Technical co-operation will lead to automation alliance

Rockwell and Omron have entered into a collaboration agreement to develop their businesses through technical co-operation and promote common technologies and open standards. They will also co-operate on other matters and pursue negotiations with a view to

Rockwell and Omron have entered into a collaboration agreement to develop their businesses through technical co-operation and promote common technologies and open standards. The two automation giants have agreed to further the development of industrial automation systems worldwide particularly in the areas of networks and factory automation software. They will also co-operate on other matters and pursue negotiations with a view to concluding a formal agreement for a business partnership.

For the longer term, the two companies are investigating other forms of co-operation beyond joint technology developments including product cross branding and various forms of commercial and operational advantages such as shared e-commerce capabilities.

Rockwell Automation will provide technical assistance to Omron, resulting in rapid adoption of open standard technologies such as DeviceNet, ControlNet and the recently announced Ethernet/IP into the Omron automation architecture. In addition, Omron will promote these open standard technologies into its core markets.

The companies will also work together to improve connectivity between their respective application software suites through open technologies like OPC and the Rockwell Software automation software components. Automation customers will benefit from increased productivity and reduced integration costs in a typical, heterogeneous environment.

According to Omron, the co-operation agreement has been driven by the converging needs of worldwide automation customers. Yoshio Tateisi, Omron’s CEO commented: ‘Automation customers are expecting a broader, more capable, higher performance offering from their automation providers, while at the same time expecting automation solutions based on open, interoperable standards. The relationship between Omron and Rockwell Automation addresses both of these needs.’

Rockwell Chairman and CEO, Don Davis added: ‘While there has been considerable progress made in establishing open automation standards, regional differences still exist across the $36 billion global automation market. Thus global users are faced with the daunting challenge of integrating multiple ‘regional standards’. In agreeing to pursue and promote common automation technologies, market leaders Omron and Rockwell Automation take an important step in reducing these regional barriers.

“In Asia, where open standards like DeviceNet, ControlNet and OPC have been gaining momentum, active adoption from a market leader like Omron sends a strong endorsement to customers and global competitors alike. We are excited about the growth opportunities this creates for both companies,’ said Davis