The partnership between Rockwell Automation and Microsoft comes in response to challenges posed by the skilled labor shortage in the industrial sector, which has led to decreased productivity, according to a press release issued by the companies. By harnessing the potential of generative AI, the companies aim to enhance the workforce’s capabilities and streamline processes, addressing the long-term structural challenges faced by industry.
Automation Across Roles
The collaboration will begin with the integration of Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service into Rockwell’s FactoryTalk Design Studio, introducing industry-first capabilities that enable faster time to market for industrial automation systems.
Rockwell and Microsoft say they see the potential of AI in enhancing automation across various roles, ranging from decision-makers to control engineers and operators. The integration will enable engineers to automate routine tasks, improve design efficiency and mentor newcomers more effectively, according to the release. The technology is also designed to provide access to information that will assist in problem-solving and learning.
Beyond Automation, Innovation in Industrial Metaverse
The companies say they envision a future where the integrated technology can solve other challenges, including quality management and improvement, failure mode analysis and training front-line workers. The goal is to enable chat-based collaboration between human workers and chatbots for a smoother manufacturing process.
They are also exploring ways to advance innovation in the industrial metaverse. Both are using their IoT capabilities, cloud datasets, simulations and AI expertise to design and build products more effectively, efficiently and sustainably.