Rockwell Automation’s annual TechED event typically focuses on technology, where users of the company’s products can receive hands-on training on Rockwell’s hardware and software, and gain insights into the company’s plans for future updates and releases. This year’s TechED still fit that mold, but it also served as a platform for a major company announcement—the likes of which have historically been reserved for Automation Fair, Rockwell Automation’s main annual event.
At Rockwell Automation’s 2018 TechED in San Diego, Blake Moret, chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation, announced that the company has entered a strategic partnership with PTC. In this partnership, Rockwell Automation will make a $1 billion equity investment in PTC and both companies will align PTC’s ThingWorx Internet of Things (IoT), Kepware industrial connectivity and Vuforia augmented reality (AR) platforms with Rockwell’s FactoryTalk MES, FactoryTalk Analytics and industrial automation platforms.
Rockwell Automation’s investment gives it an 8.4 percent ownership interest in PTC.
The partnership is “a natural alignment,” said Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO of PTC. “Together we can tell a story that's IoT and analytics, MES and AR, and even 3D printing—its unheard of in the marketplace. In fact, many manufacturers we work with have asked us why we haven’t partnered with Rockwell Automation before.”
Moret added that “IT [information technology] and OT [operations technology] playing out at this level marks a special day in our journey. Together, we will offer the most comprehensive and flexible IoT offering in the industrial space. Our equity investment in PTC reflects our confidence in the partnership and the significant upside we expect it to create for both companies.”
As part of the agreement, Rockwell Automation will become a reseller of PTC’s ThingWorx and Vuforia products.
Read Automation World's coverage of PTC's Vuforia announcement in 2016: