Today begins the sixth annual AutomationXchange event in Park City, UT. This is a unique event that we developed in partnership with VerticalXchange to bring together buyers and solution providers in the automation industries. We have buyers from food, pharmaceutical, mining, glass, and a whole lot more industry verticals, and the solution providers that these buyers requested to see.

That's the really cool part of this event: the buyers are in complete control of the event. They visit the soltuion providers' suites, and only see the solution providers they believe have something they need, right now, for a funded project they are currently working on. The makeup and number of buyers changes every year, as the projects change, and the makeup and the number of solution providers changes as well, to match the buyers who want to see them.

There have been lots of benefits gained by both buyers and solution partners over the years, and we've collected some testimonials here. We have also interviewed both buyers and solution providers and have collected some video clips of what they have had to say about the AutomationXchange process, and the event. You can see those videos here.

This afternoon, there will be roundtable panel discussions on security, HMI simplicity, wireless, obsolescence and other topics that were submitted by machine builders and end users. Joe Feeley, editor of Control Design, will moderate one discussion, and I will do the other.

Some of the buyer participants, in case you were wondering, from the process side include Kraft Foods, Barrick Goldstrike, Louisville Water, Perdue Farms, Glanbia Foods, United Therapeutics, Gallo Winery, Aqua Pennsylvania, and others.

Solution Providers include B&R, Beckhoff, Cashco, Eaton, Emerson Industrial Automation, Endress+Hauser, Euchner USA< Festo, Glenmount Global, ILS Technology, Magnetrol and Magnetrol Environmental, Matrix Technologies, Maverick Technologies, Mitsubishi, MTL, Murrelektronik, Ohmart Vega, Pepperl+Fuchs, Schneider, Siemens, TSD, and Ultra Electronics (formerly Weed).

Matrix, Maverick, and TSD are system integrators, of course, and Paul Galeski of Maverick (which is the largest independent integrator in North America) has been a fervent supporter of AX for its entire existence.

Although I am not at my best at the moment, I wouldn't have missed this for anything.