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Foxconn to Automate Wisconsin Plant?

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On the same day that Scott Walker had his publicity circus announcing that Foxconn was going to set up a new manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, Terry Gou and company were signing an agreement to join forces with Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation.

Well before the days of the Iphone, operators in processing plants throughout the company were using Rockwell’s semiconductor “touch pad” technologies on Allen Bradley SLC automated screens to do anything from making beer to watching the insides of tanks. Companies from Hidden Valley Ranch to Miller Brewing were making their products utilizing the latest and greatest in information technologies.

Engineers could sit at home on a Sunday, watch the football game and make a 20,000 gallon bath of barbeque sauce, bottle it into 100,000 bottles and then wash all of the equipment- without every leaving the couch and without missing a snap of the game on TV.

Now, with one of the world’s leaders in IT R & D, Foxconn, they are teaming up to take the entire concept of automation to new frontiers- more far-reaching than ever previously known.

Connectivity marketplace along with Industry Internet of things will bring a mirrored virtual realm real time 24/7 to the physical operations in every manufacturing plant as a partner in the broader supply chain- fully integrated. Imagine an automated system that knows when ingredients are getting low and automatically goes and gets more or orders more- or where a blender needs more of something to make an appropriate mix- or if a temperature isn’t right in a specific part of the system so the system automatically heats up…  All of this is well within reach and Foxconn and Rockwell automation are leading the way.

Much celebration is centered around the “new LCD TV” plant, but the partnership between Rockwell and Foxconn brings more promise than all of the rest of the events surrounding the Foxconn Wisconsin agreement thus far.

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