actionable intelligence.”

Mohamed Elnakib, Head of Information Solutes Sales in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa for Rockwell Automation, knew that Badrinathen would recognize the power of ThingWorx, as well. “Falcon Group’s CEO is very digital savvy,” he commented, “and he understood that digital transformation could deliver huge benefits to his people, his assets, and his processes. Using ThingWorx to connect to sensors and PLCs, we were able to look at their machine utilization and determine new ways to enhance it.”

At the end of the day, Rockwell helping Falcon Group has led not only to noteworthy increases in machine utility, but also newly created business opportunities and cost improvements. Falcon Group has even become a Rockwell Automation software system integrator, and the two will continue to share data, knowledge and expertise.

Readers, the metaphorical DeLorean has hit 88 miles per hour and, in a sense, Falcon Group has bought themselves time. Maybe not to go back to 1955, per se; nonetheless, time that was previously spent on less-effective processes can now be reallocated for digitally transformed projects and IIoT solutions.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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