Plan your journey to SMART Manufacturing through modernisation

As technology continues to drive innovation, staying competitive requires you to drive increased performance from your automation systems. Enabling the convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operations Technology (OT) into a single, unified architecture ultimately means faster time to market, greater flexibility, more informed business decisions and reduced risk across the entire enterprise.

Legacy systems operate in isolation and outdated equipment is costly to run. Justifying the risk and expenses of modernising control systems can be a challenge — while the threat of obsolescence may seem less daunting than modernising, the benefits of modernising outweigh the risk.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want to extract more data from your operations?
  • Do you need to cut operating costs?
  • Could aging or obsolete technology be impacting your productivity and escalating risk?
  • Is your automation system truly optimised?

NHP and Rockwell Automation can help you confront the headwinds you’re facing, allow you to you to leverage contemporary technologies to optimise your processes and equip your employees for greater performance and efficiency.

Why modernise now?

Modern platforms can help you realise gains in equipment utilisation and production flexibility, while lowering your overall operation, maintenance and energy costs. Contemporary equipment can lessen the burden of maintaining spares for aging parts, while enabling access to leading-edge technologies that allow your business to grow and innovate, opening the door to an expanding global presence. Ultimately, these integrated systems allow you to scale your manufacturing footprint to the specific needs of your business and offer you easier access to actionable, plant-wide information. NHP and Rockwell Automation help our customers achieve these results — and prepare for the future of SMART Manufacturing — through our vision of The Connected Enterprise.

The Connected Enterprise is enabled by our integrated control and information portfolio, enhanced by contemporary technologies such as mobility and cloud computing, and supported by a full complement of products and services designed to ease the journey. Modernising your processes and technologies is the first step in achieving The Connected Enterprise and realising the value that Smart Manufacturing can deliver.

The journey to SMART Manufacturing does not have to be overwhelming. Through our Connected Enterprise vision, you can successfully manage incremental change and realise near-term benefits. NHP and Rockwell Automation understand exactly what succeeding in this journey looks like because we’ve done it ourselves, so we can help you develop your roadmap and then help you achieve it.


To be successful with any modernisation plan, you have to understand where you’re starting from. That means taking stock of every part of your operation — your people, your processes, and the technologies you use all play a part. The ‘assessment’ stage is all about understanding your current state — what makes up your operation, and where do your risks lie. It’s a process of identifying what opportunities you are missing and what technology-driven functionality you’re not realising because your current operations simply can’t support it.

What to consider

  • Do you have workforce limitations?
  • Are you lacking skilled workers to run your current equipment?
  • Are you struggling to meet regulatory compliance requirements?
  • Are you suffering from excess downtime due to equipment failures and maintenance shutdowns?
  • Are you getting the most out of the data locked away in your systems? Or maybe you have an abundance of data, but no means to act on it.
  • Maybe your network isn’t robust enough to meet increasing communication and security challenges.

In considering your modernisation plan, there are a few key pieces that may not be immediately obvious when it comes to your workforce. Examine your operations and your employees’ daily activities. Study how they function and what they need to be effective, then factor those considerations in as you develop your modernisation plan.

How do you do it?

The assessment stage evaluates all facets of your existing operations.

  • Information infrastructure (hardware and software);
  • controls and devices (sensors, actuators, motor controls, switches, etc.) that feed and receive data;
  • networks that move all of this information; and
  • security policies (understanding, organisation, enforcement).

Especially critical is an examination of the people and processes that manage this framework.

Rockwell Automation provides a full suite of services to help you understand your lifecycle management requirements and develop a plan to address them.

Training assessments help you establish a benchmark for the knowledge levels of your workforce.

Lockout/tagout audits, arc flash analysis and scalable safety assessments provide a comprehensive approach to help improve the safety of employees working with machines and energised electrical equipment.

Installed Base Evaluation™ (IBE) is an onsite collection and consulting service that pinpoints automation obsolescence risk by enterprise, facility, line, machine, panel and identifies MRO inventory risks and optimisation opportunities.

Network and security assessments fully assess your industrial IT assets and identify and remediate potential performance and security issues.

In the end, partnering with NHP and Rockwell Automation offers you a more thorough understanding of your known and quantifiable obsolescence risks, and lessens the chance of unplanned downtime due to unexpected or emergency migrations, as well as hidden obsolescence risks.


In developing your modernisation roadmap, there are a few key items to consider and document:

Goals — What are you trying to achieve?

Scope — What’s the extent of the modernisation project?

Budget — What funding is available and how will it be allocated?

Schedule/timing — What is the expected timeline?

Resources (personnel, etc, — who, how) — Who will complete the project?

NHP and Rockwell Automation have the tools, services and expertise to help you design a modernisation plan.

  • Onsite engineering — preventive maintenance contracts to support legacy products. Embedded lifecycle engineers can be contracted as well to develop a modernisation roadmap and execute migration services under contract.
  • Inventory services — including storeroom management, parts management agreements, and MRO inventory management.
  • Training services — including onsite training, open enrollment and virtual classroom support, as well as specific certification curriculum.
  • Product Lifecycle Status Tool — this online tool can help you determine the lifecycle of your existing equipment and identify the most contemporary Allen-Bradley products, bringing you advancements in performance, flexibility and security.
  • Integrated Architecture Builder — a graphical, user-friendly application that allows you to automatically define and configure a contemporary control and information architecture including a detailed bill of materials based on legacy control systems.


What to consider

Who will help you implement your modernisation plan? Do you have the expertise in-house or do you need to partner with experts to help ease the transition?

Incremental/phased or rip and replace: Will you take on the modernisation effort all at once, or do you need to schedule it in phases to accommodate your budget and timeline?

Machine-by-machine/line-by-line/plant-by-plant/whole enterprise: Will you start with one machine or are you ready to tackle your entire operation?

NHP and Rockwell Automation use a well-defined process in our approach to lifecycle management, which includes using industry standard hardware and software interfaces, modular design practices, and a focus on compatibility between product revisions wherever possible.

Our modernisation services and support are available to help you realise the benefits of a modern automation control system. Our factory-trained Field Service Professionals are experienced and prepared to provide onsite assessments, migration planning services, start-up and commissioning. From project management to start-up, we will help define and implement an effective modernisation strategy for your facility that goes beyond simply addressing your legacy equipment to truly optimising your operation.

For less complex upgrades, an easy, affordable option is our packaged migration in which NHP and Rockwell Automation help migrate your end-of-life or discontinued system using recommended replacement products. This migration package may include everything needed to complete a successful migration, as well as a year of 24/7 support.

If you prefer to migrate without assistance, Rockwell Automation provides a number of tools, free-of-charge, to help you plan and migrate with as little disruption as possible.

What does success look like?

Modernisation leads to improvements in overall safety productivity and performance. Done well, you will see results.

Realising the vision of The Connected Enterprise yields improvements in both data and decision making. Relevant, actionable data enables more informed business decisions, tied to key performance indicators — actionable information, increased overall equipment effectiveness, improved safety and increased security.

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