More Nashville News and Other Stuff

First the other news:  This popped up in the email a couple of hours ago:

"Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. announced today that exiderdome’s stop in Charlotte will be cancelled.  After successful stops in four U.S. cities and nearly 5,000 visitors, exiderdome cannot be transferred from a barge to land for the second half of its U.S. tour, due to legal disputes involving key logistics suppliers. The company is currently exploring options for rescheduling the visit to Charlotte after exiderdome’s stop in Houston."

A call to Siemens hasn't yet revealed anything more about the nature of the dispute. But Siemens has to want this settled fast. It's spent a lot of time and money on the exiderdome--and by all accounts, it's been money well spent so far. It would be a shame to have the plan messed up by a "legal dispute." 

Of course, I suppose that's better than being grabbed by pirates, but still.  

Now, back to Nashville. Rockwell's p.r. folks have been peppering our mailboxes with tons of news.  Two items of interest relate to Rockwell's forays into the "Innerwebs." How 'bout Web-based HMI?

"Rockwell Automation Launches Web-HMI
In the same way that sports fans use Internet-capable devices to get up-to-the-minute information about their favorite teams, manufacturers can now remotely monitor the plant-floor operations status using FactoryTalk ViewPoint software from Rockwell Automation. FactoryTalk ViewPoint software is the one of the first commercially available, thin-client applications for manufacturing built using the new Microsoft Silverlight technology. The initial release extends visualization and real-time decision capabilities beyond FactoryTalk View clients to browser-based remote users.

FactoryTalk ViewPoint software supports fully scalable and animated Web displays of existing FactoryTalk View Site Edition (SE) and Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus applications from the office, home or on the road via any Internet browser. While the initial release is Internet Explorer (IE) compatible, additional browser and device support is planned. IE’s active hyperlinks and the navigational functionality deliver an interactive experience in addition to typical browser functionality such as favorites, and forward and back navigation buttons.

FactoryTalk ViewPoint software was developed using Microsoft Silverlight technology – the same technology used by NBC to air videos of the Olympics online. Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering rich, interactive applications on multiple Web browsers and mobile devices. The plug-in loads and updates automatically, making it easier for users, while lowering the total cost of ownership as there is no client software to install or maintain."

Then, to add to RA's webby goodness, this release followed about five minutes later:

"Rockwell Automation today launched Rockwell Software FactoryTalk VantagePoint, an innovative addition to its FactoryTalk Integrated Production and Performance Suite that allows end users to self-configure rich Web-based dashboards, trends and reports without expensive, time-consuming support resources. FactoryTalk VantagePoint software leverages the FactoryTalk service-oriented architecture and technology acquired through the company’s purchase of Incuity Software to deliver automatic access to valuable production information from both Rockwell Automation and third-party systems in an easier-to-use, cost-effective manner.
Through a familiar Internet browser, Microsoft Office user interfaces and pre-defined connectors to third-party systems, FactoryTalk VantagePoint users can install and configure their systems in as little as a few hours with minimal technical support. This immediate access to actionable insight allows employees at every level of a production facility to better monitor and manage productivity, and exercise more control over high-profile operations such as energy efficiency or global supply-chain execution. Providing cohesive access to information on-demand in an intuitive, easier-to-use format improves decision support in any aspect of the manufacturing environment – from inventory to maintenance, production to quality, and up through the enterprise and supply-chain planning."

Oh, and Rockwell also wants us to know that more than 11,000 of the faithful are down in Nashville getting up-close views of this and all the rest of the RA product line--as well as that of their numerous partners.

For more on Automation Fair, check the top of the home page for the complete coverage of yesterday's events.