High-Tech Hubs Ignite Editor’s Ear

My ear catches fire when President Obama mentions "high-tech manufacturing hubs." Sounds like control and automation to me, but we may need to reach out from this side, too. 

Online Content Treasure Hunt

Don't you love that feeling when you put your hands in your pocket and to your surprise you find dollar bills tucked away that you didn't know you had? Well, this column aims to give you that feeling about

Hitchhiking and 2020

This post was supposed to be about why the SMLC initiatives might deliver a step change in manufacturing productivity when past efforts have fallen short but that will have to wait until the next post.

Is Now the Time?

In my previous post I suggested that manufacturing might be at a point where we can make a step-change in productivity.  Unlike the past 20-25 years where it seems we have struggled with the integration of process control and business systems and deriving value from that integration recent advances in...

Deja Vu - All Over Again

As I have noted in the last several posts I have been traveling a lot lately and it has just been recently that I have finally caught up with reading all my email, blogs I follow and the forums/groups that I belong to.

Systems Thinking

In the last post I raised the issue of unintended consequences.  Some may have thought I was arguing against automatic control when I postulated that before computerized control took over that catastrophic systems failures were less likely since humans struggled to maintain control with even minor equipment degradation.

Can a Leopard Change Its Spots?

In the last post I posited that an automation vendors success in making software central to its business needs to be a key consideration on choosing a strategic partner for automation technology.  It is safe to say that while it seems every automation supplier is investing in software, not every...

Can Automation Vendors Regain Their Strategic Relevance?

Today almost all of the major control systems suppliers are making massive investments in software.  The question is whether these investments will actually allow the control systems vendors to compete against software intensive firms like SAP, Microsoft, Google or Oracle?  Digital technology has embedded itself in all aspects of machinery. ...

Check out Day 1 of Automation Fair 2011

Live from Automation Fair: Focus on Safety Automation and Process Solutions

Expo Automatización 2010 – Chile’s True Automation event

I “just” got in from the above event here in Santiago and despite its size it truly was an automation event with a mixture of both process and factory automation – indicative of the type of industry driving the Chilean economy which is predominantly mining.