Though I was only at the ARC Forum for the first day and was tied up in meetings for most of the day it was easy to see the energy level was much higher than last year. Not only were more people in attendance but there were more exhibitors in the hall as well. There was also evidence of the winter storms here and there as well with some of the exhibitors missing parts for their booth – stranded somewhere in the Midwest.
The interesting bit of news from my tour of the booths, was in the Pepperl+Fuchs (P+F) stand where I was informed that DART (Dynamic Arc Reduction Technology) is another step closer to becoming a real product. One of the reasons that this is happening is that MTL and P+F have reached a licensing agreement so now that the two largest FF players have agreed to “play nice” on this one the rest of the field will likely now have to follow along.
It was also good to see Ed Ladd at the event. He was there in his new role with Mitsubishi where he is a Business Development Manager looking to gain a foothold for this major player in the process industries. They have a very cool PLC that can create a multiunit virtual machine running VERY fast.
The other item that occurred at this event was an “expression of interest” meeting in the development of a new standard for Asset Management of field devices. Though meeting attendance was low, it did help us reach an agreement on scope and purpose – but I will leave that for another post VERY soon.
Lastly, on a personal note I also had a chance to catch up with several folks I had not seen for a while including Duncan Schleiss and Walt Boyes. Good to see old friends again even if only for a few minutes and interrupted by a fire alarm.