Rockwell Automation hosted a press event called “Manufacturing Perspectives” at its 2012 Automation Fair Tuesday in Philadelphia. The event offered a high-level discussion on key trends and the future of manufacturing in the global marketplace. Over the next several days, we will offer several posts on topics discussed at the Perspectives session. Here is the first in this series.

Keys to Manufacturing Success
The presentation opened with an address from Craig Giffi, vice chairman of U.S. consumer and industrial products for Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, who outlined the complex nature of the global manufacturing market today and explained what, according to Deloitte, will determine the success of manufacturers going forward. Giffi cited the primary enablers for manufacturing success as:
•    Infrastructure;
•    Attracting foreign direct investment;
•    Materials resources competition;
•    Clean energy strategies and effective energy policies;
•    Fostering innovation;
•    Access to human capital; and
•    Public policy.

Of these factors, Giffi cited Innovation, Human Capital, and Public Policy as the most important issues for determining a nation’s success in manufacturing.

Keith Nosbusch, chairman and chief executive officer for Rockwell Automation, said Rockwell is working to help its customers leverage “Smart Manufacturing” in an effective way to achieve tangible results. He said Rockwell defines Smart Manufacturing as a “highly connected, knowledge-enabled industrial enterprise where all business and operational actions are optimized to achieve substantially enhanced productivity, sustainability, and economic performance.”

According to Noshusch, Rockwell’s solution set for Smart Manufacturing is focused in four main areas:
•    Visibility of plant operations;
•    Monitoring & diagnosis of asset health;
•    Asset utilization and environmental protection; and
•    Production flexibility.

Smart, safe and sustainable manufacturing has been Rockwell’s mantra for the past several years, and it will continue to be for the foreseeable future, according to John Nesi, vice president of market development for Rockwell.

During his address, Nesi said he is optimistic about the role and future of manufacturing worldwide. “Manufacturing does matter in the global economy,” said Nesi. “And it does matter how you deploy manufacturing.”

Read the next post in this series, “‘Manufacturing Perspectives’ — Flexible Manufacturing”