March 9th, 2007

New Walt Boyes

from the department of "who's on first..."

I am reminded by Andrew Bond, our European Correspondent, and his Industrial Automation Insider that ARC has issued a white paper entitled Rockwell Automation Process Industry Strategies. While I have the greatest respect for Larry O'Brien, the paper's author, his statement that "Rockwell Automation is unique in its ability to move process and discrete applications easily into a plantwide environment on a common control platform and integrated with applications from other control disciplines," simply is not correct.

Sorry, Larry, but Rockwell, while having a very strong and highly underestimated offering that is much better than most people can imagine, is not alone in meeting those criteria.

Siemens certainly can do what Rockwell can do, and is doing it every day. Siemens has every capability necessary to meet those criteria, and is quite capably moving data from plant floor to boardroom in a wide arena including both discrete and process applications.

For that matter, GE Fanuc can take a serious shot at meeting your criteria, too. And now that Schneider has figured out what to do with Citect, so can they.

Andrew goes on to note that this sort of statement is why many people call ARC's objectivity into question. It certainly doesn't help ARC to maintain its pre-eminent position as the darn near only industry analyst firm in manufacturing automation. ARC is pretty much all there is, and it would be wise for them to consider a revision to their business model that enables them to be more objective, even when the client is paying for the white paper.