Rockwell Automation SWOT




Direct analytical framework to evaluate your organization


Tagline/ Slogan
Listen. Think. Solve


Unique Selling Proposition
Quality, Innovation and Performance


Manufacturing Industries


Target Group
Manufacturing Industries


Smart, Safe, Sustainable Manufacturing


Leading Brands
PLC Control and Compact Logix platform.
Pavilion8, a modular software platform for predictive control
PlantPAx, derived from the Pavilion8 product, it’s a derivative algorithm optimized for execution within the Logix environment. Rockwell also refers to the PlantPAx as a “modern DCS”


1. Provides services across more than 80 countries
2. Products recognized for innovation and excellence
3. Adopts Plant wide optimization technique to achieve productivity and efficiency
4. Has flexible, scalable automation solutions to lower cost to design
5. Deploys Integrated Architecture to drive efficiency and productivity across customer’s organization6.
6. Provides flexible overall solution with higher levels of visibility
7. More than 20,000 people are a part of the organization
8. Presence in the Fortune 500 shows its credibility


1. Intense competition means limited market share growth
2. Lesser margins mean financial instability can hurt operations


1. Leveraging of LoT to enhance The Connected Enterprise Vision of the company
2. Research and Development
3. Huge Investments by emerging markets in technology and automation


1. Rising cost of energy
2. Rising cost of raw materials
3. Lack of Skilled labor



Product Review


PLC Hardware
Requires upfront design time to get the “right footprint”
Flex 5000 I/O platform released in 2018 is targeted for the Connected Enterprise with 1Gb backplane speed, increased standard analog and digital in/out, snap on installations under power and improved Network Media topology
I/O structure and connectivity between systems cannot support changes in controller types for customer to take advantage of more powerful processing technology – PLC 5 to micrologix to compactlogix to control logix. This requires re-terminating wires, loop check verifications and visualization confirmations compared to a DCS system that typically has an I/O model that can support changes to upgraded controllers. Conversion kits, module swing arm and having legacy system become remote I/O to the newer controller are options to reduce this cost related to field wiring and commissioning.


Factory Talk Platform
FactoryTalk Historian is a private labeled version of the PI Server from OSIsoft. On your client stations, licensing options for Vantage Point, ProcessBook, DataLink, FTView available, whereas on Ovation these features are standard in the Historian. FT Historian developments are driven by OSI PI business intelligence users vs. industrial operations and regulatory users as Ovation Power and Water customers
PlantPAx designed to be “modern DCS” and specifically for integration with FTHistorian


Wide range of small HMI units for panels and field applications
Full library of objects available and not a custom set of macros and other objects for projects.
Embedding of documentation (P&ID, loop drawings) similar to Emerson Ovation system is not available


3rd Party data
No product equal to a SCADA Server, manages other vendor devices typically through the network topology to communicate to the PLC devices. Emerson has more communication drivers that talk to various other devices fairly easy.
ProSoft, a connectivity technology company makes modules for most Rockwell platforms to handle the communications, with integrations not regarded as exceptionally easy
Seamlessly adding enterprise solutions onto the “control layer” is more difficult that if this was done with a single data model DCS, e.g. asset management, statistical process control tracking etc.


Go to Market Strategy
New social strategies – Integrating social with the company’s campaings, and not as a standalone. Targeted Twitter and LinkedIn “to get people to follow and then engage with them”. Developed portals specifically for its social followers, where they can link into content pertaining to specific solutions.
Working through Regional/Local Solution Providers to bid and execute projects for specific sectors that also have Rockwell Product SME’s. These solution providers serve as a listening post, capturing insights about customer’s likes and dislikes.
Working with System Integrators to bid and execute projects that commit to a level of Rockwell product specific work.
Products sold through regional/local distributors

FactoryTalk Team One
Rockwell Automation TechED
Rockwell Automation Fair
Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork Conference
“The Journal” magazine published by RA and PartnerNetwork


System Strengths
1. Recognized backward compatibility and legacy support that ensures previous generations of PLC has a migration path with new models.
2. Field technicians are usually available next day under their support service agreement
3. Large OEM support that works on having an Rockwell processor integrated into a piece of equipment that end customers purchase


System Weaknesses
1. Rockwell requires multiple applications to be installed to provide similar functionality as Ovation DCS
2. Various software interfaces required for comprehensive large scale automation and data analysis
3. Scalability limits it to about half of a DCS
4. Redundancy is achieved by adding a secondary controller, which gets the cost at or exceeding a DCS
5. Complexity requires advanced process control from a DCS that can manage continuous production processes or changes in process
6. PLC platform requires more time for system start-up and troubleshooting as compared to Ovation as it cannot proactively interrogate the system for configuration defects and identifying probable causes
7. Network Performance is not a critical criteria in the system design as network planning is done after PLC selection and programming. Without intimate knowledge of the communication behavior between each network node and the protocol used to carry the network messages, how can user expect sound network design? Application engineer typically puts network topology together
8. Control Performance- control strategy in PLC runs on fixed clock cycles; whereas an Ovation controller favors repeatable control cycles for quality, repeatable yield and repeatable results for a plant.


System Opportunities
1. Aggressive efforts towards platform integration will allow seamless connectivity between the various products
2. Scalability from single PLC to DCS solutions
3. Their training program are well recognized and is a growing source of revenue
4. Partnership with industrial Cisco Stratix switches improves network stability; efforts in having better network design ongoing


System Threats
1. Security integrity remains an issue due to the various version of platforms devices supported and mixed install base. Comprehensive management to address CVEs’ continue to be an issue.
2. No comprehensive cyber-security offerings; defense in depth architecture design offered
3. Deployment architecture requires additional spare parts to be kept on hand vs. an Ovation DCS central system
4. No self-updating system of documentation
5. Migration History – significant cost increases in nearing end-of life products to force customers to upgrade; this results in possible “change in vendor” if planned in advance
6. To upgrade versions and receive support, customer pays an annual support contract that can be as high as 30% of initial price.
7. Not a vast library of object-oriented function blocks with a complete set of parameter based functions that a user can develop and fine tune control strategies without designing control functions. A self- documenting, program free DCS controller makes this efficient for a Customer who can assemble the blocks into the required control configuration with minimum effort.
8. Advanced simulator technology not provided to support improved performance throughout the plant lifecycle



Updated October 19 2018


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